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Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom

Classroom Resources

Agriculture-Related Books

Crops — Cotton

Grouping Materials: From Gold to Wool (Science Answers)
Ballard, Carol
Heinemann, 2003
Grades 4-6
Students investigate the world of physical science and learn through experiments which materials are best to use in which situations and how important materials from plants and animals are to their daily activities.
So Far From Home: The Diary of Mary Driscol, An Irish Mill Girl, Lowell Massachusetts, 1847
Denenberg, Barry
Scholastic, 2003
Grades 4-7
Fourteen-year-old Mary Driscoll and her family have lived in terrible poverty in the Irish countryside since the potato famine began several years ago. When Mary is offered a chance to join her aunt and older sister in America, she jumps at the chance to seek a better life for herself. But after a long, stormy, and miserable ocean voyage, Mary arrives in America to find that it is nothing like she expected. She takes a job in a textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, where she is scorned by most of the American workers and expected to work long hours under terrible, unsafe conditions. There are few bright spots in this account of the life faced by many girls in New England cities during the mid-nineteenth century, and most of what happened to the fictional character of Mary happened to various girls who lived back then and worked in factories and mills.
A Yellow Watermelon
Dunagan, Ted M.
Junebug, 2007
Young Adult
In rural south Alabama in 1948, whites picked on one side of the cotton field and blacks on the other. In Yellow Watermelon, 12-year-old Ted meets Poudlum, a black boy his own age, where the fields meet. Poudlum teaches Ted how to endure the hard work while they bond and go on to integrate the field.
The Biography of Cotton (How Did That Get Here?)
Gleason, Carrie
Crabtree, 2005
Grades 4-6
From plant to T-shirt, this book follows the history of this natural fiber from its early beginnings in Pakistan and Peru to its world-wide use today. Color photos and maps describe the plant itself, as well as where and how it is produced. Historic black and white images help tell the story of the early cotton trade, highlighting slavery, child labor and the manufacturing process. Other topics include "What is a commodity?, how cotton was used in the ancient world, the history of cotton use, the textile industry, new technologies treated to harvest cotton and their effects on the rest of society, the lives of people on plantations, in the cotton fields and mill towns and cotton manufacturing around the world.
Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin
Gunderson, Jessica, and Jerry Acerno
Capstone, 2007
Grades 1-7
Uses comic book-style word balloons and sophisticated vocabulary to tell the story of Eli Whitney and the invention of the cotton gin. Explores the impact the cotton gin had on the Civil War and the ultimate emancipation of the slaves. Includes a timeline of advances made by Eli Whitney, a glossary and a recommended reading list.
The People Could Fly: The Picture Book
Hamilton, Virginia
Knopf/Random House, 2005
Grades 3-5
A group of African slaves working in cotton fields in America escape an abusive overseer through magic recalled from Africa.
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt
Hopkinson, Deborah
Knopf, 1995
Grades K-3
As a seamstress in the Big House, Clara dreams of a reunion with her Momma, who lives on another plantation - and even of running away to freedom. Then she overhears two slaves talking about the Underground Railroad. In a flash of inspiration, Clara sees how she can use the cloth in her scrap bag to make a map of the land - a freedom quilt - that no master will ever suspect.
Under the Quilt of Night
Hopkinson, Deborah, and James E. Ransome
Aladdin, 2005
Grades K-5
Traveling late one night, a runaway slave girl spies a quilt hanging outside a house. The quilt's center is a striking deep blue - a sign that the people inside are willing to help her escape. Can she navigate the complex world of the Underground Railroad and lead her family to freedom?
Up Before Day Break: Cotton and People in America
Hopkinson, Deborah
Scholastic Nonfiction, 2006
Grades 4-8
Using primary sources and extended with black and white photos and period reproductions, this book provides a detailed picture of the effect of cotton production on the social structure of the US. From 1607, when the earliest English settlers arrived in Virginia, cotton was among the plants grown in colonial gardens. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution in England the demand increased, and the southern colonies stepped up production. Hopkinson explores the role of cotton production in the system of slavery and also considers the young women who worked in the textile factories. After the Civil War, the southern economy traded slavery for sharecropping and moved many of the mills were moved to the South. Following workers' histories up through the Great Depression, the final chapter discusses child labor, past and present.
Fabric Types (Trends in Textile Technology)
King, Hazel
Heinemann, 2001
Young Adult
Featuring case studies and interviews, fact boxes, photographs and explanatory diagrams, topics include the manufacture, uses and care of different fibers and fabric types, fabric production techniques, including weaving, knitting, lace-making, dyes and decorative techniques; designing, cutting and making of garments; furnishings and accessories; the world of fashion and fashion designers, production techniques and the clothing industry.
Macaulay, David
Graphia, 1989
Young Adult
Macaulay pays tribute to the historically important mills of 19th Century New England. Using close-up pen-and-ink illustrations, he thoroughly explains the Yankee ingenuity that went into the elaborate process of running machines that were generated by the flow of water. He also examines the importance of the mill to one community's economic and social viability.
The Cotton Gin
Masters, Nancy Robinson
Children's, 2006
Grades 4-6

The Story Behind Cotton (True Stories)
Moore, Heidi
Heinemann Library, 2009
Grades 5-6

From Cotton to T-Shirt (Start to Finish)
Nelson, Robin
Lerner, 2003
Grades 1-5
Shows how T-shirts are made and includes several stages in the manufacturing process, such as close-ups of thread making, mechanical weaving, dyeing and cutting.
Bread and Roses, Too
Paterson, Katherine
Sandpiper, 2008
Grades 4-6
Paterson has drawn upon the facts of the famous 1912 Bread and Roses strike in he mills of Lawrence, MA, and the sympathetic response of the citizens of Barre, VT, to tell the story of two children enmeshed in complex events.
Paterson, Katherine
Puffin, 2004
Young Adult
Lyddie Worthen must decide whether to risk losing her job running a loom at a dusty Massachusetts factory - a job she has taken to earn enough money to reunite her family - by protesting the poor working conditions.
The Quilt
Paulsen, Gary
Random House, 2005
Grades 3-8
A young boy learns the stories of his Norwegian American family as told through a quilt created by women left at home during wartime in 1944.
Wool and Cotton (How We Use Materials)
Storey, Rita
Smart Apple, 2007
Grades 4-6

Working Cotton, Harcourt
Williams, Sherley Anna
Brace, Jovanovich, 1996
Grades preK-3
Shelan, the young child of two migrant workers, follows her parents into the fields to help them pick cotton during a long day of work, in a dramatically illustrated study of migrant family life.
Counting on Grace
Winthrop, Elizabeth
Wendy Lamb, 2006
Young Adult
Inspired by a Lewis Hine photo of a child at work in a Vermont cotton mill in the early 20th Century, Winthrop imagines the story of Grace, 12, torn from her one-room schoolhouse and forced to work long hours in the textile mill as a "doffer," turning cotton into thread, alongside her mother, in the spinning room. The story explores the dangerous working conditions and the work of activists who sought to publicize the abuse.
Show Way
Woodson, Jacqueline, and Hudson Talbott
Putnam, 2005
Grades K-5
A Show Way is a quilt with secret meanings, and the image works as both history and metaphor in this picture book. Based on Woodson's own history, the story is of African American women across generations, from slavery and the civil rights movement to the present. Growing up on a plantation in South Carolina, Soonie learns from Big Mama about children "growing up and getting themselves free," and also how to sew quilts with signs that show the way to freedom.