Learning to Love Knitting
With the second report card now behind me, I recently took a look at the Art big ideas that I need to cover before the end of the year. There it was… the objective I have stared at blankly in years past…. the dreaded Fabric Arts.
As a teacher, I have devoted much of my professional development time over the past few years collecting unique Art projects that can help my students develop their Art skills. I am lucky to have an amazing artist/ administrator in my school whose expertise has been invaluable to me. I have used many of her ideas and I will be forever grateful for all that she has taught me. I have also started following many Art teachers’ blogs, and as a result, I have a collection of amazing art blogs that I learn from on a regular basis.
In an effort to tackle those material art objectives, I recently decided to teach my class how to finger knit. It started with a single finger knitting Truffula Tree Bookmark project to honor Dr Seuss’ Birthday . In this project, my students created a single link chain with a pompom on top. As a knitter myself, I know this is not the most popular pastime. In fact, when I shared this hobby with my students on the first day of school, many of them told me even I was not old enough to knit! Thus, I was shocked when this knitting lessons was met with great enthusiasm as the students talked about their knitting all week!
Last week, we followed up on this enthusiasm by teaching the grade 3’s how to make a Truffula Tree Bookmark. It was great to see my students passing on their expertise to the younger students as they embraced this leadership opportunity. We also expanded on our skills by learning to 4 finger knit necklaces or scarves. Once again, my students excelled and I loved hearing the stories of how many of my students were digging out the yarn at home and teaching their families how to finger knit!
I look forward to repeating this lesson with my classes in the future, and now instead of dreading Material Arts, I am excited about the next project we take on. I would love to hear any “Material Arts” projects that your students have loved just as much as my class enjoyed knitting!