Weaving with Children: Paper Loom Weaving 1



hey guys I'm here today to talk to you about how I teach paper of loom weaving with my sometimes kindergartners what I'm feeling really wild crazy and most the time my first grade kids it's one of my favorite things to teach but it didn't used to always be that way because teaching weaving to kids especially first grade kids can be a bit of a challenge so the whole point is to be extremely patient it's going to need to require a lot of patience from you and from the kids and to make it as fun as you possibly can which paper loom weaving doesn't sound like a good time but trust me you can make it an awesome thing to teach so when I'm teaching first graders weaving one of the first things I do to introduce weaving to them is read one of my favorite books about weaving which is the goat in the rug it's a book all about the process of a Navajo Weaver's starting from the fiber or the mohair of the goat and changing that or weaving that into a rug and it's told by the perspective of Geraldine who is the goat and it's a really great story some of my favorite parts of the story is how she talks about or how the goat talks about where the mohair or the wool comes from and so usually at this point in the story I'll pause and I'll share some actual wool with the kids this is wool from an alpaca and so I have little tiny bundles for each one of them to hold and they'll usually just hold that during the rest of the story as long as we don't go too crazy with it it's kind of hard to get crazy with a piece of wool though so it's kind of fun for them to see that and really get their hands into the texture of the wool another part of the book then talks about how Geraldine I'm sorry not Geraldine the Navajo Weaver will change that wool into yarn so it talks about the process of spinning and at which point I'll show them this wool yarn that's been spun and then she dies the wool and so at that point I'll usually show them this the end of the book she's got a beautiful woven rug and I managed to find a lot of these pieces I got real lucky at Goodwill so these pieces are all examples of weavings and I have enough where we kind of pass them around and look at them that usually takes sick of 15 minutes and it's at that point then we usually pause and we go shopping so if you're not familiar with how I kind of do things in my art room I have a whole process of going shopping at the art store so the kids will walk over the art store and get a piece of paper that they're going to use to create their loom unless we've already painted that paper which is the case that I'm about to show you and we also get a pair of scissors from the store and then we gather back again on the floor now before we start the process of creating a loom I have a couple of big paper loom style show the kids unfortunately I left it at school but this is a great example that I found of a placemat that's been woven and it shows the over-under technique and I just like to show that to the kids so they kind of see a really big version of the look that we're going for so to create our weavings now I mentioned that the kids are all sitting on the floor with a piece of paper and a pair of scissors in front of them which I know what you're thinking oh my gosh they've got scissors on the floor are you crazy yes however I have established a firm wrong these scissors and the paper are supposed to be on the floor in front of you your hands are to be in your lap if you're touching your paper or your scissors and your hands aren't where they're supposed to be well then I get to take the goods so keep it under control and usually we do sometimes we forget in which case I confiscate the scissors or the paper it's not a big deal I'll give it back to him in a moment I just want their full attention and for that process of making the paper loom I really need it so it's at this point that I establish a ground rule when my scissors are in my hand working your scissors are to be on the floor the moment my scissors are in my lap taking a nap that's your special signal that you can pick up your scissors and do the same as soon as you're done you do exactly the same thing and that's your signal to me because if it's one thing I can't stand and I know you are the same it's that like this like this right oh right like this over it over and over again I don't even answer it because you're supposed to do this if you want me to take a look-see at what you're doing and then I usually give them of that all right paper weaving so the first step that I show the kids is to take your paper and make sure it's vertical like a tall building and fold it in half to me it doesn't matter which way they fold it either with the colorful side or the white side on the back once it's been folded in half and I'll do this on my lap then I tell the kids they need to make it so that the folded part is at the bottom and the open part is at the top and I'll wait for them to rotate their papers and once they've done that I'll have them watch me you're only peeling back from one of the papers and you're going to fold it down about the same height as your finger it does not need to be perfectly straight and it does not have to be exactly like mine and I'll fold it once I'm done folding it and i actually have mine on an e so that it so they can all see it then they fold it then our next step we do it together unfold that piece of paper and I tell them this I do a lot of call-and-response in my room so whenever I give the kids this signal and that means they are to clear the throat and they're gonna repeat after me so I'll usually go mmm fingers here my finger and they'll say my finger is going back and forth on the stop this is this stuff line when my scissors are a cuttin they will stop on this line and it's at that point tell them to put their hands back in the lap and watch so I asked them where is the middle bottom of the paper is it here and I usually get a new here nope and then I'll say ok I'm gonna start cutting I want you to tell me when to stop it didn't quite make it to the middle that's okay and so they'll usually tell me to stop and I will say oh look I've almost cut my paper in half I'll put my scissors down and they do the same once they're done cutting we talked a lot about math we do a whole this is almost cut in half can somebody spell the word half for me I'll write it on the board can somebody tell me what half would look like if you're doing it in the number form that takes a little bit of work cause some of them haven't been introduced to the fraction of half yet and then also I will ask them if you were a Toys R Us and all the toys were half off what might that percentage look like some of them know that right off the bat and then others it takes a little bit of work so after that short little quick math lesson I asked them which is another great thing about this lesson is you can ask a lot of questions I asked them okay I now need to cut this paper into four equal sections I just cut it into two I want to cut it into four and a lot of the kids will say well then you should cut it this way and at which point I say but I don't want it any pieces to fall off so they have to think a little bit more and then they tell me to cut from here and here so again I demonstrate I usually says stop okay my scissors are down it's their turn and once I see them have their scissors down we'll go over how to write the word one how to write the word fourth how to write it a number form and a percentage of that next thing is my question of now I want it into eight equal sections and for some reason they're always like whoo that's a crack-up so finally somebody will say cut from the bottom I demonstrate that and then I let them have at it now the thing is this a lot of the kids will accidentally take that small strip and cut it in half and I will demonstrate getting ready to do that in which case they'll say don't do it that's not what you're supposed to do which is great but inevitably some kid is going to do it or some kids gonna do this which is why I always demonstrate doing the wrong thing a whole bunch of times so that the kids all say oh don't do it so that other kids are aware oh that's what I'm not supposed to do so you're going that maybe end up with a couple of kids who have instead of eight sections nine or ten it's okay they're just gonna have a little bit more weaving to do once that's finished it's their turn and that usually takes me 30 minutes we'll open the loom so they can see this is now what your loom will look like this is what you will be weaving with these are your warps you're going to be weaving with wefts and that usually ends a 30-minute class and so I'll pause right there

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