Sample Lessons: basketry
Reeds for practice weaving
1) How to weave a basket.
2) How baskets are used.
- Without telling them what it is/what it’s for/what the pattern is or represents, have students explore the basket in small groups by answering these questions. What is it made of? What do you think it is used for? Who uses it/how? What does it tell you about the person/culture in which it is made and used? They can present their interpretation via a skit, story, song, poem, drawing, description, and so on. (NYC SS 3.4; SS Practices A, C; Literacy.SL.3.4 )
- By inquiry and questioning, encourage students to determine the uses for the objects (e.g. basket to store something, handle for carrying, why a lid for some baskets but not for others). How does the object’s form follow its function? How are the objects decorative and practical at the same time? (NYS Arts 1; Literacy.W.3.1)
- Compare this object to a counterpart from the students’ different cultures? Do they have traditional baskets in their homes? How are the objects similar and different? Why do the students think the baskets differ from each other? Why did their relatives think it important to bring this object from their home cultures? (NYC SS 3.5; 3.6;)
- Allow students to use their senses to come up with descriptive words for the basket. Write each word on an index card. Have students work in small groups to use the index card words as well as additional words they write on separate index cards (such as and, like, is, etc.) and use them to create a 3-line poem that includes describes the object, the person who they think uses it, and what it tells them about the person who use sit/made it. (Literacy.L.3.1; 3.3; 3.5)
- Watch the video (included) of how to weave a basket. Students can try their hands at weaving a basket raw material that is simpler to use, such as pipe cleaners. After they have a chance to try, reflect on the experience: What is one word a student would use to describe what weaving is like? What did students notice about the time it takes to weave a basket? The skill required? What does that suggest about basket weavers in Mexican culture? (NYC SS 3.9; NYS Arts 1)
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