My fifth graders just finished weaving... yay!!!! It surprised me last year and still this year how much kids love to weave. We start out with the making of our cardboard looms with 1/2 inch spacing for the warp strings. The students string the warp strings and then start weaving UNDER OVER UNDER OVER. They all calm down and really concentrate on what they are doing. I have heard of teachers putting in educational movies or biographies of an artist to entertain students (Might try that next year). Either way, my fifth graders loved weaving and loved making the weaving into a pouch to hold their electronic divides. I let the students choose how wide they wanted their pouch to be before starting. The narrow 9 warp strings wide (4-5 inches) would hold things like an ipod or cell phone. The 12-14 warp string wide (6-7 inches) could hold a reading tablet or ipad mini. Once I told then that they were making something they could use I had then hooked. The lesson took 10 class periods (35 min. periods) from start to finish. It is a lot of time if you only see your kids once a week. I have the great fortune of seeing my fifth graders every day for one semester... this has given me the time to do more in depth lessons like this.
Students finished the weaving and tied warp strings at the top and bottom of the weaving. We folded the bottom up towards the top of the weaving (all the way to the top matching the corners, or 3/4 of the way giving a flap to possibly fold over and cover the opening with a button). Starting on the bottom corner of one of the sides we loop stitched with yarn or thread till we got to the top. At the top the students tied the remaining string to a near by warm string knotting it and forming a nice tight seal. Repeat on the other side. After the students finish both sides, turn the pouch inside-out. Finished...buttons and straps would then follow (I didn't teach the button or strap step... had students who finished early, push their creativity and problem solving.
Other students made purses, wallets (pictures coming, had to attach two weavings together. He is problem solving :) ), pouches with buttons and flaps. Very pleased with my students ability to take what I have put out there and push that idea to a new level and challenge themselves! Proud teacher!!!