The Rag Coat {FI♥AR}

We learn about friendship and forgiveness from a young girl named Minna and her coal mining father in The Rag Coat. After Minna's father dies from the "miner's cough," the quilting ladies come together to make Minna a coat to wear to school ~ a quilted coat made with scraps of material, each with its own special story.

Our row for this book consisted of learning about coal, quilting, stories and more.

Rag Coat Lapbook {Lap Journal}

Coal Mining

We took a trip to see what coal is. The first thing we noticed was that the sales yard was full of black mud - black from the coal.

Black mud.
Lump Coal.
This particular place gets their coal from a mining project in Montana

A load just delivered from the coal mine - we heard the rumble of the coal falling off the truck.
Unrefined coal. 
We learned a little about where coal comes from, how it is refined, and that coal is used to make heat and electricity.

We took a look online at other mining projects near us to see different types of coal mining. We learned about three types: surface mining, open pit mining, and underground mining (from a google search).

I was having a hard time finding a good source to explain how coal is formed {without the "millions of years" explanation}... until I thought to check Answers in Genesis. I liked this conclusion:
"So we can conclude that only 128 years of plant growth at today’s rate and volume is all that is required to provide the energy equivalent stored in today’s known coal beds! There was, of course, ample time between Creation and Noah’s Flood for such plant growth to occur—1600 years, in fact... There was ample time, space and vegetation growth for one Noah’s Flood to produce all of today’s known coal beds." ~ Coal Beds and Noah's Flood
More great info on coal from a Biblical worldview:

Answers with Ken Ham ~ Coal ~ is it a Flood deposit?, Australian Coal - memorial to the Flood.

Coal, Volcanism and Noah's Flood by Dr Andrew Snelling and John Mackay


Then we made "Coal Cookies."

The objective was to "observe the effect of heat and pressure on materials representing those involved in the formation of coal." And make a yummy treat to make this row memorable. =)

  • 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs mixed and pressed into pan
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips {or white chocolate chips}
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts {or pecans}
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk poured over the top
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and cut into squares.

This was a fun way to explain the evidence for a world wide flood ~ 'billions of dead things, buried in rock layers. . . all over the earth' and show them the coal bed layers ~ the chocolate chips ~ that formed in the layers. And they were yummy. . . I've made them like 4 times since!

While we were waiting for our coal cookies to "form," we watched one of our favorite Buddy Davis songs, Billions of Dead Things. (A great way to reinforce that coal is made in the layers of plant remains.)

Quilting, Rags, Stories and Memories

Inspired by this classroom rag coat, I drew our own quilted rag coat to color.

I drew it to look like Minna's and we all three colored it.
I asked Malachi to color a scrap to tell a story. He drew a piece of his Winnie-the-Pooh baby blanket in one and army tanks in another (he loves anything "army").

Our finished rag coat. 
My Rag Quilt Project for Eliana

I have been saving scraps of material from dresses I have sewn for her (pictured above along with some material I have yet to sew into dresses for her). I told her stories about the dresses I have sewn. . . how I was determined to learn to sew so I could teach her one day, and made my first dress from a pattern when she turned 1.

And I showed her the pictures of her first dresses in the photo album I am working on to help preserve our stories:

Project Life ~ our pictures and stories. 
And yes, I'm lovin' Project Life! I got 1 year, 9 months worth of photos in that album in 2 days. I've yet to add the stories. . .  but I'll get there.

Since I am not ready to make her quilt and Minna makes herself a rag doll in the story, I made her this rag doll instead:

Quilted Handkerchief Doll (directions if you are visual like me)

It's a nice "quiet doll." I added a second hankie for the hooded shawl and it earned a spot in her beloved line-up of dolls that sleep with her on her bed (need a pic of that!). 

Here is one I took a month ago:

I love how her hands are still "holding" the book. =)