Wednesday, September 14, 2011

any suggestions for a storybook about weaving?

"The Village Basket Weaver" by London
Question: Can you think of a book that I could read aloud to my elementary students before we start a weaving project?
Answer: "The Village Basket Weaver" is an excellent introduction to weaving and island culture in the Caribbean. I've included here an introductory lesson for this storybook.

Teacher: Mrs. Grimm
Subject: Art Appreciation
Level: 4th -6th grade
Topic: The Importance of Heritage
Standards: Show-Me Standards for Missouri Schools
Strand I: Product Performance – communicate ideas about subject matter and themes in artworks created for various purposes
·  Create an original artwork that communicates ideas about the following themes – Functions of Art in Culture and Personal Identity
Strand IV: Interdisciplinary Connections – Explain the connections between Visual Art and Communication Arts, Math, Science or Social Studies
·  Explain how artworks reflect the cultures in which they were created
Advance Organizer: A young boy approximately 10 or 11 years old who lives in the Caribbean in a small fishing village, feels that the old ways of his grandfather, a basket weaver by trade, will be forgotten.
·  The teacher will read aloud a story called “The Village Basket Weaver,” so that the students may draw conclusions about village life, culture and traditions of the Black Carib people living in a sea village of Central America. It is expected that 80% of students will demonstrate proficiency at the GLE level.
·   Students will distinguish the characteristics of a cassava basket and compare it’s differences and similarities to baskets they are most familiar with. It is expected that 80% of students will demonstrate proficiency at the GLE level.
Materials Needed:
  • The book, “The Village Basket Weaver,” by Jonathan London
  • Drawing pencils
  • Every student should get a Xerox copy of the worksheet included with this lesson plan and one piece of blank white drawing paper.
  • A slide show prepared ahead of time about baskets.
Phase 1: Introduction: Because we will be making sample baskets in the future, I will be reading a story today about a basket weaver and the life-style he wishes to pass on to his grandson. I am sure that most of you are familiar with different types of baskets found in American homes and how these are frequently used. This book that I’m going to read aloud describes cassava baskets used in the Caribbean by bakers. It also describes in great detail the culture of these village fishermen as well. Listen carefully to the story so that you will be prepared to describe what you hear on a worksheet you will be filling out after the story is read.
Phase 2: Show a slide presentation of baskets and review orally the questions below about the story with the students.
  • What does it mean to “inherit a tradition?” The teaching of information from the older people to the younger.
  • What is the Caribbean culture like in the story? Students may give a wide variety of answers concerning this content, such as: people work under thatched roofs, their bread was not purchased at a store, villagers lived by the beach, people catch fish for a living, village children want to work on farms and drive tractors, the local rooster wakes people up in the morning, Tavio lives in a one-room house, etc…
  • Can you describe what a cassava basket looks like and what is used for.  A cassava basket is long and narrow and stretches while it is filled up cassava pulp so that poisonous juices will be drained out of the bottom.
Phase 3: Present learning materials: On the worksheet there are a list of questions that I want you to answer and turn in tomorrow along with a drawing of a cassava basket and another basket that you may find in your home, in a magazine, or on the internet. Take the rest of the time in class to focus on answering the questions. You may work with a partner if you prefer. Please speak softly between yourselves as you work. I’ve included with your worksheets a blank piece of write paper for your drawing assignment. 
Below are the questions about “The Village Basket Weaver” by Jonathan London.  Please fill out the worksheet with complete sentences and bring it into the next class period to share with your peers! (Teachers will need to swipe the questions and put into a Word document and add spaces.)

  1. What kind of basket did Tavio help his grandfather weave and what was it used for?
  2. What was the village school like compared to our school?
  3. Describe the Culture of the Caribbean children in the story. 
  4. What did Tavio want to inherit from his grandfather?
  5. What will you hope to inherit from your parents or relatives someday?
  6. Based upon the story that was read in class, what do you think our next art project will be about? 
Phase 4: Application: The following session the students will discuss and compare with each other the answers they gave on the worksheet. We will also tack the drawings of baskets up on the board and make comparisons between the illustrated baskets. I will then collect their work and grade it. Next, I will then introduce a new art lesson about weaving.

Written content is original to Donna Grimm copyright 2009

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