Your lesson plan sounds fantastic--the students respond to an indigenous
craft without simply replicating it mindlessly. I like that you
encourage them to use their own symbolism.
> Maggie: what a great site! I will use that with my college undergrads
> next year. In my school the technique of stick weaving is introduced
> to the first graders. The big ideas attached to the skill are week
> one: symbolism and week two: variation. I mention the symbolism I
> have read about in Mexico but invite students to create their _own_
> symbolism for their weaving--both for color and for the four points.
> Many make them about their four best friends, or their family, or
> sports teams, etc. I find that after that students will mention color
> symbolism in other sorts of art work. The second week I explain the
> word variation and challenge them to make a stick weaving unlike
> anyone elses:more sticks, holes in sticks (use a two hole
> punch) longer sticks, etc etc. They come up with really interesting
> stuff that I never thought of. The symbolism is important, as we
> teach that art is about something other than just being pretty.
> Variation is important as we teach that each person's art should be
> unique to them.
> kathy douglas