Christmas is in the Air

February 25th, 2020


Trying out new skills.

Creativity in the Classroom aims to give children the opportunity to have new learning experiences, an exposure to learning in a creative way, and at the same time exploring concepts and ways of working individually and collectively.’

As a facilitator I am listening to the children, who sometimes have a preconceived idea of what art should be and to teachers who have an overloaded curriculum to fulfil.

Christmas brings a lot of preconceived ideas and I find it can be difficult to have it as a theme.

Before Christmas I was working with two second classes in Inchicore N.S. and a second and third class in Our Lady of Lourdes, Goldenbridge.

All the classes wanted to do something for Christmas so for the two sessions before our holidays I thought we could explore some skills and materials and the children could create their own decorations using these.

All teachers requested to do something with ‘Fabric and Fibre’, part of the visual art curriculum.

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This is what we did.

1st week

Dipping and dyeing fabric.

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Learning to make knots and making tassels.

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Wrapping drift wood with coloured wools.

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Drawing on wood-cookies.

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Cutting shapes and making cylinders from gold and silver card.Using a hole-puncher on card.

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Putting it all together.

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2nd week

Writing and drawing on the dyed fabric.

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Making willow circles.

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Weaving with plants on the willow to make wreaths

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Learning the names of our evergreen plants: ivy, holly, pine and pine-cones.

The children chose their own way to make decorations from these materials.


December 18th, 2019

birds oil pastel             birds


10 week Block

School: Warrenmount

Class: 6th Class

Teacher : Ms O’ Reilly

Early in September we went to The Sculpture in Context exhibition at the Botanical Gardens . We were treated to a beautiful day of sunshine and a feast for the eyes and mind with all the brilliant art works dotted throughout the gardens.

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we noticed all the different materials being used to create the different art works, we talked about how the artist might have made the work . some of the work on show was made from found natural objects like sticks, stones, and straw, we also discussed what tools the artist may have used to carve the different types of stone  or how the artist might cast in bronze.

We noticed that many of the artworks on show were based on nature and birds. Back at the classroom we began our intensive study of birds.

We began by drawing in pencil.

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We then worked on black card using oil pastels. I encouraged the girls to mix their pastels and use colour to work on a bird that best represented themselves rather than a bird you may see in an Irish garden. I brought in some photographs from the exhibition along with some pencil line drawings of birds.

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The girls worked using white oil pastels first and then added colour.

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Some of the girls also experimented with water colour.

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we talked about the birds we see on an everyday basis. The birds we may see on our way to school . Birds lining up on electricity lines and silhouettes of birds in the trees.

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I asked the girls to keep an eye out for these birds on their way to school. To look carefully at their surroundings and see if they noticed new things. The following week one of the girls arrived in and told me that on her way to school she had stopped to take some photographs  on her phone of the silhouettes of birds in a tree!!!!

we made some quick sketches of silhouettes of birds on braches

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using clay , wire and mod roc the girls then made small birds which they’d use in their own sculptural piece. They also made some which would be used in a collaborative piece.

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I asked the girls to bring in some branches and sticks  that they would use to make their own sculptural piece based on the silhouette of birds.

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the girls used wools in different ways to transform their branches

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some chose brightly coloured wools while others stuck to the cool and icey winter colours

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we looked at how the lines of the wool wrapped their way around the branches. the girls focused on the shape and direction of the lines to make more drawings.

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For the final workshop parents were invited in to work alongside the girls

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December 18th, 2019



School: St. James

class: 1st class

Teachers: Ms. Bell, Ms Fisher

We started the new school term off with exploring colour. The children examined the different shades of color.

Prussian Blue , Brilliant Blue, Turquoise

Crimson, Brilliant Red , Cerise

Yellow Ochre, Brilliant yellow, lemon yellow.

The children worked on their own individual colour mixing sheets

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As the children finished their  individual paintings they then formed small teams to work on collaborative paintings , their main focus for these paintings was to explore colour, to try and create as many new colours as they could.

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Mixing continued in earnest and some magnificent work was created.

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Berries and Leaves

December 18th, 2019

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School: St. James

Class 1st

teacher :Ms Bell

Following our trip to Botanical Gardens i brought in a selection of leaves and berries. The children spent time examining my collection. They looked at all the varying shades of greens, yellows, reds, pinks and purples. We looked at the delicate patterns that made up the veins of the leaves. We smelt rosemary , thyme and bay leaves. Some of the smells triggered memories in some of the children, this opened up a whole new conversation about grannies and grandads!!

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Using white oil pastel the children made drawings of their favourite leaves from my collection

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we talked about how we had mixed so many colours in our painting workshop, the children then added colour to their drawings, mixing along the way.

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we also looked at the giant Rhubarb leaf , some of the children remembered the giant leaves by the pond in the botanical gardens.

The children then used chalk pastels and gold insulating foam to create their own giant leaves.

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Found Words

November 10th, 2019

Inspiration From a Visit to Sculpture in Context at the Botanic Gardens.



School: Our Lady of Lourdes, Goldenbridge

Teacher: Mr. Dillion

Class: Fifth

The artist and printmaker Aoife Dwyer’s art work called “Kept Words” depicted a series of relief metal plates with words from an old addition of the Junior Oxford Dictionary with their meaning.

(This work I presume is in response to the loss of words associated with the natural world from the current Junior Oxford Dictionary.)

The writing on one of the metal plates encouraged the viewer to take rubbings from these. The words named the natural world and explained their meaning. The children took rubbings and brought these back to the classroom.

The following session I brought in my book “The Lost Words” to show them and read out the first paragraph.

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“Once upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children. They disappeared so quietly that at first almost no one noticed – fading away like water on stone. The words were those that children used to name the natural world around them: acorn, adder, bluebell, bramble, conker – gone! Fern, heather, kingfisher, otter, raven, willow, wren … all of them gone! The words were becoming lost: no longer vivid in children’s voices, no longer alive in their stories.” The Lost Words, Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris. Hamish Hamilton 2017.

I chose the words from the book that named plants, animals and birds that we have in Ireland and wrote them up on the board. Children were asked to put up their hands when I called out a word if they thought they knew what it was. This is the score from 24 children.

Acorn                  20

Bluebell              12

Bramble               0

Conker                19

Dandelion          22

Fern                      2

Heather                0

Heron                    1

Ivy                        15

Kingfisher             0

Lark                       0

Magpie                18

Newt                      2

Otter                     11

Raven                   14

Starling                  2

Willow                   2

Wren                     3


I then showed slides of each plant, animal and bird and they took turns to describe what they saw.

I brought in plain t-shirts and suggest that we make these words known by printing them on the t-shirts. They were very enthusiastic. We added some more words from their rubbings taken in the Botanic Gardens.

I showed how we would have to do mirror writing to make the word the right way around when printed.

This was hard work and many had to redo their words several times and even still letters escaped and came out back to front. I think it worked very well – makes the word catch you eye even more.


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This was our last session. The following day the children were going to wear their t-shirts out in the playground.

We looked at the slides again and each child who had that word on their t-shirt introduced the plant, animal or bird to the class. Hopefully they could tell others on the playground what their word meant.




Nature Connections in Inchicore N.S.

November 7th, 2019

Welcome Inchicore N.S. to Creativity in the Classroom.

Teacher Ms. Rooney.

Fourth Class


Apple Seeds.

We began with free drawing and getting to know what we could do with soft pencils and rubbers. The children tried different lines, tones and pattern and then to use a runner to draw on undraw into their work. Then I told this story. They were given apples to cut and look for the stars where the seeds were. They were so excited to find them. They noticed that each apple has a different star pattern. They drew their stars into their drawings.

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Apple star story

 Once upon a time, a very long time ago, there was a baby apple tree, a seedling with small roots and no branches to speak of.

One night, the little apple sprout looked up into the night sky and admired the beautiful stars. The little apple sprout wanted so badly to reach up and touch them, so it stretched and stretched and stretched… until it was a great apple tree.

But as much as the great apple tree stretched, it still could not reach the stars. The great apple tree began to cry, it was so sad that it could not touch the beautiful stars. A star fairy heard the great apple tree cry, and flew down to ask what was wrong.

The great apple tree cried, “Oh, star fairy, I want to touch the stars! But I am way down here and they are way up there!” The star fairy thought for a moment and said, “Great apple tree, I will bring you back a star, but the stars live very far away so it will be awhile before I return.” And with that, the star fairy flew back up into the sky, leaving the great apple tree in wonder.

With spring, the great apple tree had beautiful green leaves and pink flowers, but still could not touch the stars.

And then with summer, the pink flowers grew turned white, just like the bright stars, and began to turn into tiny apples, but the great apple tree still could not touch the stars.

And then with autumn, the tiny apples grew bigger and bigger and bigger… until they were ready to eat! The great apple tree was so proud of its apples that it forgot all about the stars, until one day when the star fairy came back.

“I brought you a basket of stars,” said the star fairy, “but your branches are full of apples! How would you ever hold them?”

“Oh, thank you, Star Fairy,” exclaimed the Great Apple Tree, “but I no longer need the stars. My apples fill up my branches and are so pretty, I couldn’t bear to part with them.”

The Star Fairy thought for a moment and then said, “I will give each of your apples a star, hidden deep within, and every time a child cuts open an apple, she will see a beautiful star!”

And with that, the Star Fairy touched her wand to every apple and planted deep within it a star

Observational drawings of Seeds


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The children did a lot of work about trees during the week throughout the curriculum which I could see from their interest and information.

Where do the seeds come from?

A visit to the local park Lansdowne Valley Park.

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Finding and observing creatures found in plants.


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Nature’s Containers

The children gathered treasures and made containers for them.

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Blended Colours


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Leaf prints


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A visit to Memorial Park

I showed the children a slideshow of Mandalas before we visited the park.

  • A mandala is a circular structure with radial symmetry, meaning that the design radiates out symmetrically from the centre. It is one of nature’s more wonderful and perfect configurations.
  • You can find mandalas in flowers, tree rings,, eyes, snowflakes, spiderwebs, sea shells, seeds, fruits and more. Our star in the apple is one

The Gatherers, the Sorters and the Creators

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We marked out the points of the compass with sticks to begin our Mandala, North, South, East and West.

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We finished with making a group poem. We faced each point of the compass and used this as a structure for our poem.

To the east I….

To the south I….

To the west I….

To the north I ….

Above I ….

Below I ….

Inside I feel ….

Altogether I am ….

I give thanks for all that is.

Paper Mandala

  • Group Work
  • Cutting multiple shapes
  • Cutting symmetrical shapes.


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Fairy Houses

Natural materials, and clay.

I showed a slideshow of fairy houses to inspire.


I demonstrated a simple tripod/teepee structure to begin. Children were encouraged to come up with other structures and share what worked and what didn’t work.

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Some children chose to work in pairs or groups.

Children’s Response

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The Fairy Treehouse

We enjoyed using our imagination to create a lovely fairy treehouse. We loved trying to figure out how to make the treehouse stand up. When we finished we were so proud of what we had made. We were so carfalle with it. We hope you like it as much as we do, by Maebh, Alizé, Thaila.

The Fairy Treehouse

We made this fairy treehouse on stilts. Inside the fairy treehouse we had a kitchen with pans and berrys, in the dining room we put plates with food. In the living room we made a tv with a table under the table there was a fireplace, in the bedroom there was a bed. In the garden we had a hammock, a seesaw and a fire with a chair around it. We also had grass on the floor. The bark is a bridge. Made by Maebh, Alizé and Thaila.

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The Fairy Treehouse

This art piece was constructed using natural materials like clay, bamboo, sticks, a big bark piece on top. We used stones as couches and a big stone as the tv. We used reeds, we used bracken sticks. The last thing we used was berries. That is all we used! By Alizé, Thalia and Maebh!!


The materials we used: berries, sticks, bamboo, clay, pinecones and seeds.

This art piece was created by natural materials

I really enjoyed making the try-pod lift, I also enjoyed construction the tee-pee.

From Erin and Freya.

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Fairy Fort

The materials I used were…….

  • Bamboo(other sticks for me)
  • Stones and pebbles
  • And reeds
  • Clay
  • Pincones
  • Acorns

Fairy Fort

I built my fort in the TP shape out of three skiny sticks and used clay to hold it together and I made a male box too., and I used a lot of pine cones, plus I made a camp fire as you can see here. I hope you like my fairy fort.

The Fort of life

On Monday we made fairy houses, they were made out of berries, stones, reeds, bracken, pinecones, twigs, clay and acorns.

The Fort of Life

With Lizz we made fairy houses out of nature, Our one looked like a real triangle shape house and we used reeds, bracken, stones, pinecones, twigs, clay, acorns and lastly we used a lots of bamboo it was fun.

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Fairy House

I made my fairy house out of a handful of sticks a handful of clay maybe more. I used 7 acorns. I used a couple of stones and pebbles and some grass.

The Treehouse

This is the treehouse I created. In my design I used bamboo sticks, clay, rocks and a small log. I really enjoyed making this, by Assia

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The Broken House

(Fairy House)

I used clay and natural items. As you can see it broke but it’s natural they say….

You don’t need to know the date. All of my art broke anyway that’s all no you didn’t waste my time but your time that’s all

Peace Out

My Treehouse

Hi my name is Gloria this piece of art is made by me! It took a very long time! I tried to put as much detail as I could but I hope you liked it! Enjoy! I made it out of bamboo, sticks, leaves, clay, pine cones and stones!

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Fairy Fun by Katie

The materials that were used to make out fairy houses were….

  • Leaves
  • Sticks(bamboo sticks which Layla appeared to be allergic to!)
  • Clay
  • Pebbles and stones
  • Large pieces of bark (very large!)
  • Grass (also reeds!)



Exhibition of Work and Sharing skills.

We invited parents and guardians in the week before Halloween to see what has been happening in fourth class since the beginning of term. Work was exhibited and I showed a slideshow and the children explained what was happening in the photographs.

Children and parents made masks together.The children were able to show the parents to cut symmetrical shapes.

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Drawing, Textile, Print.. A Creative Journey

July 3rd, 2019

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St James,

Basin Lane

3rd Class

The children were learning about food in Irish so I decided to use this as a starting point. I emptied my fridge that day and brought in a big bag of vegetables. We started by identifying the veg. I had brought in red and yellow peppers,potatoes, spring onions,limes,lemons,celery,bananas,apples,cucumber,garlic,potatoes,spring onions,chillis and finally sugar snaps. For the first session we focused on making line drawings of the vegetables. So i did some short drawing demonstrations using 2b 4b and 6b pencils.We looked at the best starting point of making a drawing,how to fill the page with the drawings and add shade and colour.Meanwhile their teacher Kim started to make a list of the vegetables names and translate the names into irish.


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We talked about looking closely at the vegetable,identifying the different lines and shapes that made up the vegetable. As the children finished off one drawing they swapped vegetables with someone else in the class. ,this was a natural progression and as they continued to draw I could feel the sense of enjoyment of the process. It was hard to put my finger on ,perhaps it was having the physical vegetables there that was causing the great interest. The fact that there was such a variety, that they could pick them up,smell them, turn them round to find the side they liked best. I asked them to pay careful attention to the colours in the vegetables and it was wonderful seeing drawings produced with such attention to detail. Garlic was drawn with hints of green and pink, spring onions stretched across the page with different shades of green

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Throughout the process the children experimented with different mediums. starting out with pencil drawings, adding colour with colouring pencil and finishing up with black water colour pencil.

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We then began to work in groups, i split the class up into four groups and each group chose a vegetable to make a large study of using fabrics.Each group made their large scale drawing, they then divided the fabrics into shade groupings and used the fabrics to fill their vegetable.

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for our next session we looked at printmaking. The children continued to work on the theme of fruit and vegetebles. We looked back at some of the drawings that were made in the previous class.This time the children used soft foam board to make their printing blocks. We looked at creating marks and imprints in the foam board. I did a short demonstration on how best to make the drawing on the foam, especially ensuring the lines were quite deep and with a special focus on adding lines and creating texture int he finished drawing.

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once the children were finished working on the foam, i demonstrated how to make a print. We looked at the colours that made up the vegetebles and discussed also using alternative colours. The children began by making their first two prints using one colour. Once they felt confident with the process I told them they could explore using several colour possibilities on their printing blocks. There was tremendous excitement in the class at the thought of creating their own prints.

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For the final week I invited the parents into the classroom to work with the children on two collaborative large prints.

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A sense of Place, creating an imaginary place

July 3rd, 2019

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senior Infants


We started by taking a walk around the local area.

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We went down by the canal and saw the swans , we stopped by Richmond Barracks which is situated directly across from the school.

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We heard all about the history of the place.

we drew on the blackboards and also got to ring the  school bell

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We were then told we could play in the gardens

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We were given chalks by the staff of Richmond Barracks so that we could draw on the ground.

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We were made feel very welcome by everyone that worked there.

We returned to the classroom and we built our own imaginary world.

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Under, Over, Under, Over…

January 23rd, 2019

First Class

Loreto Junior, Crumlin.

Teacher Ms. Fidalgo

Ms. Fidalgo suggested we work with Fabric and Fibre, so we began by looking at the fabrics we were wearing now during the winter weather. We looked at the texture of our woolly hats and woven scarves.

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We explored how these fabrics were made. We looked at the knitted patterns in our hats, the pompoms and the woven pattern of our scarves.


We set out to learn some skills to create some of these textures; weaving, wrapping, knotting, and cutting fabric.

Paper Weaving

Using paper the children chose the colours to weave with and cut them into long strands. I had cut black paper to use for the warp. While they were weaving all you could hear was the murmur of under, over, under. It was lovely to see the children spot their own mistakes in the pattern and going back to solve it. They were very pleased with their work.

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The children made looms from fruit boxes. Here they prepare the wrap using string.

I decided that we should try out other skills before embarking on our weaving.


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Wrapping Sticks and Making Pompoms.


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The children wrapped the coloured wool on to lollypop sticks to prepare for making pompoms.

Pompom Creatures

They decided that the pompoms looked like heads. They used paper to give them faces and put them together with their plaited fabric to give them long tails and made lovely creatures. This was our last session before Christmas so they wanted to give them as presents. They made lovely cards on which they drew portraits of the creatures and gave them names.

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After Christmas we went back to our looms. The children collected long natural objects in the school yard to weave with.

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Ojo de Dios


A God’s eye (Mexican weavings. In Spanish, Ojo de Dios) is made by weaving a design out of yarn on a wooden cross.

The spiritual eye of the Ojos de Dios is thought by some believers to have the power to see and understand things unknown to the physical eye.These were placed where people worked, or where they walked along a trail to keep them safe.

This is very skilled work and I though it might be a bit ambitious but so far the children enjoyed all the challenges of the skills they were learning.

At the same time I gave out card frames with holes along the sides and a variety of materials, ribbon, beads, wire and feathers, so they could create work while I had time to go to each table to show the techniques for God’s Eye weavings.

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Once children learnt to weave on the cross they taught others.

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Parents Workshop

On our final session we invited the parents/grandparents/guardians to join us. I showed a slide show of all the work we had been doing and the children described so well what was in each slide.It was amazing to look back and see how much the children had learnt.

The children taught their parents how to make God’s Eye weavings, how to plait and we all learnt how to make tassels.

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Houses and Homes

December 17th, 2018

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St James, Basin Lane

1st class

In class the children were learning about types of homes. They started  by discussing all the different types, then went on to draw and paint them.

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The children then made printing blocks of their houses. we did a workshop on colour, mixing and blending colours . To finish the children painted out a large roll of wallpaper , blending their colours as they went. we used this to print the buildings on to.

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This acted as a great backdrop to their colourful work.


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Then they worked on clear contact paper and tissue paper to create imaginary buildings. we would used these to brighten up the coridor as the light could shine through.

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I showed the children some very simple techniques using the tissue paper. They came up with some very impressive ways of using it for themselves. Far more sophisticated than i had shown. I was very impressed with their inventiveness.