Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Alligator Weaving (1st)

Teacher Sample
EQ: What is weaving?

So before I begin, I HAVE to give a shoutout to Lauren at Dali's Moustache for the inspiration for this lesson!
To begin this project, I review with my students what we learned about color mixing during their last rotation with me (primary color + primary color = secondary color).
Next we create a piece of painted paper (9"x12") using yellow and blue tempera paint (yellow+blue=green). Instead of mixing their colors on a palette they just paint each primary color directly on their paper and mix their paints that way. I LOVE the variety of greens they can make this way! :) Then using a variety of tools (plastic spoons, popsicle sticks, etc.), students "draw" patterns and shapes into their paint. Once completed we put these up on the drying rack.
After school I pulled out their painted papers and cut them down into strips (1.5"x6.5"). I also created looms for weaving using green construction paper (9" x 6.5"). When they came in the next day, we used our painted paper strips and weaved them into the looms. This became the body for our gators. :)
The next day we started adding more detail to our alligators by adding a head (cut from a 6"x4.5" piece of green construction paper), a tail (also from a 6"x4.5" piece of green construction paper), 4 feet, eyes, and teeth. Then on the final day, students had additional time to finish up adding all their details and had the opportunity to use gold paint to add some detail/decoration to their alligators.
Overall I think they turned out great! I was surprised however how difficult weaving was for some of my kids! Guess I need to practice this skill with my kinders so when they get to 1st grade they already have some basic experience with it.

UPDATE: With my next group of 1st graders I had them number the strips (the warp) on their looms 1-5. Then when I was demonstrating how to weave I explained their strip (the weft) needed to go "under 1, over 2, under 3, over 4, under 5".. then with the next strip we did the opposite - "over 1, under 2, over 3, under 4, over 5". THIS HELPED GREATLY! I had a MUCH higher success rate with my students this week since I added the numbering.

Student Samples
Student Samples

Student Sample

Student Sample

Student Sample


  1. This is a great idea! Weaving is an important skill to learn, and making alligators makes it fun :).
    ~Jessica (missyoungsartroom.blogspot.com)

  2. Very fun project. Did you precut the triangle for the head?

    1. Nope. They folded their piece of 6"x4.5" piece of construction paper in half, then cut diagonally across.