Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Cotton In The Classroom

Back-to-School Resources For Educators
stacey gorman

As teachers and students alike get ready for back-to-school season, Cotton Incorporated has once again partnered with Young Minds Inspired (YMI), an educational site geared toward educators, to provide free cotton-themed curriculum and resources meant to engage students with hands-on classroom lessons and activities about cotton, cotton science and cotton sustainability.

The curriculum focuses on STEM — Environmental Sciences and Math. Cotton Incorporated and YMI created the resources to help elementary and middle school students learn about and evaluate the properties and benefits of cotton. There are teaching kits for students ranging from second grade to eighth grade. The free curriculum includes downloadable teacher guides, activity sheets, posters and an online whiteboard activity.

“Today’s students become tomorrow’s consumers,” said Anne David, director of advertising for Cotton Incorporated. “We want to ensure we educate the next generation of consumers about all the amazing things cotton can do.”

Updated Materials

Cotton Incorporated’s advertising department has worked with YMI for the past four years to bring hands-on classroom lessons and activities about cotton science to students and educators nationwide. This year, Cotton Incorporated and YMI refreshed all the materials with updated numbers and statistics. They also launched a new 360-degree virtual field trip video series showcasing cotton’s journey from dirt to shirt.

The new video series, geared toward second through fourth graders, includes five short videos explaining cotton planting, cotton harvest, cotton ginning, cotton at the spinning mill and making cotton into fabric. Each video allows the user to click and drag around the screen to get a unique, 360-degree view of each step in the process.

“These new videos allow students to take a surprising journey to the farm to see where it all begins,” said David. “By following the process all the way from dirt to shirt, these future consumers are learning to connect the dots between fashion and the farm.”

Tremendous Response

Between March and April 2023, the program targeted 240,000 2nd-4th grade educators with e-blasts about the materials, and in just those two months, Cotton Incorporated saw 14.5 million impressions and 44,600 downloads by educators.

If you, or a teacher you know, is interested in the cotton curriculum or the Dirt to Shirt 360-degree videos, visit https://ymiclassroom.com/lesson-plans/cotton/. As always, Cotton Incorporated is proud to offer these downloadable materials free of charge.

Acknowledgments: The “Dirt to Shirt” video program would not have been possible without the support of the Schniers family-Texas, the Leggett family-North Carolina, the Wall Co-Op Gin-Texas, John Maness of Gildan, North Carolina, and both Cotton Incorporated and The Cotton Board.

Stacey Gorman is The Cotton Board’s director of communications. Contact her at sgorman@cottonboard.org.

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