Make a Dried Bouquet

Grade Levels: K - 8

Gathering and drying flowers was a popular fall activity during the Colonial era in America. The bouquets added a touch of color to the drab dwellings and provided pleasant smells as well. Many people still enjoy drying flowers.

Objectives

  • Students will learn about the hobbies of Colonial women.
  • Students will learn how to make bouquets of dried flowers and peppers.

Materials

  • For dried-pepper hangings, use the following:
  • For dried-flower bouquets, use the following:
    • Flowers and plants that will air-dry (baby's breath, bittersweet, heather, milkweed pods, bayberry, straw flowers, thistle, corn, goldenrod, cattails, wheat, hydrangea)
    • Scissors
    • Heavy string

Procedures

  1. Hand out the Dried-Pepper Hangings Instruction Sheet and review the information with your students.
  2. Use class time to create the pepper hangings or tell students they will receive extra credit if they choose to make a dried pepper hanging at home.
  3. Finished dried arrangements make attractive hangings for the classroom while students learn about the Thirteen Colonies.
  4. As an extension activity, make dried-flower bouquets. Explain to students that Colonial women spent most of their energies providing food, clothing, and shelter for their families, but somehow they saved a little time and space for a patch of flowers. Bouquets of dried flowers often hung in 17th-century homes to serve as air fresheners.
  5. Instruct students to pick and cut the flowers or plants when they are in bloom.
  6. Tell students to sort and arrange bouquets, then tie them with heavy string.(Remind students to make sure there are no insects on the bouquets because they can interfere with the drying process.)
  7. Help students hang the bouquets upside down by the string in a warm, dry place.

Excerpt from America: Ready-to-Use Interdisciplinary Lessons & Activities for Grades 5-12

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