Well, hello there, buddies! I'm here today to share with y'all that I hereby declare January the WONDERFUL WORLD O' WEAVING MONTH! That's right "WWW". Which is way better than WWF because it doesn't involve sweaty old dudes in spandex. Unless you're into that sort of thing. In which case, you might have found yourself on the wrong blog. Smell ya later.
Whew, now that my mom is gone, lemme splain to ya what the Wonderful World of Weaving Month is gonna look like on this here blog. Each week, I'm going to share with you my fave tried and true weaving lessons complete with video (including this post! Brace yourselves, people. My voice has been likened to nails on a chalkboard.) At the end of this month, I'll be sharing even more weaving goodness at The Art of Education conference on January 31st! Are y'all going?
If you've not attended, you really outta. In my last post, I mentioned my fave things of 2014 and completely left out one of the very best things: attending and presenting at AOE twice! I do hope to see you there so you can hear me wax poetic about WWW. Unless you wanna hear someone wax poetic about WWF in which case you should call my mom. Right now she's only going by her "Wrestling Name" which is Star Blaster. Don't ask.
Now, if you've never ever taught or attempted weaving before, have no fear. This here paper loom weaving project will lay the ground work for all other weaving projects. I do a paper loom weaving project with my first grade friends every year. However, if you are introducing weaving to kids that have never given it a go, I strongly recommend you have them do this simple project. They'll learn the vocabulary, the technique and the ability to apply what they've learned to more advanced weaving projects. So, lez get started!To jazz up my paper weavings a bit, I'll often have the kids create some textured and painted papers. It's a fun and quick way to introduce such painting techniques as stamping (I used the back of a round clothes pin), credit card scraping (just paint a couple drops of paint at the top of the paper and pull the credit card downward), scratching into paint with a texture comb or back of a paint brush and splatter painting (everyone's favorite...except for the art teacher's.)
Once the papers are painting, some are cut by me into weaving strips (called wefts) and one is left untouched to be used for the loom. In the clip below, I'll introduce you to some of my favorite ways to share weaving with students as well as show you how I go about having the kids create a paper loom.
If you are a step-by-step photo person, like me, here you go. I have the kids gather with their paper and a pair of scissors. We begin by folding our papers in half from the bottom to the top.
With the folded edge at the bottom and the open at the top, peel back the first layer of paper at the top. Fold it down just a pinch, about the length of your finger tip. No need to fold down both pieces of paper. It should look like the lip of an envelope.
Next up, unfold that part and run your finger back and forth over the crease. At this point, I have the kids do the same and repeat after me: "This is the STOP! line. When my scissors are a-cutting they will STOP! at this line".
At this point, I tell the kids that I want to cut my paper almost in half. How will I know when to stop cutting so that I don't cut it completely in half? That's right, the STOP! line. Start by cutting at the bottom in the middle and, well, you know where to stop. I then hold this up and tell the kids, "hey, look, we made Sponge Bob's pants!"
Next up, cut the paper into fourths. If you are curious how I go about having 20 plus kids all cut these looms together, watch that clip. It's tres simple, y'all.
Boom! Now I've made pants for my cat.
Each one of those four sections is then cut in half creating eight equal sections. Lika dis. It should closely resemble a hola skirt.
Carefully unfold your paper and, viola! You've got yourself a loom. Let's weave something, shall we?
Using a giant paper loom really helps. Unless you have a document cam then I suppose that'd work great too. Once I feel the kids have it, we weave together whilst sitting on the floor.
My first grade kids all know what an A-B pattern is and looks like. So explaining it to them in their terms really helps.
When I'm teaching weaving, I do whole lotta non-exampling. I'll weaving incorrectly, for example, by having the second weft do the same as the first, and show them why this is incorrect (the wefts will simply slide down behind the others). By showing the kids a non-example and explaining to them why it's incorrect, they'll more than likely understand the process even better.
And end up with a super lovely weaving! Now, I'm not gonna like about a half the kids are gonna knock this outta the park and be finished in a blink. Meanwhile, the other kids are gonna get stuck. So we do a lotta peer tutoring in weaving which looks a lil like this...
So, what can you do with paper weaving when they are finished? Well...
My first graders have used them for the basis of a crocodile puppet and a Starry Night-inspired collage.
As well as these fish collages! My first graders used a small paper weaving as the basis for their self-portraits as royalty.
And there you have it! I hope you are excited about the Wonderful World of Weaving as much as I am. And keep on coming back to here, y'all, as I've got plenty more weaving projects and videos to share with you in the weeks to come.
Until then, I'd super duper love to hear what your fave PAPER weaving projects are! Let's inspire each other in the comments below. And if you've got a blog post on weaving that you'd like sot share, pretty please do. Thanks, guys!