A recent event in our school prompted the idea for our students to have the experience of writing with quills. The first impulse was to run to craft sites and purchase quills or feathers designed to be used as quills. After reading user-reviews, we were not willing to trust our important learning event to these sources!
With further reading and probing, we found that original quills usually had been made from turkey, eagle, owl, goose, or pheasant feathers. Good fortune was smiling on us to have outdoorsmen in the family who had brought back pheasant feathers some years past from their outings. With their blessing – and help – the pheasant feathers became quills!
We should confess that none of us had any idea or prior experience in making a quill. We had read the review of what didn’t work with the commercial ones, so we were armed with that information. With one of our helpful family members equipped with a very sharp knife and a skillful carving hand, we set about turning feather points into “nibs.”
Here’s what is important:
For the ink
The students (kindergarten through fourth grade) LOVED the experience of writing with the quills. Doors were opened for many other learning opportunities in science and social studies as they asked questions about the use of quills and the ink that people in the early 1800s might have used.
Hope you’ll find an opportunity to try out this fun learning experience!