Tips from Teachers Sewing with Kids is a series of interviews with teachers who talk about their approaches to and experiences with sewing in the classroom. I am hoping that these interviews will help to support and inspire teachers who are thinking of sewing with their students but aren’t quite sure if they’re ready.
Don’t forget to join my Sew a Softie facebook group to see what other teachers are sewing with their students as well as asking any questions you may have.
Today’s interview is with Em Power Moore, a specialist art teacher from Melbourne, Australia.
Em teaches Years K – 6 and has recently completed a term-long unit of sewing and weaving with all her students.
A sewing unit Em developed
Amongst the sewing units Em developed was a Gratitude Project for her Year 6’s. She points out, Year 6 is their last year in Primary School. There’s a lot of focus on them. I thought it would be nice to get the Year 6 kids to think about the school and shift their focus, to home in on something they could do for the students they were leaving behind. She got them to design and sew a softie for another student, a “buddy”, that she matched them with. And they could design anything they thought their buddy would like.
And I love Em’s thought that “Being grateful makes you happier“.
Em started her younger students sewing on hessian with a large blunt needle
Em has eight tips for making sewing classes run smoothly
Em’s first tip: she constructed a giant cardboard needle and used rope for thread to enable kids to visualise the mechanics of threading and tying a knot.
Another tip: her lessons began with everyone in a circle where she went over the skills the kids had learnt in the previous lesson and gave them an opportunity to practice them again.
One of Em’s tips: a needle keeper to make sure all the needles are returned!
Some very sweet anecdotes
She relates how one little boy used his sewing skills to darn the holes in his soccer socks. The socks were blue and he chose a thick yellow thread. He was so proud of those socks, she said. That made me smile. I still have an image of him in my mind, standing in the playground in his socks, looking something like a modern live-in art work from the Sixties!
In another anecdote a few boys organised to do some finger knitting by themselves…you”ll love hearing what they did with their twelve metres of knitting!