Alligator Weaving (1st)

So before I begin, I HAVE to give a shoutout to Lauren at Dali's Moustache for the amazing 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.

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

  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.