I finally did weaving with my third grade kids. I went to a teacher workshop at the Mingei Museum and the facilitator gave us each a bag with the beginnings to do weaving project with a group of 24 students. There were 3 skeins of yarn and 24 cardboard looms.
I had a few looms of my own which finally made this do-able for a whole class. The first day, I had no adult helpers so we identified our third grade table experts who were able to assist students who needed help with the concept of weaving on a loom.
The next groups of students came a few days later. I reached out to classroom teachers and asked for extra volunteers.
It was great to have several adults each period making the process much easier and more enjoyable for everyone.
Oh these are always fun! I do these with Grade 4 because they study the missions and learn about how California was once part of Mexico. I also do them as one of the craft table options at our school’s heritage night. One of our teachers who is Mexican loves when the students create these. She puts them up in her classroom and tells the students about her background and why they are important in her culture.
This age level seems to have the easiest time learning this ancient textile art without a lot of intervention fr0m me.
I do tell them that have to “get it right” or re-do it. If they do it correctly, they can do a second one.
We do these in one class period which is 60 minutes. I typically use craft sticks but also chop sticks that I have cut in half.
We usually have donated yarn so this is a pretty inexpensive project.
I have seen several different mixed media jelly fish. This is my version created for the PM4 Preschool class. They are a very capable group with excellent art skills.
I was gifted a large amount of cardboard scrap so I cut it into half circles and gave it a swab of white tempera. I also have a roll of this cool looking iridescent paper that is from some business machine that was gifted to me as well. I cut that into strips. I also cut up pieces of yarn for the students.
When students arrived, they used the string and the paper to add tentacles to bottom of the half circles. I have already cut a few slits in the bottom so they could push the yarn or paper into the slots. I told them it was like flossing teeth. They then painted the half circles with glitter paint (another donation) and added foam shapes and googly eyes.
Once dry, I added a craft stick so they can use them as puppets.
Again using gifted cardboard, we created these bees. Three year old preschool students were gifted lengths of yellow and black yarn to wrap around an oval cardboard.
Once complete, they added wings (that had been pre-cut from donated paper) and wiggly eyes. One class told me their bees needed stingers so I got them some black paper for that. One child even added a mouth. I love when they teach me!
This is a pretty simple weaving lesson using a disk weaver. There are loads of versions of this out there. The first time I did this kind of weaving was when the San Diego Weaving Guild gave weaving disks away at their booth at the Fair. It has been a favorite of my students for years.
Once kids get this, look out! Belts, book marks, bracelets and tote bag handles will be everywhere. I use pieces of corrugated cardboard or fun foam to make the looms for this project.
Cut an octagon shape out of a card board or fun foam square. (3 inch square works well)
Place a slit on each flat side of the octagon about 1/4 inch. Put a hole in the middle of the octagon-a sharp pencil is great for making the center hole. To find the center, fold the octagon in half and make a line then fold it the other way and make another line-you should have an “X”.
You need seven pieces of yarn or floss. Length will depend on how long you want your finished piece to be. About 18 inches is a good start for a bracelet. Once you have cut 7 strands of floss, tie a knot in one end. Push the knot through the hole in the octagon. Place one thread into each slot. You will have one empty slot.
To weave; count three strings from the empty hole. You will pull that string and place it into the empty slot. Rotate the disk and repeat-count to the third string, pull it and put it in the empty spot-repeat. You have to make sure you comb the loose strands of floss or yarn as you go or it will tangle.
Once you have come to the end of the yarn, you can pull the strands out of the slots and tie a knot.
The after school art class is the place for doing fun things that we would not have time for in a regular art class. It also allows my former students from the upper grades to come back and do fun art projects.
This lesson came from seeing a friend’s box art projects. She gets a box each month for her children and in the box is everything needed to complete the art or science lesson. For this project, her kids had made a jelly fish with ribbons on the bottom. For my students, they created whatever image they wanted to.
Students used cereal box cardboard, straws cut in half, yarn, packing tape and art room donations for this project. First, they drew an image of their choice and cut it out. They decorated the images with collage, beads, buttons, glue, marker, just about anything they could find.
Once they finished decorating, they taped 2 straws on the back with packing tape. We then fed a piece of yarn through the straws leaving it looped at the top. To prevent the string from going back through the straws, students used beads or buttons as stoppers.
Another lesson to tie into the 5th grade social studies curriculum.
Students used donated fabric and tapestry needles to cross stitch an alphabet letter. Early finishers could use the blanket stitch to go around the outside edge of their fabric.
Grade one students used yarn and burlap to create these stitched images.
Students used a template and chalk to trace a heart, circle (for the sun) or star. They used blunt darning needles with the yarn. I taught them how to create a simple running stitch. Once complete, we used chopsticks and yarn to create a hanger. I did serge the edge of these so they would not fray but preventing fraying can be achieved with simple sewing, a line of glue or even tape.