Who needs a Combine when there are students around?

A Combine is a machine that harvests wheat from its stem (or straw) and separates it from the chaff (the outer husk or cover of a grain seed) in a wheat field.  What we did today could have been done in the field, but where is the learning in that (not to mention, where is the nearby wheat field)?  We separated all the parts of wheat by hand today:  wheat seeds, chaff, and straw.  The straw is so strong that it can be used to make items that would normally be made out of wood- like doors.  We kept the straw to decide if there are any good uses for it.  There are undoubtedly more efficient ways to accomplish the task we undertook today, but efficiency wasn’t the goal for this activity.  We used our fingers and enjoyed each others’ company and noticed different things about the grains as we worked.  Overall it was a relaxing thing to spend class time doing.