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Buttons through the Ages: Is the Newer Really Always Better? by Christine A. Elmore


Guide Entry to 11.02.01:

Does everything get better in time as most people – including children, so prone to obsession with the latest innovations in entertainment technology – seem to assume? That is the underlying question guiding my students' exploration of the history of buttons. Buttons have not always been used merely to fasten clothes. The design and uses of buttons have gone through interesting transformations. They have a past, and their history can teach us much about the lives and times of people who lived before us.

My curriculum unit is interdisciplinary, incorporating history, reading, writing, geography and art. The lessons will be implemented twice a week for 40-60 minutes over a three-month period. I have designed this unit for primary-aged children but am confident that it could easily be adapted for use in the intermediate grades, as well. This unit contains five sections:

1: Teaching History to Children
2: Button Exploration
3: Comparing Buttons: Is the Newer Always Better?
4: Buttons and Fashion through Time
5: Bringing It Altogether: A Descriptive Report on Buttons

(Recommended for English Language Arts and History, grades K-5)

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