Above: Eliana shows her Mexican weaving project inspired by one her fellow classmates.
The students at St Peters Early Learning Centre (ELC) led their own learning journey recently when they were inspired by a pair of popsicle sticks and some wool.
It all started when one boy brought the Mexican weaving project he was working on to share with his classmates. The simple craft generated so much interest among his peers that they all decided to ‘give it a go’.
There was much chatter as they worked on their popsicle stick and wool creations; their discussions leading them to think about other materials that they could use for the structure of their weaving. They looked to nature and decided that sticks would also lend themselves nicely to being the base of their ‘loom’ – and so stick weaving began. Then the children ‘yarn-bombed’ the big tree outside the classroom.
The children noticed that even though there were materials sourced from the same collection in their creations, the resulting designs were quite unique. They also noted that the materials themselves were all different in size, colour and texture, but when they were woven together, the creation was beautiful, strong and unified. So it is was within their own classroom: each of them unique but together they created a community that could work together to make beautiful things.
“We wanted to continue creating as a community of learners”, said ELC teacher Mrs Stone-Phillips, “so we read some open-ended picture stories about yarn, wool and string to give us some ideas”. Then the students went outside and worked together to weave balls of string through the play equipment developing stories, or narratives, of what they were creating. “We designed spider webs, cat tails, electric wire, bushfires, jails, tightropes, rooms, houses and an epic obstacle course!” they said.
Mrs Stone-Phillips added that, together, the students realised that this experience reflected diversity and unity within our community: a concept they heartily shared with their fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other significant males at their recent Father’s Day FUDGE night, where they undertook a massive spider-web weaving project.
The students have immortalised the concept of ‘diversity and unity’ by each weaving a piece of string, wool or other material through a bicycle wheel. This finished project and the big spider web weaving are both on display at the ELC and serve as a reminder that, although we are all different, we are made in God’s image, complementing each other and working together to create a diverse and beautiful community.
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