- Create a multi-media piece of art
- Increase artistic stamina with a multi-week project
- Learn three basic weaving terms (loom, warp, and weft) and a basic weaving technique (over, under)
- Tie a knot in yarn
- “Thread” a bead
To begin with, we painted a paper plate (the sturdy Chinet kind) in a creative way. Students were given the suggestion of painting a rainbow with concentric circles, but if their creative inclinations took them another way, I encouraged it.
Once our paints were dry, we used a loom template to draw lines every inch or so around our plate. These were then cut to form the notches in our loom (something you weave on). We then used a long piece of yarn and slowly strung it through and across our loom to create a warp (something you weave through). While warps and looms can vary in size and shape, ours ended up looking like a bicycle wheel, with the warp creating the spokes. With the small tail left over from our warp, we began our weft (something you weave with). The goal was to weave the weft over and under the warp in a continuous circle until it started to create a suspended disc of yarn. Through this, students could then add pony beads by threading them through the yarn at intervals; they could also add different colored yarn by tying the yarn together with a knot.
We discovered a great tongue-twister in this process: “What is the weft? Why, the weft is what you weave with!” Our second graders loved it! We also learned a lot about resilience. Just as we were starting our warp-to-weft class, we attended our most recent Tree Talk, which provided students with strategies for how to handle feelings of frustration when they struggle to complete work on their own. We learned to S.T.O.P. (stop, take a breath, open your mind / observe those around you, proceed and practice). Although many students experienced challenges with going from the warp to the weft, we have developed our fine motor skills significantly as a result of this project. Many students can now tie at least one kind of knot, and have had practice “threading” a bead, which will come in handy when we complete our embroidery project in third grade.
I am so proud of all of the students who worked through their frustrations, just kept weaving, and helped their friends when they were struggling. Every single second grader was able to complete a strong example of weft by the end, and all students were sad when the project ended – they could have woven forever (and hopefully they will)!!