Monday, January 20, 2014

Teaching children how to knit...

A squirrel created by one of the boys in my after school knitting class.

This little boy was able to knit all 3 of these during his knitting class time-frame.   They all learned sewing stitches too.  They loved making various animals and 'monsters!'

Action shot of some of the monsters with an owl in front of some of the student artwork on display in the hallway outside the art room.
When I taught at the military base in Germany- I was a K-5th grade art teacher.  I had an after school knitting class for students.   I taught them how to knit 'using some of my old acrylic yarn' (and some additional colors that I found in the German grocery stores).  I started all of them on learning how to just do the knit stitch.   Usually, we'd end up with something that mostly looked like a square or a small rectangle.  Instead of removing all of these wonky stitches- no matter how bad they looked-- I taught them to turn them into finger puppets.

I ask them what they want to turn the knitted piece into and I help them add extra features- even if it means learning to pick up stitches to add wings/etc.   We also use felt pieces and wiggle eyes to add to the 'creations' if they want to use these items.   I had both boys and girls in my classes.  I divided the classes up- we met twice a week for a month and then it was another grade level's turn.  I did have a 'boy's only class' after so much interest was shown.  
I'll have to find more photos of some more of the creations that they made.   One little girl, had 4 siblings at home and she picked up knitting really fast and wanted to knit each one of them their own little 'finger puppet' for their Christmas gift.   Many of the parents really did support their child's budding interest and purchased them their own yarn and knitting needles after the class was over.  I let them use all of my own supplies to take the class so that 'cost' wouldn't prevent them from learning how to knit in the beginning.  

I also let anyone that was interested know about different places to purchase yarn and knitting needles in the area. 

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