Wrap, Pinch, Push & Pull
One of my current projects is a woven pouch (lesson to come soon), about the size of a credit card – just what every 3rd grader needs, right? It’s one of the many wonderful works featured in the book You Can Weave! Projects for Young Weavers written by
Kathleen Monaghan and Hermon Joyner.
One sticking point is the need to teach the process of how to thread a yarn needle because I do NOT want to be threading needles for everyone in every class (been there, done that)! So I developed a method that’s fairly simple & successful for this age group: Wrap, Pinch, Push & Pull.
Wrap: Wrap yarn in a loop around the eye of the yarn needle with thumb & forefinger, pulling tightly. (Using just the end of the yarn w/o wrapping into a loop usually ends up shredding the yarn).
Pinch: Slide yarn loop off needle. Pinch loop between thumb & forefinger so it’s almost hidden there.
Push: Push pinched yarn loop through eye of needle.
Pull: Grab the loop from other side & pull on through.
Most students get the idea on the second or third try, but those who don’t usually have a neighbor who does understand & who’s willing to help thread the needle for them so end result is…I don’t have to do it. Win – Win!
I demonstrate the process at the demo table on the first day of the weaving process (about 3rd day into project after loom building and warping loom). I show them 3 times:
1st time: I give the long descriptive version of process with emphasis on the 4 main words of Wrap, Pinch, Push & Pull
2nd time: I demo while using only the 4 words.
3rd time: I demo while students say the 4 words.
With the large population of English Language Learners in my school, I find it prudent to reduce procedural steps to one or 2 word phrases that are easy to memorize/repeat over & over. I’ll often see the kids intently threading their needles at their tables repeating “Wrap, Pinch, Push & Pull” while intently focusing on the process – woo hoo!
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