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For older elementary and middle school students you might try macrame as an
end of the year project. When I taught middle school, I found that even my
most active young men would rush in to knot furiously for the entire period.
When a new art teacher came into our system, I advised her to try this for an
end of the year project with her middle school classes and it worked like
magic for her as well. If weather permitted we would do this outside - tying
projects to fence surrounding the playground.
I also tie-dyed with them for a couple of days. Most would bring in T-shirts,
boxers or even socks. For more ambitious kids or ones who didn't bring cloth
items I had gotten clean, old sheets and pillow cases donated from a local
hotel. Worked under a big tree outside with a hose and 5-gallon buckets for
dye (about half full).
Younger students love stitchery and weaving projects. If a student should
poo-poo the stitchery assignment as "sewing," I quickly told them that sewing
is piecing together pieces of cloth; Stitchery is painting on cloth with
yarn. Worked like a charm. Third and fourth grade boys came to my classroom
to stitch away instead of going out to recess. Go figure.
Best of luck! Hope you find things that work for you.