Wacky Weavings

This Wacky Weaving project has been really fun. I am not sure where I got the name for that. I just remember an art teacher, who doesn't teach anymore, saying something about wacky weavings one time. So, that stuck with me. 

I've not taught weaving with paper in several years. However, I knew the fifth graders were going to be singing Jambo, an African song, in their upcoming musical performance. 

Here's a video of that song. It is a great song. They were singing this song in my classroom as they worked. It was so cute. I love seeing that level of engagement. You simply must check it out!

So, I had African art on my mind. They are making masks for this performance. I will post about that after the parents get to see them. Don't want to spoil that surprise with photos!

Anyway, so I also wanted to teach them about Kente from Africa. This is a type of beautiful woven cloth. This link has a lot of great photos and info for you

I wanted to expose them to this art form. I also wanted them to do a lot of weaving this year. I got a Friendly Loom last year from some very kind people who gave to a Donor's Choose project. We are working on that as well.

Weaving Weaving Weaving in my class right now!

So, here's what we did:

First, they cut strips of white tagboard longways. I told them the strips didn't have to be straight. They could be as wacky as they wanted. You can see that in the next photo. Look at the vertical white parts. 

Here's the tagboard we used:

Next, they used scrap paper to add color and texture to those wacky strips. They were allowed to tear or cut and add pretty much any pattern (or non-pattern LOL) they wanted. Some also used crayons to add patterns as well as paper. Take a look at the next photo to see how one student used crayons. You can see the spirals and crosshatchings. 

Then, they cut a 12x18 black piece of paper to make a warp for the weaving. Here's a video that shows how we did this. I didn't use this in class, but I wanted to share it with you because she does a nice job showing how to cut that black paper. I modeled step by step and the students did it with me. 

(DISCLAIMER: I have been so unsure of myself using the term "warp." I've looked at multiple websites to try to make sure I'm using the correct terminology, but I do not feel confident. If I am wrong, CALL ME OUT! You won't hurt my feelings, you'll help me!)

Next, they glued their wacky white strips to the black paper. One strip for each section. They had to trim as necessary to make them fit. That was a very good test of visual discrimination for them, but most of them got it easily. You can see the strips glued to the black very easily in the next photo. 

As they were working on this, I called small groups to my table to paint a 9x12 sheet of white tagboard with either cool or warm color tempera. We used sponge rollers for this. Those kids thought this was the coolest thing they had ever seen. 

These are the ones we used. They held up really well. I also used them with two other grade levels. So, about 400 kids used them. We will continue to use them. They have proven to be pretty durable even through multiple washings. 

They cut that paper into strips as well. You can see those strips here. It is the green and blue strips that are running vertically in the photo. 

Finally, they cut another 9x12 solid color sheet of paper into strips. They alternated the painted paper strips and the solid color sheet of paper for weaving. 

Check out the rest of these photos. I am really please with these. Some of the kids missed on the weaving in one or two places. Like, they might have two strips going over first instead of alternating, etc. However, I know this is the first time they've weaved in art. So, I am pleased. I have other opportunities planned for them to practice this skill. Did someone mention a Friendly Loom? Wink! Wink!

These really brighten up the hallway! Let me know what you think! How do you teach weaving?