The American Coal Foundation has designed a coal-based elementary school curriculum, reports In These Times.
(It) suggests that students learn about the costs and benefits of coal mining by using toothpicks and paper clips to “mine” chocolate chips out of cookies. They also go about “reclaiming” the “land” damaged in the process by tracing the cookies’ outline on graph paper. Costs are to be calculated by the amount of time spent per chip and the expanse of graph paper that needs to be reclaimed.
. . . The stranger-than-fiction curriculum prods students to write inspiring stories about mining company towns and teaches how to make “coal flowers”—lumps of coal adorned with paper and fabric held together by congealing ammonia, salt and “laundry bluing,” which the curriculum helpfully advises can be purchased through women’s magazines.