Blue Jeans

Purpose is to find patterns and learn from observations.

Find a pair of blue jeans to observe.


Record your observations about the jeans.






Did you feel the surface? Did you smell the jeans? Did you put your ear to the jeans and hear anything? As an observer or as a scientist you need to use all your senses. Can you add more observations about the jeans? If you have trouble making additional observations, talk to other students and your teacher for suggestions.

Asking Questions:

Once you observe the jeans you can start to ask questions. A scientist is always asking questions. She or he asks themselves questions, asks other people questions, and tries to answer the questions by investigating, reading, or by talking with other scientists.

Think of some questions about your jeans and write them below.






After you have written your questions, share your list with the lists of other students.

Many of them asked different questions. Why?

 Scientists often gather observations, questions and information from several people in order to get as many viewpoints as possible. Why are your observations and question the same an different from others in your class?

The author of this investigation is older than you are and an experienced scientist. Here are some questions the author thought about. You may have thought of some of the same questions? Read the questions below and check in the space to the left of the number of those you think you might us for further investigation.

 ________ 1. How long are the jeans?

 ________ 2. How old are the jeans?

 ________ 3. From what kind of cloth were the jeans made?

 ________ 4. Who bought the jeans?

 ________ 5. What do the round metal disks on the jeans do?

 ________ 6. Why are some legs wider than others?

 ________ 7. What gives the jeans its color and strange smell?

 ________ 8. How heavey is the fabric?

 ________ 9. What makes the seam on the outside of the legs overlap?

 ________10. Is there a tag on the back? Why do people leave the tag on the back?

 ________11. Why does jeans loose their color as they age?

 ________12. How are they given their size?

 ________13. How are the threads woven to make the cloth?

There are more questions about jeans that could be asked and many of us ask similar and different questions about them, because we have similar and different experiences and interests.

Seeing Differences:

You have observed one pair of jeans and asked questions about them. Are all jeans alike? People in your class vary in age, height and hair color. Jeans can vary also. Look at other jeans and note below how they are differ and the same as the first pair you observed.

How Do Jeans Differ from One Another?

Do jeans differ from each other according to their use and how they are made?

Searching for Answers:

In science it is not enough to observe, ask questions, and notice differences. We want to be able to answer or find explanations for the questions we ask. There are many ways to answer these questions about jeans. Where might you suggest to start?

Check with other students to see if you agree as to where to look for answers.

Before you answer some questions here is some information you might find useful.

If you measure remember a number by itself is meaningless so label your answer as to meters or centimeters, feet or inches, grams, liters, ounces or pounds.

There are several ways to measure and compare jeans.

Scientists record their results so that they are able to refer to it later.

Deciding on a question or idea to investigate

You may decide on your own question or your teacher may facilitate some grouping to investigate questions as a team or teams. For example if students annonunce some of the questions they would like to investigate and then those who were interested in similar investigations could get into small groups.

Investigation area or question



Procedure for investigation

Suggestions or hints: Information can be found in sewing books, catalogs, clothing companies, dictionaries for different definitions, Wikipedia and other encyclopedias ... Some problems or investigations might suggest that you collect your own observations to find explanations or suggest answers. Don't be too surprised if you ask other people questions about jeans and they do not know. You may be the first person that asked them your question.

You might like to take measurements of jeans, photographs of jeans, and use the data to answer your question or provide an explanation about jeans.



Information obtained

Write a paragraph or two about the jeans in the space below and include information about the jeans which answers these questions.










Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes &