Kente Cloth

Why

Instead of weaving over and under, draw it with Crayola® Color Switchers™ Markers! Bold and colorful textile patterns from Ghana look almost real with this amazing marker technology.


Steps

1. Kente cloth, traditionally made by the people of Ghana, is very beautiful and meaningful. It is made by weaving long strips that contain symbolic patterns. There is a pattern to illustrate joy, a pattern for royalty, a pattern for newborn babies—nearly every important event in a person’s life can be expressed in Kente cloth patterns. When several strips of fabric are woven, they are cut into even lengths, and then stitched together to create wide sheets of cloth. The fabric is used to create flowing garments.


2. To create your own replica Kente cloth drawings, begin by using Crayola Scissors to cut several long, narrow strips of paper.


3. Use Crayola Color Switchers Markers to color each strip a different color. Flip the Marker and apply the special color switcher to add repeated patterns to your strips. Vary the colors and patterns you use on each strip. You could duplicate authentic patterns or create your own symbols.


4. Cut the long strips into several shorter sections. Tape them together on the back. Use a Color Switchers Marker to create "stitches" that visually connect the strips to each other on the front of your drawing.


Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

Adaptations

  • Design your own symbols for important times in your life. Create Kente cloth strips that show these symbols. Explain the meaning of your Kente cloth in prose or poetry.
  • Identify other cultures in which weaving is central to the heritage of the people. What raw materials are used for the fabric? What dyes are used? What similarities can you identify in traditional designs?
  • Write a story about authentic symbols shown on your Kente cloth. What do the symbols mean? When would the garment be worn? By whom? Imagine a day in the life of that person.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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Supplies

crayola supplies
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Giant Floor Pad
  • Color Switchers™ Markers
household supplies
  • clear adhesive tape

Overview

grades

  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12

subjects

  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts

time

  • Less than 1/2 hour
  • 30 to 60 minutes

benefits

  • Children study the colors, patterns, and meanings of the symbols used in Kente cloth, a traditional form of weaving from Ghana.

  • Children create a replica drawing of Kente cloth.

Cirriculum

Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards