Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring Weaving Project

This is a project I'm currently doing with Grade One.  It's in conjunction with another teacher around a creative writing project.  We were currently in the middle of a weaving unit so I decided to combine it all together into one art project.

The kids spent some time discussing the return of birds at springtime as this is starting to happen right now in Calgary.  The first Robins are just returning.  The kids were then asked to write a Haiku poem about the return of the birds.

Now the kids had already done some paper weaving as part of their weaving unit...straight lines...then wiggly lines...getting used to the under and then over concept.

For this project I gave them all a piece of scrim or rug hooking mat.  You can buy it in bulk at some fabric stores they also carry it at Michael's.  I paid $12.00 for a 3ft by 5ft piece (double what I needed).  I then cut it into 5"x9" pieces.
Because this was to be a nest I painted each piece quickly with some brown acrylic paint.

I then gathered up a variety of materials for the kids to weave with...ribbon,  fabric strips (about 1 inch wide),  chenile yarn,  wool roving,  felt strips, etc.

We talked about how there are birds called weavers and that birds use a lot of different materials to make their nests.  I gave each child a large plastic needle and they got started weaving through the scrim.  Some changed colors every row,  some weaved it the short way instead of the long way...every one was different.

When finished it should look something like this...I made sure the kids skipped the top and bottom row when they started weaving.

 I then gave each student a 12" x 12" piece of cardboard.  (I'm notorious for keeping cardboard).

They then painted their piece a bright blue with some acrylic paint.

Set aside to dry.

When dry we sponged on some clouds with acrylic white paint.

We cut out a branch shape from some brown paper but you could easily paint this on as well.

Glue into place.

I took the weaving and trimmed off the top row.

I then used a glue gun and glued the bottom rows up and onto the back of the weaving.  GLUE GUNS SHOULD ONLY BE USED BY AN ADULT.

I then brought in each side in at an angle and glued in place at the back.

Do both sides.

When you turn it over it should look like this from the front.

Then glue into place on your background sitting on your branch.  I used a glue gun because I was in a rush but you could also use tacky glue.

Make sure you leave it open like a pocket.

Now each child needed an egg for their nest.  You could easily make this out of paper but I wanted it to have a 3D look to it so I bought these styrofoam eggs at the dollar store...6 eggs for $1.50...enough for 12 kids.

I cut each egg in half and pulled out the hanger.

Glue into place inside the nest with some tacky glue.

I then came up with a bird template....sketch out bird , you can use my Bird Template if you wish.

I traced it onto some cereal box cardboard for a sturdy template.  I gave the kids photocopied pages from a bird book.  We traced the Bird Template onto these pages and cut it out.

We added some of the titles from the bird pages onto the bird...glue in place.

Then using our tempera disks we added a bit of color.

We glued on an eye but you could paint one on or cut one out of paper if you wish.

Spread some glue on the back.....

...and secure in place.

Here I stamped out the words to my Haiku but the kids are doing theirs on the computer (part of their computer class).

We then cut out each individual word and glue into place on our project.

That's it...I'm hoping to get the display up by Friday so I hope to have some pictures of their efforts for you then.

Speaking of displays I have to show you some recent work by the students

Here are the penguins done by Grade One...sorry for the reflections but they are in the display case.

If you are interested in making these you can follow my tutorial here.

Here the Grade 4's have taken the Knights and Princesses from this lesson and added some castle backgrounds.

We are also working on a large mural as a backdrop for the rest of our Knights and Princesses.

Well that is all for now....I'll see you next time.


  1. Oh my! I wish my children went to your school!
    Seriously, you're amazing for doing all this. The children you teach and their parents are so fortunate to have you in their lives.
    I've just started the concept of paper weaving with my 5 year old. Thank you for the wonderful ideas!

  2. I love the spring basket painting! great idea!!

  3. Nice blog!
    Ciao Arianna

  4. You are so, SO creative! This is one of my favorite projects to date, I love it! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

  5. i loved this project - my kids a very into birds. i have come by your blog via crafty crow and other blog - your projects are always so amazing & inspiring.
    thanks so much!

  6. I love the nest in this project. I wove one for a Fall bulletin board for the children's ministry wing at church. A friend put the rest of the bulletin board together.

    Thanks for the inspiration and clear directions.

    Here's a link to the bulletin board:

  7. Can I search your projects by grade?

  8. Hey Leslie,
    Unfortunately I never tagged my posts by grade and when I switched to a page directory at the top I listed the projects by season and medium.
    Most projects are adaptable and can be used by most elementary grades. One day when I have a block of time I will try to organize them better.

  9. Hi!
    I love your blog! This project is a lot of work and I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you sharing it. Thanks. It's a great one!

  10. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog! Thank you so much! What school do you teach at? Thank you for teaching me and helping me teach my students as well! :)

  11. Thank you so much for connecting me with this post. I searched and searched but couldn't find it. I would adapt the lesson for my own use, as we all do, but the idea of using the latch hook rug mat is pure genius! I'm now thinking of all the other weaving possibilities with it! Thank you!!

  12. This is such an interesting activity! I'm the education coordinator at the Zanesville Museum of Art in Zanesville, Ohio, and I'd love to recreate your weaving project for our upcoming Family Day on March 26, 2016. Would you please give your permission for the museum to publish one of your photos in our member bulletin and on our website?

    Our website is Thank you for sharing your work, Ms. Bartel.

    -Deborah Elliott