What do you do with an old broken hula-hoop? Add some twine and some weaving materials and hang it from a tree! But before doing that, we allowed the children to take a closer look and talk about what they noticed. One of the first things they said was that it “looks like a big spider web!” Some of the excess twine was weaved in the centre of the wheel. As the children observed, they noticed that the twine went “in and out.” We introduced the word “weaving” and one of the children said, “It’s when you do over and under.” Once the wheel was hung on the tree, the children immediately began to weave the materials. Friends from another class came over to help and explore the wheel as well.
We brought the materials in with us but left the wheel outside for the afternoon. By the end of the day, the wheel was looking like…well….a bit of a mess. Not that it was a problem. It was their first attempt at weaving. Some of the children simply wanted to explore the materials. First and foremost, that’s exactly what I want them to do – explore. Exploration leads to discovery and problem-solving and that’s exactly what happened. When we looked at the wheel the following day, the children weren’t pleased with what had become of it. One of them who was very invested in her weaving said, “That one all ugly,” when she noticed the changes that had been made to her work. Another said, “It’s not weaved. It’s messy.” So, I went back to their original connection – a spider web.
We looked at pictures of spider webs and the children shared their thoughts:
A: I see a circle in the middle.
R: I see spirals.
O: I see the spider made some up and under, but he didn’t do under. He only went up.
A: We need to take all the decorations off and make a big circle.
P: And do more weaving!
And then came the package! For those of you who follow on Twitter, I had posted the weaving wheel provocation and thanks to a wonderful colleague and Kindergarten teacher extraordinaire, Laurel Fynes, a surprise package arrived in the mail. The children were curious about what was inside and recorded their predictions which included worms, paper, blocks, wood, a branch, and a monster truck. When the package was unwrapped, we were thrilled to find grasses, fabric and strips of paper. The children were so mesmerized by the red cellophane it was wrapped in, I knew we had to cut it into strips and add that as well.
The children also collected dandelions and added pinecones.
A while back, we started our “Beautiful Stuff” project. When looking at the materials, one child said, “It’s beautiful stuff!” Indeed it is…as is their beautiful web.