Weaving is not my favorite skill to teach. I have talked before about how I think it is kind of boring and not that creative because they are all pretty much the same. HOWEVER I am now a believer after doing this project.
I was inspired by the delightfully colorful blog Art, Eat, Tie Dye, Repeat for this lesson. We began with a PowerPoint featuring examples of Ojos de Dios and some background info about the native art form. On that first day, students created a painted paper that was supposed to be used for their background (more on that later).
I did a demo on how to paint a galaxy and that seemed to be a very popular option! The next week when we met, each student received an X made out of popsicle sticks that they labeled with their initials and the numbers 1-4. I used regular school glue to create the Xs to give to the students but hot glue would probably work too.
Now, before I go any further I must disclaim the extreme challenge that this project was for both myself and my students. This one is kinda complicated. I had watched a couple of youtube videos to see how to do it (this is a good one even though I have no idea what she is saying this must be what my ESOL kids feel like). I even used my specials team as guinea pigs and practiced teaching it to them (thanks guys!). One teacher pointed out that it was a lot easier to do from the underside and after lot of trial and error, the students agreed! I taught students how to do both ways and they could choose the easier method that worked for them. There was certainly some frustration getting started but in the end, most students were incredibly proud and even asked to make another one! Anyways, back to that X –
Some kids needed help tying the string to the middle but most had the hang of it.So the first step is to tie the string in the middle and it doesnt really matter which numbers it is in between.
The pattern for weaving is “over – under – under.” Start by placing the string over one of the sticks(2).
Next bring it underneath that stick(2):
Put it under the stick next to that one as well:
Then place it over that same stick (1) to create a line:
Next, go under 1 and 4 and over 4:
Continue the pattern of “over – under – under.” Lines will start stacking up along the popsicle sticks.
The other side will look like a square or diamond:
I told students to leave about a finger’s length of string to tie on the next color.
Then continue the pattern. You can also weave from the front by alternating diagonals. Wrap the string around one stick then go diagonally across, then under, then across.
Each color added will create more lines on the back and more diamonds on the front.
To finish it off, tape the end of the string to the back of the popsicle stick.
The kids really enjoyed getting to choose their favorite colors and express themselves through color.
Now when I showed students the original plan which was to glue the weaving to the paper we created the first day, there was basically a mutiny. It turned out they wanted to have the Ojos de Dios separate. I decided that we would create envelopes with the papers instead so that they could put the Ojos in instead of on them. Students folded their paper in half and used a hole puncher to punch holes up the sides.
Then, they cut small pieces of yarn and tied them to create fringe. I told them not to pull too tightly on the yarn or the paper would rip. They could use 1 or 2 colors and cut the fringe to the length of their choice.
They could also braid yarn together to create a strap if they wanted to.
These turned out SO COOL!!! The best part was that they were really proud of their work and super engaged. They loved the idea of creating something functional. A couple students used sequins to create a jeweled effect and one kid even wrote “MK” for a Michael Kors bag (lol)! Students who were able to make more than one weaving could glue one of their Ojos to the outside of the pouch for more decoration.
We were able to finish these just in time for Mother’s Day and many students are planning to give them as gifts! Today one student brought me a great gift – she had created a miniature one at home ❤