Yarns for teaching art?

I am going to teach an art lesson to first graders about portraits, still life, and murals.

For their activity, I want them to do a still life and I want to bring a big basket of different yarns: skeins, balls, hanks and let each group of 4 to 6 children arrange three of them in the center of their respective tables as a still life for drawing.

I’m going to use some of my stash, of course, but I also want to get some new good singles of maybe some wild stuff that they might like drawing.


ooh- some of those wacky novelty yarns could be fun- the ones that jump to mind are yarns with the pom poms in it (cha cha?), fun fur, or a really lumpy boucle… and I know our Michaels has a bunch of the novelty stuff on clearance.

maybe a pretty ribbon bow too?

then something smooooth like a cotton or wool and something fuzzy like mohair?

what an interesting project idea! art is so important for learning. I cringe whenever I hear a school “can’t find time” for art or music lessons.

Great ideas! I’m a little bit nervous about letting them handle the yarns because of balls unrolling or skeins tangling, but I think I MUST let them! Texture in art is important. I don’t want to leave tags on, but some of the balls/skeins/hanks might need some kind of something to secure them in their shapes.

My daughter’s school has of course a full time art teacher and the children have regular instruction. What the parent council has done is institute an Art Appreciation program which is taught by parents who are trained to go into the classrooms and give a 30 minute lesson on a particular topic. My daughter is in the 3rd grade, but she doesn’t want me to teach in her class, so I took the 1st graders.

while I’m sure the kids will want to touch the yarn- I’m guessing they won’t unroll it on purpose… for some of the hanks/balls you could put a rubber band around the middle (leaving a long bit out) then cover the band with the long end, to disguise it.
or make “fake” balls by winding just enough to cover a styrofoam ball and glue it down.