Sunday, April 27, 2014

Underwear: What we Wear Under There

Author:  Ruth Freeman Swain
Illustrator:  John O'Brien
Published:  2008
I have to review for the SOLs with my 3rd graders.  One of the things we have to discuss is how our community and lives have changed over time.  I have found that to get my students to listen sometimes just catching their attention is enough to get them to focus.  Imagine the wide eyes when I pulled out this book - Underwear:  What We Wear Under There.  Yes, it is about underwear and the kids loved it!

The book is about the history of underwear or lack of it and how underwear has changed over time.  It really is quite interesting. The book begins with the breechcloth and loincloths.  There are references to learning how to weave and how Mahatma Gandhi wore a dhotis, loincloths worn by Indian men. 

Of course there has to be some gross information
too!  "Don't air your dirty linen in public" is a saying that was related to underwear in 16th century England.  Back then people wore underwear because baths were rare.  To help protect their clothes, people wore underwear which were infested with fleas, ticks, and mites!  YUCK!

With women's right came pants!  Actually, women wore bloomers, pajama-style pants that they could wear with bathing suits and to ride a bicycle.  We have come a long way!

"Can you say it in a whisper?  Can you say it out loud?  Can you say it without a smile?
      'I see London,
       I see France,
       I see Laura's underpants!'" (p. 29)

A timeline of underwear is included in the back of the book starting with ancient times through the 1960s when disposable diapers became available and even into the future when one day bacteria might be used to eat used underwear!


Check this book out from the library.
Ruth Freeman Swain's Website


1 comment:

Kristen Felix said...

This book looks hilarious, and it would definitely grab kids' attention! Thanks for sharing!