Lesson Activity: Woven Circle Mat

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A small circular yarn mat is an easy project for students. It promotes awareness of traditional craft and concepts of woven spiral design, such as Charlette’s web in the childrens book by E.B. White. This kinetic lesson involves hand coordination and pattern making. Art lessons may be conducted with “responsible classroom” approach during which students take active role in distribution and clean up of project materials.


Teacher will prompt discussion about spiral design in nature and spider webs.

Suggested questions:

  • What makes a spider web strong?
  • Where else in nature can spiral design weaving be found? (bird nest)
  • If asked: Instinct is reason why spiders spin a web

Lesson activity will be introduced with a display sample of woven mat and show of materials.

Key demonstration:

  • how to roll yarn on cording
  • point of securing spiral center with needle stitch
  • explain pattern making with yarn as coils are bound in spiral
  • final stitch to secure end of yarn and cording at outer rim

Select students to distribute materials. Have everyone secure yarn and central point in spiral and help each other before continuing.

Yarn roll and stitching will require checking to help students establish and keep a continuous pattern. Tell students you will provide a 2nd demo to show how to add yarn when first piece runs out. It is good to do a group demo so teacher is not showing this step many times. Again, remind students to help each other as needed.

Grade Level: 5, Art

Materials and prep:
large blunt needles (keep a count of these)
thick clothes line or cord (pre cut in 2’ lengths)
yarn (cut in 3’ lengths)

National Core Arts Standards:

Anchor Standard #1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work

Anchor Standard #3: Refine and complete artistic work

Artistic Process: Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context

Assessment: Self reflection form on Craftsmanship

Rate: 1 (not much effort), 2 (adequate effort, 3 (excellent effort)

Did I use materials carefully?

Did I follow directions to create a pattern?

Did I complete my project?

Accommodation ideas: Square flat weave with rope, Painting of braided rug with cat or dog

Time: (2) Lessons  (can be extended to 4 lessons if a small bowl)

**Refer to step-by-step instructions (same as mat-making techniques) for a small bowl on this craft link: http://happyhourprojects.com/woven-yarn-basket/




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