Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall Weaving with Grade 1

Last week I taught Grade 1 weaving at Altadore School.
We started with a simple paper weaving to get them accustomed to the process.

We then did a weaving on a branch loom.  The students selected their favorite season and had to come up with colours for that season ahead of time in their 'wonder journals'.  Don't you just love that title.... maybe my design journal should become my wonder journal!  Each child did an illustration of that season using those colours.

It was amazing how the process of weaving a textile feeds into the weaving of reflection or memories which then will result in a story.  As each child changed to a new colour both myself and their teacher would ask them "What does this colour represent in your chosen season?".  The answers were very expressive, "The yellow lights on my Christmas tree." or "The red watermelon of summer".  Now that their weavings are done they are working on their writing projects.


Paper Weaving:
- strips of orange painted paper
- orange construction or cardstock paper
- ruler
- green construction or cardstock paper
- glue stick
- scraps of black paper
- scrap of brown paper
- pumpkin templates, I used this one
- pencil and scissors

Branch Weaving:
- branch for loom, twist your branch into circle as soon as branch is collected
- string
- chunky yarn in lots of colours
- masking tape
- scissors


Pumpkin Paper Weaving

Now the Pumpkin paper weaving is based on this post from Cutting Tiny Bites.

I just made a few changes.

Instead of scrapbooking paper we used painted paper.  If every child paints on piece of paper you'll have lots.  Each one was different using stamps, glitter, different printmaking techniques, variations in yellows and orange, etc.

I gave each child a piece of orange cardstock for the loom.  They folded it in half, corners to corners.

Taking their ruler placed at the open end they drew a line across.  It was the width of the ruler.

This is the STOP line.

Using the width of the ruler again they made vertical lines, about 7 or 8, depends on the size of your paper.

They cut from the fold along these vertical lines until they reached the STOP line.

I demonstrated weaving on a giant piece of paper and then they started their own.

We talked about the pattern and how it should look like a checkerboard as each new strip is opposite to the one before.

You end up with something like this.

Now fold a green piece of paper in half.

Using templates trace the half pumpkin shape on the fold.

Cut out your window.

Using glue stick or white glue,  glue the green sheet in place over the weaving.

You can then trim the excess if needed.

Using black paper scraps make your face and add a stem to the top.

Branch Weaving:

I collected all the branch looms before the project.  I find Red Dogwood branches to be the best. I trim a branch and then loop into a circle right away.  I tend to only do this project in the Fall when I'm trimming out branches and they are still pliable.

Let them sit for a few days before weaving.

I made this little video to show you how to string the loom.  I did this ahead of time before we started this project.  I just use regular household string.

With the masking tape put each child's name on their loom.  They select their first colour and you tie on about a 30 inch piece of yarn to the first string.

With the masking tape put some tape on the other end to stop the yarn from unraveling as they are weaving.
They begin using the same pattern as the paper weaving...under, over, under, over.

The biggest difference between yarn weaving and paper weaving is when we get to the end of a row we turn around and continue back.
They had to do at least 5 rows before they could switch to another colour.  I like to knot it off and then tie on another colour.  That way my rows are just one colour and not 1/2 and 1/2.

Here is some of the student work in process.

Great work Grade 1.



  1. These weaving ideas are wonderful! So creative and colorful, i can't wait to share them with my little nephews. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Love the pumpkins! Here's what my kids and I did with it:

  3. I love this so much! Thank you. I am going to try dogwood and grapevine - I can't wait to see how they turn out. My students are super pumped Grade 2/3. We are doing a reader's theatre - A Navaho story that features weaving - they had no idea what the a loom was so this is perfect!