Kente cloth originated in Ghana as the fabric of royalty, but has become a colorful symbol of African culture, now loved and worn by many. Students in grades K and 1 will enjoy creating their own paper version of this colorful cloth!
- 6″x12″ black construction paper
- 1″x6″ strips of red, blue, yellow and green construction paper (3 or 4 of each color per student)
- Black marker
- Glue stick
(When I do this project with my Kinders, I prep it by folding each black paper in half (the “hamburger way”), then fold it again about 1″ from the loose edges. This second fold gives students a helpful reminder of where to stop cutting!)
1. Hold your paper with the middle fold toward you, and cut 7 straight lines about 1″ apart, stopping at the fold just before the end with the loose edges.
2. Now weave your first strip of colored paper across the black paper, alternating over, under, over, under, all the way to the end.
3. Push your paper tightly against one edge.
4. Then weave your next strip of paper, reversing the over / under pattern, and push this strip up against the first one.
5. Continue weaving your strips, making a pattern with the colors, until no more will fit.
6. Glue down all the loose edges.
7. Finally, draw simple shapes or designs on each color showing. Make sure you use the same shape or design on all the reds, all the blues, etc.
8. Mount your Kente cloth weavings on a larger contrasting paper, if you wish!