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Story Weaving

A weaving activity demonstrates the art of crafting a story, layering patterned strips to build a dynamic mat of colors and texture.

  • Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. A good chapter book combines, or weaves together, different strands of theme or perspective to create a richly layered story. As students read a book such as Wonder by R.J. Palacio and they uncover the various voices in the novel. This ancillary hands-on activity provides a physical illustration of an author’s process.
    2. Give your students each two pieces of white paper. Using Crayola® Color Markers, ask them to make patterns covering both pieces. Some designs may be as simple as stripes and plaids, some more complex. Suggest switching up the colors and throwing in a surprising color here and there.
    3. Ask the students to divide one of their pieces of decorated paper into equal strips running the length of the paper. Then mark and make parallel cuts (stopping short of cutting strips apart) with Crayola® Pointed Tip Scissors.
    4. Using scissors or a paper cutter (with the assistance of an adult), tell the students to cut their second piece of markered paper into equal strips the same width as before.
    5. Ascertain if the students understand how to weave. If not, explain how cloth is woven (jeans are a good example) with a set of fibers going one way (warp) and another set (weft) crossing under and over in a perpendicular direction. Once that is clear, students begin weaving their loose strips into the larger slotted paper.
    6. After a woven page is made, students then cut thinner strips from construction paper or more markered paper. These strips are woven on top of the main weave, creating a layered effect. Some of these strips may be longer than the base, sticking out from the edges for a fringed effect.
    7. When the students are happy with their layering, they can secure the strips in place using Crayola® Glue Sticks. Then the entire weave is attached to a larger piece of construction paper with Crayola® No-Drip School Glue. Several beads of Crayola® Glitter Glue may be applied running the long length of the piece to highlight the weave.
    8. Once weaves are dry, provide students with class time to discuss how their weaves are examples of the story they read. This may be done in a whole class experience or in small groups.
  • Standards

    LA: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown an dmultiple-maning words and phrases based on grade level reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

    LA: Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.

    LA: Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    MATH: Generate and analyze patterns.

    VA: Students will initiate making works of art and design by experimenting, imagining and identifying content.

    VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

    VA: Students experience, analyze and interpret art and other aspects of the visual world.

  • Adaptations

    Read aloud the book Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. The author weaves two seemingly separate story strands throughout the book, one in text form and one in graphic picture form. Watch and listen to how the melding of the stories is achieved. Discuss which story was more engrossing for the students. Would the book have been so interesting if there hadn’t been any pictures?

    Read aloud the book Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. The author weaves two seemingly separate story strands throughout the book, one in text form and one in graphic picture form. Watch and listen to how the melding of the stories is achieved. Discuss which story was more engrossing for the students. Would the book have been so interesting if there hadn’t been any pictures?

    Visit the Internet for some ideas about teaching fiber weaving to children. Simple looms may be made out of cardboard, hula hoops, tree branches, drinking straws and CDs. Recycled plastic bags, used yarn and ribbon, t-shirt scrapes and many more materials may be used to weave.

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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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