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Playful placemats: elementary. (Clipcard).

In this interdisciplinary lesson, first graders turned paper weavings into placemats that could be used as a reference for properly setting a table.

I began with a demonstration of the simple over, under, over, under mechanics of weaving with paper strips, giving step-by-step directions. We used rulers to measure our paper looms. We used the ruler not only as a guideline for spacing but also to create a straight line. We lined up the top edge of the paper with the edge of the ruler, as a steady hand drew a line underneath for the first line. This was the "foul" or "out of bounds" line that never should be crossed with ruler or pencil. Students printed their names on that line. We used the ruler's width as the guideline for the vertical lines that were marked all the way across the paper and cut only up to the out of bounds line.

Throughout this lesson, I displayed weavings from different cultures, I also positioned several examples of place settings around the room so students could refer to them as their work continued.

Then the first graders became decorators of their own place settings. We used our cutting skills to make the glasses, plates, and silverware. I used the copier to make silverware pieces so the students just had to cut out the shapes. We used crayons and oil pastels to decorate each piece in the place setting. Each student chose a color for a tissue paper napkin to complete the design.

Each child became the proud owner of a unique placemat that could also be used as a reference to set the table at home. Several basic concepts were incorporated to show that an artistic touch could enhance utilitarian objects.

ClipCard submitted by Bonnie Baber, an art educator at Runnymede Elementary and Carroll Springs Schools in Carroll County, Maryland.
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Author:Baber, Bonnie
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Words:310
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