By Carmen Bravo, Handwork Teacher
This year in handwork class, the grade three students continued developing their crochet skills that they learned in grade two. They finished their seat cushions started in grade two, and then moved on to crocheting a hat in a round form, discovering how to shape it without using a pattern. They learned how to increase and decrease the stitches to get the perfect fit. The hat is a shelter for our body - wearing a hat can protect us from the sun, the rain, hot or cold temperatures, and it can give us a feeling of well-being. The students who finished their hats started working on additional projects such as crochet juggling balls, making an earth with wet felting technique, weaving in a small and big frame loom, and knitting small dolls while learning the pearl stitch.
Practical arts class was the opportunity to experience some activities that the students needed on this nine-year-old change. At around 8 or 9 years old, children experience significant shifts in their physical, emotional, and cognitive development. They enter a new stage characterized by increased independence, emerging abstract thinking abilities, and a desire for practical engagement with the world. The practical arts activities in Grade 3 cater to these developmental changes, providing opportunities for physical and fine motor skill development, skill acquisition, and fostering a deeper connection with nature and the environment. In our class this year, we worked with building structures and sculptures with wood and sticks, and the students enjoyed sanding, polishing and creating small houses, stars, forts and castles.
We also rebuilt an old loom which we then used to learn how to weave. We practiced the weaving technique on both, small and big looms, in square and round forms. It was a pleasure working in small groups to weave two beautiful pieces which we used to decorate the class.
One of the favourite experiences for the students was working with fibres. They showed appreciation for where fibres come from as we experienced learning the wool process of taking unwashed wool from a sheep, then washing, carding, dyeing, and spinning it with the drop spindle. It was delightful to see how the students experienced this process with reverence and joy.
We also made an earth using wet felting technique, and this was an exciting activity for the whole class!