Monday, March 4, 2019

February - Star Child

Here are a few notes from our wonderful wet felting project and exploration of the classic Grimm's fairy tale Star Child (also often called "Star Money").

We continued with our Songs, Verses & Movement for classroom routines.

We had an abbreviated week due to Spring Break -- and so that I could travel to Chicago to attend the fantastic 2019 Orthography Conference: Supporting Reading, Spelling & Word Study in the Classroom with Pete Bowers, Doug Harper, and Gina Cookie -- so things were a little different. One special thing that we did was have a "Favorites" week in Circle Time, where we chose our movement verses by student request.

Circle Time

Monday, February 25

    Today we followed up on our cork observations by doing a sink/float bin! The children were interested in taking "notes" on the results.  We also heard the Star Child story adapted by Suzanne Down, and wet felted the pieces for Star Child's cloak of stars. Many years ago, when I was a Sunday School teacher, I completed my first -- and only -- handmade Waldorf doll to be the baby Moses in our class play. Since he was Moses he was only ever wrapped in a blanket and so he had no clothes. I decided that he would be a perfect Star Child for us, and the children really identified with him as a tender-hearted little boy.
    To make the pieces of wool for the cloak we used the "flat wet felting with bubble wrap" technique. This works well on an old cafeteria tray or a rimmed baking sheet. I laid out several colors of overlapping deep blue roving and then we designed the golden stars to be on the top layer. The children had a lot of fun carefully scooping and sprinkling the hot soapy water onto the wool, folding over the bubble wrap to protect the star design, and applying pressure (first rubbing gently and then more vigorously). When we opened the bubble wrap and lifted up our pieces of wool, they were strong and held together, so we knew that we had made felt!

    That evening I attached the two pieces together to form Star Child's cloak. This can be done with a sewing needle and thread or with a dry felting needle and a sponge.

Tuesday, February 26
    Today when I told the story of Star Child, I ended it by wrapping our cold naked doll up in the beautiful starry cloak which the children had hand felted. They were filled with wonder to see it completed and at how lovely it was. As Suzanne Down predicted, my class was completely entranced by this sweet and moving story. Here are some beautiful pictures of their hard work:

    our clothed Star Child at the start of the story
    he later gives away every single thing he owns

    an older friend helps with forming the golden stars

    the design before felting

    scooping and sprinkling the hot soapy water

    folding over the bubble wrap and applying gentle pressure

    the wool fibers begin to lock together

    the piece holds together!

    letting the extra water drain out 

    our finished pieces dry on towels

    the starry cloak

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