Thursday, 31 May 2012

Weaving in Grade 3

Have I mentioned before how much I love my Social Studies curriculum? Our focus is on four unique and different countries: India, Peru, Ukraine and Tunisia. I love the curriculum because there are so many cross-curricular connections that can be made. My favourite has to be tying in art projects.
A few weeks ago my class successfully weaved mini-rugs. They worked so hard and all of them had such a positive attitude about it. I am was very impressed.
Like most of my ideas, I can't truly claim ownership. This art project was first shown to me when I invited a few members of our cities local art gallery to come in to teach my students about weaving. The set up and instructions were so easy I decided to make my own weaving boards and have done this project every since with my students.

-       14cm x 18cm cardboard square (cut 1 cm slits into two opposite edges)
-       different colours of yarn
-       Powerpoint

1.   Create a Powerpoint with pictures of weaving.
2.  Cut out 22 cardboard squares.
3.  Cut 1 cm slits into two opposite edges. There should be 13 on each side.
4.  String yarn from one slip to the others. End the string on the opposite side in which you started.
5.  Cut 50 cm pieces of coloured yarn.

1.   Begin by showing students the Powerpoint presentation of weaving in Tunisia and Peru.
2.  Demonstrate how to weave.
a.   Have students choose 5 different colours of string and a weaving board.
b.  Tie the string on the weaving string about 1 inch from the edge.
c.   Weave under and then over… alternating each time.
d.   When the string is almost completely weaved through, tie another string to the end and continue to weave.
e.   When all the stings are weaved through tie the string to the weaving board string.
f.   Clip the weaving board strings that are tied around the edge slits and tie two together to create tassels.
g.  Trim the tassels. Be careful that students don’t trim these too short of else the knots will fall out.

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Best Mother's Day Gift...

Oh the joy of Mother's Day. Who knew it could be so stressful! It seems as though the best things in life do take time and effort. This was the same for the Mother's Day gift my students made last week.
This is the picture I chose to transfer onto wood. It is a photo of my mom, sister and myself.

This year for Mother's Day gifts, my students and I opted to be adventurous. Well, I made the choice for them even though I did ask for their opinion. We made wooden pictures that turned out beautifully, for the most part, but caused me a lot of stress. Why was it stressful? As a teacher I strive to help my students find success. Usually I am able to provide opportunities for them to find success. With this project, I had no control. Some pictures came off clearly, while others were really scratched.
You may not have any idea what I am talking about, so I have included the video where I got the idea. It explains the entire process in a very simple, straight forward way.

The materials I used are as follows:
  • 2x6 blocks of wood (My husband and I are in the process of remodeling a house, so we had a bunch of 2x6 boards lying around.)
  • 80 grit and 150 grit sandpaper  
  • pictures of students with their moms
  • Mod Podge (found at Michaels)
  • medium gel gloss (found at Michaels)

I first tried it out a few times for myself. I found that one of the the ink from one of the photocopiers in my school worked better than the other one. I also discovered that sanding the surface with 120 or 150 grit sandpaper was helpful, but I am not convinced it made that much of a difference.
In the end the students were so pleased. Only one didn't turn out, even after we tried a second time. For this student, I printed a coloured version of her photo and we glued it on the wood and painted mod podge over it.

Here are few samples of my student's work.