Monday, November 16, 2015

Kente Cloth from Ghana

Our next visit on our Arts Around the World tour brought us to Ghana, which is located on the western coast of Africa. We learned that it is hot and humid in Ghana and the capital city is Accra.
We also learned about Kente cloth, a woven traditional fabric. Kente cloth began in the Ashanti Kingdom and was originally worn by royalty. It is woven by men and is known for its bold designs. Over time, it became more popular and now it is worn by many. When looking at examples of Kente cloth, students noticed the bright colors, geometric designs with rectangles and zig zags, and the patterns in the fabric. Students also connected it to learning about weaving in 1st grade.
To begin making our own Kente cloth, students painted two sheets of colored paper with a simple pattern of lines.
The following class, students painted a piece of paper with colorful stripes and added patterns with lines and dots to create their loom. We practiced the process of weaving with construction paper before cutting the painted paper we made to weave with.
Students recalled the over and under motion of each woven piece, with the warp going vertically and the weft going across. Once they practiced with construction paper, students used their painted paper to make their loom and the pieces to weave across.
Once they were finished, they glued down the edges of each strip. We finished up with a gallery walk to see everyone's Kente cloth weaving. We noticed that they are all very colorful and that everyone's is different. In their Passports, students wrote what they learned about Kente cloth, recalling that they have colorful patterns, that they are woven on a loom, and that they were once worn by royalty in Ghana. Below are some examples of our colorful Kente cloth inspired weaving!
Julia H., 2nd Grade (O'Connor)
Edmond, 2nd Grade (McCarthy)
Arianne, 2nd Grade (McCarthy)
Aliah, 2nd Grade (McCarthy)
James, 2nd Grade (O'Leary)
Angelina, 2nd Grade (Pearse)
Chris, 2nd Grade (McCarthy)


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