Op Art Paper Weaving (3rd and 5th)

This project was born out of my need to come up with a 3 day project to do with my 3rd graders this past week (Monday was a teacher workday.. and Tuesday we ended up having off because of the 'polar vortex').
Thanks so much to the blog Miss Young's Art Room for the original idea!
At first I planned to do it just with my 3rd graders.. but decided to do it with my 5th graders as well because I thought they'd really be into it - and I was right. :)

Before beginning our discussion about Op Art, I showed my students a video clip that I found on youtube. The video shows an animated montage of art pieces created by the father of op art himself, Victor Vasarely. I'm happy I opened with this clip because it got ALL of my students REALLY excited about what we were going to be making.
After the video clip, we began discussing what Op Art (Optical Art) is (a form of abstract art that gives the illusion of movement by the precise use of pattern and color, or in which conflicting patterns emerge and overlap). To help my students get a better understand of what optical illusions are, I showed them a PPT I put together with some of my favorite examples I found online (they LOVED this).

Then onto the project! After talking about how color choice and pattern can create pretty awesome optical illusions, we looked at a variety of examples of paper weavings that I created which mimicked the Op Art style. Then I demonstrated to students how to create a paper weaving.

To start with, I had students select 2 pieces of 4.5"x6" colored construction paper to create a practice weaving. They had the freedom to cut their warp and weft strips however they wanted to and could use whatever colors they desired. Once they showed me their practice example, they moved onto 9"x12" colored paper. Again they could cut their strips however they wanted to and could choose any colors (this time they had the option of picking more than 2 colors). On the whiteboard I hung a variety of examples and drew schematics next to it to show students how I created that particular example.
 Below are the op art paper weavings my kids created! :)


  1. I love how you worked Op Art into the weavings! So cool! The kids did a great job with all of them! I like how you gave them choices so they could make their own creative decisions!

  2. A huge huge thank you for sharing this lesson! I have been looking for something like that for ages!!!!!!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing this! It's awesome and I can't wait to have my students try this!

  4. I love all the designs. It really big help to my school requirements. Thanks

  5. The op art lessons I've taught before weren't really appropriate for the younger age group I have now - I used a slightly simplified version of this idea and it worked really well! Thanks so much for sharing :) (ps love the design of your blog)