Friday, January 2, 2015

In the Art Room: Paper Loom Weaving

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.
With the introduction to weaving and loom creating, this generally takes about 30 minutes. That's one art class for me. Oh! In this clip, I mention what my art room set up is like. You can read all about that here
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?
In this much shorter clip, I'll show you how I go about teachin' that.
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!

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24 comments:

  1. I bought calendars at the dollar store for the warp. We used painters tape at the top both to secure the loom and create a "stop" line. They could cut straight or curved lines. For the weft they chose a coordinating scrapbook paper or solid construction paper that I cut with a paper cutter. The results were stunning!

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    1. The sound stunning! I've always wanted to do one of those wavy-line weavings and now I'm totally inspired! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  2. Oooh!
    I want to try the circle weavings this year! Here is a link to a progression/photo thingy I put together for a grad class.
    http://artteacherstuff.weebly.com/weaving-projects-1st---5th.html
    I can tell you a little more on the Op-art weavings if you like!
    Ingrid

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    1. OMG< I love those OP art weavings!! I'd LOVE to learn more! Can you email me at cassieart75@gmail.com? Thank you so very much!

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    2. Will do- I get back in my room on Monday, I'll email you then :)

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  3. Great instructions and so colorful! I love doing weavings with the kids. http://floridacreate.blogspot.com/2014/07/watercolor-still-life-weaving.html This is a fun lesson for weaving + watercolor. And we have also woven yarn on bamboo branches and tomatoe cages!! Happy New Year!!!

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    1. Oh, those are fantastic, I love those! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  4. First off, I love your large demo loom - that is great! I could see students practicing on this in groups, too. We are SO looking forward to your weaving presentation at the AOE Conference this month!

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    1. Thanks, buddy! I'm so excited to present!

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  5. I love the large loom demo too! Genius! You are amazing, Miss Cassie.

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    1. Not amazing just trying to find a way to reach those kiddos! Thank you for your kind words, Patty! YOU are amazing!!

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  6. Great post showing the large demo and helpful video clips! All the first grade teachers think I am crazy teaching weaving! Glad to know I am not alone.

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    1. Oh no, they are so ready for weaving in first grade! Don't let those teachers underestimate their students intelligence! Now, when I attempt it with kindergarten...then I DO fell like I'm crazy!

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  7. Cassie, thanks for the great video tutorials! I wish everyone would do that in their posts. It makes the process so much easier to teach!

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    1. I'm glad it helps! I'll try to do more in the future...we'll see if I can keep it up :)

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  8. ok we are channeling some sort of parallel art teacher universe- I just spent my break creating cardboard looms for my 3rd grade and am doing paper weaving (Kente cloth inspired) with my 1st/2nd graders! Your large loom (that sounds a little weird) is genius! And your demos are super helpful! Thank you for being so generous and fabulous!

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  9. Cassie, you and I teach weaving identically! We cut the loom pretty much the same way, and I also had a large scale model paper loom for teaching.

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  10. I haven't finished watching the video but I just had to write and tell you how awesome your eye makeup is. :)

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  11. Love the jumbo demo loom! I've taught weaving in HS but never at the elementary level where I am now! You make it make sense!

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    1. Great! I hope you have fun weaving with your kids!

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  12. So what are your thoughts on setting up the paper painting for grade 1? I love how the finished weaving looks with the variety of painted paper, but I am trying to decide how to do it. Shallow trays of paint with a tool assigned to a color, like the combs are in the blue paint, etc.? Or just all of the tools with the trays of paint like a smorgasbord free for all? Let's face it, the combs, credit cards, clothespins, etc will all be mixed up at the end no matter what I do!

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    1. Hi Friend! Well, it's definitely going to be messy but painting processes are super fun! I wrote a blog post about it last year that you might find helpful. We do a lot of crazy painting in one day and then it's done...we have papers for collage and weaving! Here's the blog post: http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/2013/09/in-art-room-painting-processes.html

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)