Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weaving stories

Click on above image to enlarge and print directions for
making the loom. (If I figure out how to make the
images sharper, I'll switch this!)

Here's a fun weaving project for a group of kids of various ages that is much more about process than product. Make a simple loom with a top and bottom pole, board or branch, and string it with sturdy string or twine. Children take turns weaving strands of various materials through the warp strings. Collect strips of fabric, paper, lace ribbon reeds, stalks, newspaper, long feathers, or other things that might appeal to them.

•Ask children to think of something about themselves they might want to share with the group. Then they can choose a strand that represents their "story": blue for the ocean where they like to swim, brown for their pet hampster, flowers like Grandma's house where they go for vacation and so forth. Some kids might want to be more literal, and write words on a strip of paper.
• Begin a group story. In turn, children choose a strand as they add to the ongoing tale, weaving their words together. Example: A little purple dragon goes on a for the hill he climbs......lace for the princess he so on. Then see if they can retell the whole story using the strands as visual clues. This might inspire writing projects, too.
• The weaving shown here was done by children at a Unitarian Universalist church in Maine. They first made a list of things that were important to them, and then chose strands to weave.
Contributions ranged from the earth, friends, and books, to pizza!
Your ideas are most welcomed!