Ted's teaching tips;The Big Picture

19th February 1999 at 00:00
The Big Picture see page 14

Another intriguing "What on earth do you think this is?" picture. Giant cauliflowers? A flock of very woolly sheep? The figure of the man gives perspective to these enormous cotton bales.

Cotton Are you wearing any cotton? Dress, T-shirt, socks? Probably. More than half the world's clothing is cotton. What is cotton? (warm-climate plant, looks like cluster of cotton wool balls). Where is it grown? (hot countries such as China, southern United States, India). Why was it called "King Cotton" and "White Gold"? What happens after it's been picked? (fibres torn from seeds, like taking apart dandelions; put into bales, as here, weighing about 480 pounds, weight of three adults; drawn into yarn in factory; woven into cloth; dyed).

Clothing What are "natural" or "artificial" fibres? Look at garment label - is it a natural fibre, like wool, cotton, silk; or an artificial fibre, like rayon; or a mixture? What do different people wear, like Inuit (furs), Arabs (loose white clothing to reflect sun), British (summer and winter), and why? How do clothes keep us warm, or cool? (hold in or let out heat).

Uniforms Which people wear a uniform and why do they need one? What do different uniforms look like - hat or cap, jacket, badge, shoes or boots?

Discussion and writing What are the arguments for and against school uniforms?

Ted Wragg is professor of education at Exeter University

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