In one room of year 5/6's many of the children were reluctant to participate in a sewing activity. In order to engage them I opted to allow them to negotiate with me as to what they would do in order to demonstrate they can make decorative stitches and construction stitches.
They all jotted down three things they wanted to do. Most of them wanted to make mascots or toys. As these were such a similar concept I decided to allow them to make either one. Some kids wanted to make cushions and a couple wanted to personalise their hats. I couldn't see any reason why they couldn't but a quick trip up to the principal reassured us.
So with the direction of making something about A5 to A4 size (things that are too small are difficult to manipulate for this age group and I don't have enough in the budget to make life size toys!)with stitches for decoration and construction the kids set about brainstorming and sketching their ideas. The kids went home to search for fabric scraps from their folks to bring in to share.
From these sketches they had to create a plan and from the plan a pattern.
These had to be cut from fabric bought in from home ( mostly from my home ;) Luckily I needed to clear out some of my stash from home.- and some bought from the shop to supplement our stash)
The kids are also learning to use the irons to smooth their fabric for cutting and sewing, and about the safety issues that go with them.
Then the fun began! The patterns had to be pinned and cut making sure they had two pieces that were mirror image of each other so that they could be fitted together and stitched and stuffed. (Again maths overlaps with art!)
So we are part way through our project so I will post some of the finished pieces.
"Mystery Mess" is a great game to play after a session like this because it is a very messy activity. Before the kids start to pack up I say "Today is a mystery mess." - sometimes for a faction card, sometimes for a prize. I pick an item that I can see that is out of place but I don't let the kids know what it is. The kids have to rush about looking for things that are out of place, putting them away as they go. When everything is neat and tidy I announce what I had my eye on and the person who attended to it gets the reward.
BEST game EVER!!!