With Gabe, we did The Rag Coat, which is a story about a girl in rural Appalachia who gets a coat sewn from quilting rags.
The story tell of how her dad, who was a coal miner, had always kept her warm by wrapping her in an old feed bag, covering her with a quilt and holding her in her arms. Sadly, he died from "miner's cough" after working in the mines for most of his life, and the other moms wanted to make her a coat from their scraps of fabric. Each piece was special to the particular family for one reason or another and she learned the story behind each one. They lined it with the old feed bag and she wore it to school where she showed it to everyone and told them each of the stories, all of which were about them since it was old scraps from each of their families.
We looked at the Appalachian Mountains and what coal is, how it's mined and what it's used for.
To show the kids what quilting was, Rebecca used a bunch of scrapbooking paper and let them make "quilts".
Then they took a ride to Hagan-Stone Park where they have an old one-room schoolhouse just like Minna went to in the book.
They wrote on slates.
Olivia had to be put in the corner.
Terry, the ranger, showed the kids all the neat things to see, like the teacher's desk.