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Storytelling is always a good way to engage childen's interest, which has long been a particular passion of mine.
A great way of bringing in the activitity is to start with a story, which is then followed by making an item that links to it in some way. This bringing together of these different arts mediums can be a powerful tool for engagement and motivation.
The story can be told as a narrative or through using the persona of a character in the story. These tales can generally be linked with the particular topics that children are studying at the time.
As a guitarist and vocalist I can also bring a song element to the package too, when there is sufficient time to do so.
(However, bare in mind that the more layers that are added into the session, the less time the childen will have on the weaving activity.)
through the sticks
Nursery / Foundation
The Three Little Pigs
Followed by working with small groups of children through the day making a a play house sized willow house that could be a semi permanent feature in their classroom for them to use.
Jonah and the Whale
Children make a willow fish.
A Pirate Story.
Children then weave a willow sword in following up the story.