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The Flour/Sugar Sack Baby

Goals pertaining to the use of a “Flour Baby”:

According to a Planned Parenthood Fact Sheet, more than 1 million U.S. teenagers -- one in nine women aged 15 to 19 -- become pregnant each year. Part of this project’s goals deal with the issue of teen parenthood. Participating students in Grade 11 will be making “flour sack babies”. Students will be broken down into pairs. Each pair will represent a married couple. There will also be one “single parent”, due to the number of students.

The Flour Baby is designed to demonstrate the responsibility involved in managing a family which includes a baby. Students construct a daily log, design a birth certificate, and put together a budget for their family.

It is our hope that through participation in this project our students will:

1. Gain the realization of the commitment of time and energy that it takes to have a child and the demands that a child makes on the parent(s).

2. Research the cost of living for a married couple (or single parent) with a small child.

Regarding your “child”:

1. One of you will create the flour-child (an artfully designed 10 lb. sack of flour or sugar.) Make your child distinctive yet appropriate (e.g.: no tattoos, piercing, hair coloring), with his/her own personality or style, without damaging or using tape or glue on the actual bag: we'll be donating the flour to a local food bank when we're done. Your child should always be dressed for the weather (One more layer than you are wearing, as babies cannot yet regulate their own body temperature). The other person will create the carrier for the child: crib, papoose, stroller, etc. Single parents will do it all.

2. Name your child (An appropriate name, please, more on this in class). You will also create a “mock” birth certificate and social security card for your child. You will also create a marriage license and a “family album”. Photo albums will be provided.

3. During the school day, you must carry your child at all times. In this class you must hold your child at all times. Couples should take turns. If one has basketball practice, arrange something realistic with your partner. Lockers and trunks are not cribs or day-care centers. Decide who will take the child home each night.

4. During other classes, there will be a “play pen” area set up in the corner of the room, where your baby will take a “nap”! If another teacher has to come to us and tell about you distracting their class with the “flour baby” you will lose 25 points.

5. You should be extremely protective of your child. If a tragic loss or injury occurs, you will be responsible for clean-up (NOT the custodians.), reporting to instructors, and negotiation of the penalty. Penalties range from additional research to a report on child abuse. If someone else attacks your child, or uses him/her in a recipe, find a teacher as a witness to spare you some penalty.

6. You are not allowed to put the baby in your backpack, go anywhere without your baby, leave your baby in the care of anyone else, or let anyone abuse or neglect your child.

7. You must wake up one week night per week and make a phone call to Mrs. McTighe, between 2AM and 4AM. You will be leaving a message with your name that you are calling because your child will not go to sleep and is keeping you awake. You will then call back again in EXACTLY 15 minutes and leave another message. Failure to do so will result in a 100 point reduction.

8. At the end of this assignment you will submit a paper. It must be at least 2 pages. You will include how the project went, what you thought, embarrassing moments, etc. This is worth 100 points.

9. You will lose 25 points every time you are seen without your baby! There will be no negotiation or discussion, just a 25 point deduction! You will be giving a schedule to your instructors as to which “parent” will be caring for the “child” during which period of the school day.

10. A “baby book” should be kept with the baby at all times. The baby book is a place to record every time that you feed the baby, change the diaper, etc…At any point during the day, your instructors are able to “spot check” the baby book. If the baby’s feeding and diaper changing has been neglected, points will be docked.

11. Another action that results in point loss is if only one parent handles the baby in a joint marriage. It is important to learn that both parents are equally responsible for the children in a marriage.

Suggestions on how to make a creative looking “Flour Baby”

1. Encase your sack of flour in two pairs of pantyhose. This will help to protect from spillage and damage.

2. Stuff the pantyhose with Styrofoam balls or fiberfill to create a head.

3. Clip, stuff and sew the remaining materials to create arms and legs.

4. Different colored pantyhose can be used to create “multicultural” skin tones.

5. Now “create your child”. Sew on eyes, noses, mouths, etc…Add yarn hair or a bonnet. Dress in baby clothes. They can be purchased extremely inexpensively at the Thrift store. Get creative and have FUN!!!!!!

Links for This Project

Spreadsheet Portion
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