Visual Arts: Weaving

Grade Level: 5-12
Duration: Eight - 45 minute class periods
Media Type: Fiber Arts
Subject Integration: Art History, Social Studies, Science
National Standards for Visual Arts: (see bottom of page)
Objectives: Students will create a weaving after being inspired by the work of artist George Morrison.

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the tapestry weaving. Students will show meaning via symbolism in their finished work.
(website for help with writing rubrics)


0 - weaving not complete, symbolism not shown
1 - weaving not complete, some symbolism shown
2 - weaving complete, five color symbols shown
3 - weaving complete, integrity of piece, six color symbols shown
4 - weaving complete, integrity of piece, seven color symbols shown in finished work

Materials and Procedure:

  • visuals or slides (to show on Smartboard) of George Morrison’s artwork, namely his
  • Lake Superior paintings many color choices of yarn
  • cardboard looms, about 4” x 10”
  • tapestry needles
  • warp string scissors
  • paper, pencils

Day 1:
Students will view/discuss the work of George Morrison. Mr. Morrison created paintings inspired by Lake Superior. Give brief history of Mr. Morrison, his life, his work. Show Mr. Morrison’s paintings and examples of tapestry weavings side by side and ask students what they see. “What similarities to you see between the weavings and the paintings?” “What differences do you see?” “Tell me about the color choices.” “What/Who do you think Mr. Morrison was influenced by?”

Day 2:
Review from Day 1 and then ask students to write a letter to George Morrison about his work. Display one last painting of Mr. Morrison’s and have students respond. “What kinds of things could we ask George if he were still alive?” “What would you ask him about his work if you could?” Students write letter to George.

Day 3:

Show PlayList video about weaver, Debbie Cooter (3:25)

Discuss the difference between a tapestry loom and a floor loom. Show students how to warp their own cardboard tapestry loom. Have students write down seven colors of yarn they wish to use, with symbolism explained, on a piece of paper. For example: yellow = sun, blue = water, green = earth, orange = strength, black = night, etc. After students have created their list, they may start to weave.

Days 4 - 8:
Students weave and create full weavings (fill loom), which includes seven different color choices of yarn. Students complete rubric of their finished work.

Discussion Questions:
Where did George Morrison get his ideas for his paintings? Why do you think he chose those colors? How do these paintings make you feel? What do these paintings remind you of? Who do you think George was influenced by?



  • Weaver of Worlds: From Navajo Apprenticeship to Sacred Geometry and Dreams--A Woman's Journey in Tapestry [Paperback], David Jongeward (Author)
  • Nuvisavik: The Place Where We Weave [Paperback], Maria Von Finckenstein (Editor)
  • Tapestry Weaving [Paperback], Kirsten Glasbrook (Author)
  • Tapestry 101 [Spiral-Bound], Kathe Todd-Hooker (Author)
  • Tapestry Handbook: The Next Generation (Schiffer Books) [Hardcover], Carol K. Russell (Author)

Follow-up activities:

George also completed amazing wood collage installations. View some of these works, also, and discuss. Have students create a drawing or painting influenced by these works.

National Standards for Visual Arts:

Content Standard #1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Achievement Standard:
Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes. Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses. Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories. Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner.

Content Standard #2: Using knowledge of structures and functions
Achievement Standard:
Students know the differences among visual characteristics and purposes of art in order to convey ideas. Students describe how different expressive features and organizational principles cause different responses. Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas.

Content Standard #3: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
Achievement Standard:
Students explore and understand prospective content for works of art. Students select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

Content Standard #4: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
Achievement Standard:
Students know that the visual arts have both a history and specific relationships to various cultures. Students identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places. Students demonstrate how history, culture, and the visual arts can influence each other in making and studying works of art.

Content Standard #5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
Achievement Standard:
Students understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art.
Students describe how people's experiences influence the development of specific artworks. Students understand there are different responses to specific artworks.

Content Standard #6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Achievement Standard:
Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines. Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.

Funding for this program is provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Click here for more information or visit the Minnesota Legacy website.

Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment