keep weaving, keep weaving, keep weaving....
ah weaving...this is where it all fell apart last year. I made assumptions about my students prior weaving experience and abilities. Stupid me. Everything was ok when we were weaving with paper, we managed on cardboard looms, but when we tried to go vertical or in the round it was not pretty.
things I learned...
*EVERYONE, 2nd-8th grade starts with a refresher paper weaving project
You can make it simple
Or you can make them work their brains and fingers with excellent designs from Origami Resource Center
*while it is free to me, making 200 cardboard looms out of boxes from the school dumpster takes a whole weekend and kills your bread knife. It might be worth the money to order the pre-made looms, as my personal time is worth a few bucks. Dick Blick has these long skinny looms to make more of a bracelet than a tapestry. I like this a LOT and did something very similar last year when I tired of making big looms. Turns out the kids were way more interested in making their woven bracelets than wall tapestries, they took less time and less supplies. I think you could get away with only using 5 warp threads. OR it may be cheaper to buy a set of 12 wider looms and use the paper cutter to chop them into three long and narrow looms.
* You must have the yarn balls in individual containers with a hole where the kids are pulling the yarn though or else you end up with a horrid mass of yarn and crying kids.
the right way to store your yarn
*If you are weaving on a cardboard loom and you use a tabby weave and then take it off the loom it will stay together. If you are letting the younger kids just weave with strips of fabric and other materials and you take it off the loom it will fall apart.
(good ol tabby weave)
*Straw weaving: ehhheh was not very impressed with the results, I think we will skip it this year
*Woven paper baskets.... very cool looking, way to hard for my 5th graders. Half way into our first day on the project I realized it was not going to happen for us. Good reminder to self, if you the teacher finds a project a bit challenging then it will be really challenging for the kids.
* weaving in the round on a paper plate gave us mixed results and the kids were less then excited about it. It also seemed to take up more yarn. We struggled with correctly threading the loom and then the incorrect threading ruined the project for a lot of kids.
paper plate weaving from hell
I think this is a better small group project.
If I were to try it again I like this variation at Innovative Learning Solutions. They made the circle weaving into flowers. I can see doing a smaller circle of weaving and gluing it onto a construction paper flower shape also.
* Weaving in the round around a plastic cup works well, gives nice results and the kids are happy with the end results. Little Art Monkeys has a good step by step guide with photos
I have also seen the same idea done with paper bowls like at this school
clay looms or matt board looms? Seeing a recent post from "Art on the move" about clay weaving looms I was reminded I tried a similar project years ago as a student teacher. This was before I learned to make holes in the clay with drinking straws and our holes were too small rendering our looms useless. I'm going to try the clay looms with the 6-8th graders again this year and see how it goes now. I also got to thinking about how one might use pre-cut matt boards as loom frames. I have a pile of water damaged matt boards that were donated to the school and while are ok in structure, are not very pretty for framing art. I wonder if you could drill holes into the matt board to make some large group looms.