Great Question! My attitude toward children making art is considered by some to be a little "out there"...but part of it is that children need to start making things long before they are able to do them perfectly. Imagine if toddlers were not allowed to walk until they could do it perfectly...so the first stick weavings that children complete are a little rough looking...but for those who are interested in this technique lots of practice takes them to better and tighter and more perfect pieces. My little guys use two tongue depressors. They lay them on the table in the shape of a cross or plus sign. they place a teeny piece of transparent tape across the sticks. then they turn the cross shape over and do that again, securing the sticks. I advise them to wrap their first color around the stick and I help those who have trouble. I found after many years of trial and error that various approaches help various kids. for some I number the four points lightly in pencil to help them avoid switching directio
n. for others I stand behind them and guide their hands for a minute. but the best technique was to challenge them to use seven or eight colors--by some magic, they suddenly seem to "get it" by about the third or fourth color. No knots are tied...each color wraps around the end of the previous color. when they have had enough, they use a teeny little piece of transparent tape to secure the end and then can use feathers, sequins, pompoms, etc. as well as sharpie marker drawings on the sticks to finish the piece. Most carry out some sort of symbolic idea (my mother's favorite color, Red Sox colors, etc)They are six years old, so, as I said, their work is the work of little kids. But they practice and get better over time. The sharing at the end of class focuses on the symbolism. By third grade (my oldest) children take on the challenge of weaving on wooden chopsticks which I get at an Asian grocery store.
the parents at my school are well versed in my program and so do not expect each take home piece to look like adult work. the children are very proud of their work.
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 11:54:22 -0400
Subject: [teacherartexchange] re God's Eyes and 1st graders
Kathy Douglas, can you post more info on making the God's Eyes with 1st
graders? I liked the thoughtfulness of your lesson. But what do you use for
sticks, and how do the kids connect additional colors of yarn?
I've done this with 4th graders. First I gave them a single popsicle stick
which they were to wrap with a length of yarn, laying each wrap next to the
one before (not overlapping) Once they had that skill, the God's Eye weaving
was fairly easy. But 1st graders? Yikes!