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Schooled, by Gordon Korman, was our September book for 6th grade. Each month we read a different book. We take an entire month to read the book, discuss themes, and complete a few activities. I read the books before I assign them so I can ask questions as she reads to check for comprehension. Reading is meaningless if you don’t understand what you read.
While we are reading the story, I usually plan quick and easy activities – things like draw a picture of various characters or scenes. Essentially I ask Hannah to illustrate various chapters.
I like to plan something a little more exciting for the end of a book though. A grand finale, if you will, to say good-bye to the book after spending an entire month together.
One thing that was mentioned repeatedly in Schooled was that Cap dressed mainly in tie-dyed clothing. This gave me the idea for our grand finale project! Our last Schooled activity…
We tie-dyed t-shirts!
I had not tied-dyed anything in a very long time, but it is even easier than I remembered. The Tulip One Step Tie-Dye Kit makes this process really easy. It contains 5 large bottles with powdered dye, rubber bands, and plastic gloves. I found this kit with the craft paint supplies at my local Walmart. It was well worth the money.
Hannah read the book, but I always let Ben participate in the projects if he wants to. He has very different interests so I expect his sixth grade reading list will contain different books. I hope that by letting him participate in these fun activities, it will peak his curiousity and he will choose to read these books on his own. If nothing else, it creates a positive association with books.
Schooled Activity – Tie-Dye!
- Something to tie-dye – a shirt, hat, tote bag, etc.
- Tulip One Step Tie-Dye Kit
- Warm water
- Cooling rack
- Plastic wrap
- Laundry supplies
First prepare your work area. The dye might stain so I recommend tie-dying outside if at all possible. I put baking cooling racks on the grass so the kids had a work surface that would keep their shirts free of grass.
Next, add warm water to the fill line on all of the dye bottles. Make sure the caps are on tight and shake the bottles. The directions warn that the dye is brightest soon after adding the water, so don’t do this in advance.
Add rubber bands if you want to make a specific dye pattern. The directions have plenty of rubber band suggestions if you need a little inspiration. Did you know that you do not HAVE to use rubber bands to tie-dye? Ben chose to just randomly apply the dye without the benefit of rubber bands and it turned out great.
Wearing gloves, squirt dye onto your fabric. This is a very personalized project so apply the various colors any way you want. If you use the Tulip One Step Kit, you will have plenty of dye leftover so you do not need to worry about conserving it.
Once the dye is applied you will need to wrap the fabric completely in plastic wrap. I left the wrapped shirts outside to make sure the dye wouldn’t leak onto my furniture or countertops.
Let the wrapped tie-dyed items sit for a few hours. The directions recommended 8 hours, but we only let the shirts sit for 6 hours. Six hours worked just fine so you don’t need to stick to the time guideline too strictly.
Now it is time to rinse out the extra dye. I used my utility sink for this project. The dye did initially stain my sink, but I was able to bleach the dye out. Just be careful to quickly clean the dye out of your sink to avoid any permanent damage. Rinse the fabric until the water runs clear. This took me about 5-10 minutes per shirt.
Finally, wash the finished product in your washing machine with a bit of laundry detergent and dry as normal.
Now your tie-dyed clothing is ready to wear!
This was such a fun project to celebrate the end of a great book. It will be hard to top in October!
Have you ever tie-dyed?