Showing posts with label how to teach weaving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how to teach weaving. Show all posts

Monday, January 19, 2015

In the Art Room: Tree Weaving

Hello there, weavers! I present to y'all today one of my fave weaving projects: Tree Weaving! If this looks familiar to you, that's cuz I shared this process with you a coupla years back and it's one of the most viewed posts on this here blog (which means, like 10 people read that post, yay!). I hope means a good amount of y'all have given it a go! 
My third graders finished these lovelies off in the early fall with summer still on their mind. However, many of them opted to weave with fall colors for the leaves which turned out super cute as well. I originally stumbled upon this idea when trying to dream up a different weaving experience for this age group as I was kinda feelin like our past project of weaving on peg looms had grown kinda stale (read: I was super tired of it. I have a really hard time repeating projects. Are y'all like that? It would make my life so much easier if I did!). So, playing around one day, I created this:
Which then I got me so excited I created another one! 
So just what does one need to create a tree weaving? Lemme see, rustle up the following:

* Chinet Plates. Don't skimp, y'all. They are pricey but they are the best. The thickness of the plates is what makes them a stable weaving surface. 

* Paint. I don't think it matters what kind. The Chinet plate is so thick, you might be able to even use watercolor on it. Hmmm...

* Warping Yarn. I had a variety of browns, tans and grays on hand for the tree trunk.

* Weaving Yarn. Whatever colors your heart desires! Let's get started.

For the complete lesson of how we painted these plates, please follow this link. It's way more in-depth about that portion of this here lesson. Today, I'm just sharing clips of how to do the actual warping and weaving. 
In this clip, I'll walk you through cutting the correct amount of notches in your plate and warping your loom. If you don't like hearing the sound of my voice, go here for the visual step by steppies. 
I'll show you a coupla different methods of weaving. Start at the top or the bottom, it's up to you. Definitely give it a go first before unleashing the kids on those plates. 
My early finishers worked on their artists statements which they glued to the back of their plates. They had a choice, they could either write about the product, the process or something they learned. In a paragraph form, of course (cuz, you know, if you don't remind them of that, you'll get the word "cool" or "grate" or "ausome" on the back of the plate. Not that my students would ever do that, cough, ahem).
What I'm finding in these self-reflection/artist statement writings is that the kids often talk about how they could do better. I like that. Not that I would ever say that to a kid but I like that they are motivated to try harder. 
Need more weaving goodness? Here you go, kids!

The Weaving Series: Paper Loom Weaving (perfect for first grade)
The Weaving Series: Straw Weaving (second grade and up)
The Weaving Series: Circle Loom Weaving (second grade and up)

The Weaving Series: CD Loom Weaving (second grade and up)

The Weaving Series: Ojo de Dios (second grade and up) 

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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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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In the Art Room: Circle Loom Weaving with Second Grade

When it comes to art lessons, I'm not much of a repeat offender. Since I like to change up the cultural theme of my art room every year, my lessons usually follow suit. However, I always have my 2nd grade create a circle loom weaving for a coupla reasons:

* It's excellent for building fine motor skillz and pumpin' up those wee hand muscles. And what kid doesn't want super strong man-hands?

* It's chock full o math connections: measuring, pattern making, long division (okay, maybe not that last one but you get the idea.)

* It reaches those kids that might otherwise slip through the art cracks (dude! what if there were such a thing as "art crack"?! Would that be like the equivalent of huffing a sharpie and drinking the paint water?!) Particularly my boy students. They absolutely thrive on weaving, being the tactile learners that they are. In fact, I overheard one little guy tell a buddy whilst weaving, "this is the best day of my life, I love this!" Daawwww.
All that being said, I've not been in love with how I've taught circle loom weaving in the past. Usually when we wove on a plate, we simply started with a blank Chinet plate, created our weaving and used markers to color the rim of the plate (go here and scroll down to 2nd grade art to see). Last year, in an effort to change things up a bit, we did the whole weaving on a CD thang which was cool and all but I still wasn't in love with the end result.
This year, in an effort to try something totes different but still make sure the kids got in their much needed weaving time, I opted to have them paint their plates before attaching them with woven greatness.
 Wait, you wanna make a Painted Plate Circle Loom Weaving too?! Okay, kids, russell up the following: 

Chinet Plates. Ya'll don't use anything less. These bad boys are as good as a canvas as far as plate-painting-surfaces go.

Tempra Paint. I only use Crayola's Washable Paint. The colors are about as good as it's gonna get in an elementary classroom.

A Loom Template. You'll thank me later, ya'll.

Yarn and Beads.
 Over the course of 2-ish art classes, we painted these plates. On our first day, we chatted about Kandinsky's concentric circle paintings and created our own. The following art class was spent using the World's Smallest Paint Brushes to craft those patterns that you see. By the way, if these look a pinch familiar to you, I shared these plates in a recent post about (attempting) to teach good craftsmanship. 
 Once the plates are painted and patterned, I give the kids a loom template with exactly 19 notches (not nachos) cut into it. The kids are to trace these notches onto the rim of their plate, count to check that they only have 19 lines to cut (because there will be the rando kid that has 55 lines drawn everywheres) and then cut the lines on the rim of the plate. I encourage them not to cut beyond the rim as this will make for a saggy weaving. Which sounds about as ugly as it is.
 Once the kids have their plates (which we now call our looms) cut, they are to grab a small skein of warping string and meet me on the floor. For the correct amount of warping string, I wrap the yarn from my hand to my elbow five times. These small bundles are available in a variety of colors for the kids to choose from. 

Now. Let's talk about teaching the kids to warp their looms. Which can either be like watching a train wreck happen in slow motion or a piece of cake. Lemme show you the cake route cuz, well, everybody loves cake.

First of all, when we are all seated on the floor, with our looms and warp string in front of us, ain't nobody allowed to touch nuthin until I say "go". You even think about touching that loom and yarn and Ima gonna snatch it up. Because, you know wuz about to happen. They'll think they've got it, fiddle around and not catch a bit of direction and the next thing you know, you've got a class of 20 all train-wreckin-it-up. So. Watch me and wait for the "go". 

First step: Put the tail end of the yarn in any notch. There should be a short tail about the length of your finger in the back while the rest of the yarn hangs loose and free in the front. Go. (I tell the kids that their "go" signal to me for the next step is to put their weavings on the floor in front of them. When I see that, I can proceed.)

Next: Bring the length of yarn down dividing the plate in half (see above photo). But, there's a catch. Be sure that there are 8 empty notches on the left side and 9 on the right. That's muy importante, ya'll. Go.

Now: (see left photo) Take the long length of string and have it "go to the right neighbor's house" meaning have your string go in the next notch on the right hand side. Now, this neighbor is super rude and it shouts, "get outta my house!" so the string runs all the way across the plate (see right photo) and makes the World's Smallest X. 

 Next: Rotate the plate so that the length of string is at the bottom (left picture). That story I just told about the string getting kicked out of the neighbor's house? It's a pattern. Which means it's gonna repeat. So, let's do it again! Go to the right neighbors house. Get kicked out. Go across the street and make the World's Smallest X. Rotate the plate.

After watching this routine, the kids walk me through completing my plate warping by repeating this as I go:

Go the neighbor. Get kicked out. Make World's Smallest X. Rotate the Plate.

Which gets shortened to:

Neighbor. Out. X. Rotate.
 You'll know you're finished when your little string has no home to go to. And that will be your weft or weaving string!

The following art class, we start to weave with that wee string.
 The first day of actual weaving is usually the toughest. I tell 'em over and under until I'm blue in the face...and they get it. That is until they pull the string tightly to the middle and it looks like this:
And then they're all "whuh, huh? whuh just happened to my string?" 

At this point, I tell them that they might have to loosen their weaving a bit to see just what they did previously. This will put them back on over-and-under track. When their weft is as long as their hand, they are to double knot tie a new string to the end. It can be a tough first day...but I repeat over and again: Your first day of weaving is the hardest. But you'll get this. And you'll love it. 
And when they do, without sounding like some sappy art teacher, it's pure magic.

During our weaving sessions, some kids sit on the floor with me and we chat and get to know each other. We've taken weavings outside on sunny days and sat under trees. We lay on the floor or relocate to tables where our buddies sit. It makes for such a fun and relaxing environment. 
Since the kids really caught on fast to weaving this year, I thought I'd throw out the option of adding pony beads. Some kids took to it right away, complimenting their designs with a beaded pattern. 

 And others opted out, content to just weave until they reached their limit of a 4" diameter. Once weavings were complete, the last of the weft strings was double knot tied to a warp spoke.

The weaving portion of this project only took us 2-ish 30 minute art classes. Since I limited the diameter to 4" (because I hated the thought of their beautiful paintings being hidden AND because the kids will seriously weave For.Eve.Rrr. if not limited), the project ended up being rather quick. By my weeks-long-art-project standards.
I think I can happily say, I'm thrilled with these circle loom weavings. I will definitely be sticking with this painted plate loom lesson. It's become a new weaving fave. To finish these guys off, the kids will tie a "hanger" of yarn at the top so these can be displayed for our upcoming art show!

By the way, I've shared a couple of weaving posts on this here blog. Some of my faves are the following:

What are your fave weaving projects? I'd love to hear!

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