Saturday, March 2, 2013

Just Bag It!

We’ll share the story of Margaret E. Knight, the nineteenth century woman who figured out how to make a machine that could fold a flat-bottomed brown paper bag, then we’ll make wild and wonderful paper bag creations.

(Ages 5-10)

Program Plans:

Music: Free to Be, You and Me* (CD) --Marlo Thomas and Friends – played as children enter, again while doing craft later.

Display books: Biographies on inventors (especially female inventors), collective biographies 926.082’s, 609’s invention books – early arrivals browsed through these.

Read: In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps it Up – Monica Kulling, illus. by David Perkins (Alt: Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor by Emily Arnold McCully)

Flannelboard/Song (optional): “Parents are People" from above album

Craft: Make masks and puppets from brown bags. Google images for inspiration: "paper bag Saul Steinberg"
Supplies: brown paper bags (lunch and grocery sizes), markers, scissors, hole punchers, glue sticks, scotch tape, pipe cleaners and anything else desired for decoration
Table signs available (email me)

*Also available as DVD and segments on Youtube


Book: In the Bag!: Margaret Knight Wraps it Up by Monica Kulling The true story of how a 19th century woman invented the machine that could make the paper bag we all take for granted and how a man tried to steal her patent!  (Common Core – can compare with Emily Arnold McCully’s equally excellent Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor. (both JBiog Knight) or Monica Kulling’s book about another facinating female industrial engineer Spic-and-Span: Lilian Gilbreth’s Wonder Kitchen – who invented a step-on trash can and shelves in the doors of our fridges!)  Want to learn more about women engineers?  Check out:

“paper or plastic? – often at the store, your purchases are now put into a plastic bag instead -- paper bags decompose, but plastic lives forever and can cause real problems”


Book: One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul tells how plastic bag trash was becoming a terrible problem in a village – even killing the goats – until a clever and enterprising woman and her friends figured out how to take this trash and make it into useful purses that could be sold for income.  (Booktalked: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer – the autobiographical story of a boy from Malawi, who, when a drought threatened his village, used books found in a library to learn to build a windmill from scraps. – has more ideas for this title. – has more stories of environmental heroes.

“Here’s another kid who uses imagination and builds things from scraps…but unlike the other books we shared today, this one is fiction (not true)…”


Book: Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty   Rosie loves to invent until an uncle laughs at her cheddar cheese hat, but her Great-Aunt Rose (a tribute to the “Rosie the Riviters” of WW2) convinces her that inventions that fail are not failures….your brilliant first flop was a raging success…come on, let’s get busy and on to the next!…The only true failure can come if you quit.”  Fun related book: Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty (2nd grade boy saves the day when his class is stranded on an island and he builds a suspension bridge.)

Read: “Frisbee” p.6-7 of Imaginative Inventions by Charise Mericle Harper (609 HAR) named after the Frisbie Pie pan used by Yale students as the original flying saucer game.

More great inventors:


So You Want to Be an Inventor by Judith St. George and other Dewey 609s – e.g. Dotty Inventions and Some Real Ones Too, Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women and Inventions that Could Have Changed the World But Didn’t .

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