Lesson Plans:
Weaving with Miss Lucy

Grades/Subject: Grade 1 Art Education.
Related subjects: Social Studies.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will be exposed to pattern-making in weaving.
  2. Using the warp and the weft technique, students will make a woven paper place mat.
  3. Students will learn about the history of crafts and working artists in Mitchell and Yancey counties of North Carolina by reading the stories of Ms. Lucy Morgan and the Penland Weaving Institutes. They will start to explore the boundaries of the world beyond their school and home, focusing on how these counties are home to a long tradition of working craftspeople. In this case, Penland School of Crafts taught weaving to give Appalachian women a way to bring in an income for their families, as economic growth was happening during the Craft Revival.

Teacher Planning:

  • This lesson can be completed in 3 class periods.
  • Teacher preparation time will include time to examine the book, Gift From the Hills by Lucy Morgan.
  • Upon visiting the Craft Revival website teacher may gather more information about Penland and other weaving centers and schools.
  • It will be necessary to have taken 19 11" x 7" pieces of construction paper and leaving a 1” border, cut horizontal cuts approx. 1” apart.  Teacher will also have taken multiple colors (in this case fall colors to honor the season) and cut 1” x 11” strips for the vertical weft. 

Materials/Resources:

  • Book, Gift from the Hills
  • Image of a loom
  • Examples of early weaving
  • Map of Yancey and Mitchell counties
  • 18 pieces of construction paper cut with horizontal strips with a 1” uncut border on one end.
  • 1” x 11” multiple pieces of colored construction paper
  • Glue

Procedures:

  1. The lesson will start with the story of Ms. Lucy and the Penland weavers.  Using a local map, the teacher will point out where the school is and where Penland is to give students a point of reference.
  2. Teacher will offer information about Ms. Lucy and the Penland weavers based on selected readings from the book, so they may answer the following questions: Why did Ms. Lucy Morgan start a weaving school?  Can you identify the two words we talk about to refer to the paper direction in weaving?
  3. Teacher will demonstrate weaving:

Teacher will hold the warp (the paper still connected with a 1” border) and explain that the warp is the foundation or the thing that holds it together, then pick up one of the strips and explain that it is the weft.  By showing the students how to move the paper under/over and under/over the teacher will demonstrate how to weave in the weft.  While weaving the second pieces, teacher will demonstrate how it needs to scoot up “snug as a bug” next to the first piece.  (This piece should have been almost completely woven before demonstrating so that when the second piece is added the teacher can then demonstrate how to glue the edges by putting a dot of glue on each of the pieces that touch the edge).

  1. Before students begin, they should write their name on the back side of their warp in the area of the uncut 1” strip. 
  2. The lesson will be closed by having each person check their neighbor’s mat to see that all the edges have been glued.
  3. Teacher may laminate the students’ projects.

Assessment:

Students products will be evaluated through self assessment and teacher evaluation. Students may assess how they enjoyed the project, and if they understand what weaving entails.

North Carolina Curriculum Alignment:

  • Art K-2 Objective 2.01, 3.03, 8.03
  • Social Studies K-2 Objective 4.0

Bibliography:

  • Alvic, Philis, Weavers of the Southern Highlands, (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2003)
  • Morgan, Lucy, Gift From the Hills: Miss Lucy Morgan’s story of her unique Penland School, with Legette Blythe (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1971)
  • Stevens, Bernice A., A Weavin’ Woman, (Gatlinburg, TN: Buckhorn Press, 1971)
  • Wilson, Kathleen, Textile Art from Southern Appalachia, The Quiet Work of Women. (Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 2001)

- Submitted by Jennifer Robinson, Mitchell County Schools, adapted by Jada Hansen.
This lesson was taught to a class of first graders at South Toe Elementary School in Burnsville, NC.