Monday, September 12, 2011

Line and Pattern Kente Cloth

If you are looking for a good cultural reference to introduce lines and patterns to elementary age children, then Kente Cloth may be a great option for you! I did this lesson with 1st and 2nd graders, but the second graders definitely had the best results. They just have a little more line drawing experience.

We started off reading an excellent book The Spider Weaver: A Legend of Kente Cloth by Margaret Musgrove. This book is not easy to find however if you are a teacher you can purchase it through Perfect story for little ones and lovely illustrations.

We reflected on Kente cloth visuals and all the different lines we saw. Most importantly we noted that Kente cloth is not the same all over. Some parts have different patterns.

Students first folded a piece of 9 x 12" white paper in half (hamburger style), then in half again (hot dog style). We opened our paper back up and we just created three folded lines... hence we divided our paper into four sections. Students traced the folds with a dark color crayon, then we added stitches! These were lines that ran perpendicular to the first lines we drew.

Students then drew patterns (with crayon) using only lines in each section. Each section needed to be different than the others. Lastly, students painted each section with a tempera cake wash. This could also be done with watercolor.
The students loved the story and their kente cloth. We also learned some new vocabulary like "calabash". Next year I may try this again and let them have a little more variety in their approach to painting.


This project was completed in 3 forty-minute class periods.  


Also, I encouraged students to create patterns using 3 different kinds of lines initially. Eventually towards the end of their cloth some students starting using 2 lines.

***PS: I received my books from Amazon and Scholastic. The book Lines that Wiggle by Candace Whitman is just too wonderful. The illustrations are my absolute favorite and right now its only $10 on Amazon. The book is worth far more than what I paid for it. So thrilled!

No comments:

Post a Comment