I've done these bags for 8 years now. There's even one teacher here in Hudson that has two of them since she had my oldest and my youngest both for 3rd grade. This latest version was for my little guy's 4th grade teacher. She was a marvel this year. Super smart and super creative. You should have seen the "environment board" the class created for their China theme. She took a map of China, blew it up (like really blew it up -- it covered 4 large tables pushed together) and then transferred the map to plywood. The boys formed groups and each worked on a different region of China. My son had the South which included terraced fields, a bamboo forest, etc. The boys made all the topography out of clay, styrofoam, whatever. The Great Wall was sugar cubes. It was amazing.
So, she deserved an equally creative bag made by the awesome boys this year. Each boy received a 6-inch square of nice white cotton. They turned their squares into me and I made the bag. One side of the bag has a special center square. I had it embroidered to represent their other major theme this year: Whaling. They had a mock voyage on a mock boat and named themselves the Nantucket Slayers. My guy was the 1st Harpooner, thank you very much.
The highlight of their year was a 6-day trip to New England including Mystic Seaport, Provincetown, and Nantucket. Photo below is the group in front of the Brant Point Lighthouse on Nantucket. You know it's an amazing trip when your son's highlight was a museum. The Whaling Museum on Nantucket is on many lists of "100 things to see before you die." Nate is completely enamored with Fresnel lens, used in lighthouses to amplify the light. He studied a lighthouse on the island that was one of the first in the world to use this type of lens.