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Lesson Plans

re: Navajo blankets

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Teri Sanford (terily)
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 15:20:09 -0600

Hi Stephanie,
Sorry if this is too late! I did this type of blanket with
3rd graders one year. We read the story "Ten Little Rabbits" (I
think that's the title. It's a counting book, the words are a
poem.) At the back of the book is a guide to the blankets that
the rabbit Indians are wearing on each page. Each one is a
typical tribal design (not just Navajo design) and has an
explanation of the design. I had the kids look at these and
discuss the kinds of things that made up the design, like zigzag
lines, lots of geometric shapes (triangles & squares, mostly),
etc. Then each child made up their own design as follows:

1. Choose two pieces of construction paper in contrasting
colors (whatever size you want, we did 6x9").
2. Fold one piece in half, then in half again.
3. Cut pieces out of the paper, making like a stencil. I
showed them how to cut on the fold to make a sun, lines that
radiated from each other, etc. Be careful not to go all the way
through or you'll end up with two pieces.
4. When all the cuts are done, glue it onto the other paper.
5. Use a hole punch to put hole along each end, about 1/2"
6. Cut 6" pieces of yarn. Fold in half, thread through hole
and pull back through the loop (so it hangs like fringe).
7. Mount the whole thing on a contrasting background.

These turned out really nice. And the kids had a blast. With
4th grade, it would probably take a couple of classes to get the
whole thing. I think I remember letting them do a practice
stencil with copy paper, so that they could get the hang of it
before using precious sulphite paper!

Good luck,