Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Learning about Silk and the Silk road

We are continuing our studies on the Silk Road.  This has turned into a much more thorough study than I thought as we learned how Buddhism traveled from India to China, learned about the Mongols and the great Genghis Khan and we are now venturing into the travels of Marco Polo.  We have watched several videos on the silk road.
We are currently reading these two books and learning about the Silk Road.    The kids were fascinated at the thought of how anyone would have thought to make silk out of moth cocoons.
The story of how silk was first discovered as told in a Chinese legend that a young Chinese princess was sitting underneath a mulberry tree having a hot cup of tea.  When a cocoon fell into her cup.  As she was scooping out the cocoon she noticed the strands of thread.  Somehow from this experience someone decided to make silk thread:)
Parents  of a friend went to China and brought back some silk cocoons sacs and they let the kids examine them more closely

One sac was opened and we saw the worm inside.  We have read that the deaths of these worms are not wasted as they are eaten.

We were able to find some remaining silk threads on the cocoon

The children were then able to examine different kinds of silks 

The kids noticed that some silk is still quite rough

while others were smoother and softer to touch

And some were quite decorative
We watched several videos on you tube on the videos on the making of silk.


  1. That is really interesting, what a great project! Are those worms really eaten? Ewww!!!

    1. yep they are eaten but I am told the Chinese will eat anything:)

  2. That is a wonderful project. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow, this is an awesome project. I am so amazed at how silk is made. I loved the story of the discovery of silk. This is another sign of our creator and the blessings we receive from his creations. I am going to share this one with my grandchildren.
    Blessings and hugs!

  4. I'm glad to hear that the worms are eaten. It makes me feel less bad for the play silks that I bought for the Little Miss. I don't wear silk usually, as I think the process of making silk is cruel. Do you know why some of it is rough?

    1. With all the silk I had available I didn't have any Chinese silk, oh well... I read that the rougher the silk the less processing it went thru but don't quote me on that :)

  5. We just read the same story about the princess yesterday. Thank you for sharing the video and your pics. They were very helpful and entertaining.