5th Grade – Weaving an Ojo de Dios

5th Grade – Weaving an Ojo de Dios

Description of the Unit –

Students will learn about the Huichol tradition of weaving an “Ojo de Dios” and practice weaving one of their own, attempting more complicated patterns and techniques as they progress.

Activity statement –

Upon the birth of a baby, Huichol (an indigenous Mexican group) parents weave a beautifully colored and elaborate “Ojo de Dios”, signifying health and protection throughout the child’s life. The child adds to this very Ojo de Dios with each new birthday starting at about age 5. Beginning with a simplified Huichol weaving style, students will create an Ojo de Dios, which will develop their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. With each new Ojo de Dios a student attempts, he/she will practice more complicated weaving techniques, create more elaborate color and shape designs, and improve their overall finished product.

I have a short video on making an Ojo de Dios here:

The Huichol of Nayarit, Mexico with an Ojo de Dios
Where the Huichol are located

Goals –

Students should…

Understand:

  • The traditional purpose behind and Ojo de Dios
  • Artistic concepts of color theory and pattern

Know:

  • What an Ojo de Dios is and the traditions surrounding it in Huichol culture.

Be able to:

  • Recognize the Huichol Ojo de Dios
  • Weave at least one type of Ojo de Dios design

Objectives –

Students will:

  • Practicing weaving one four-pronged Ojo de Dios
  • Attempt to weave more complicated, multi-pronged patterns as they progress
  • Explore crafting traditions of Huichol culture

Resources and materials –

  • Images of Huichol Ojos de Dios, plus additional resources such as maps and photographs so students have a robust understanding of Huichol culture
  • Pre-glued craft sticks in 4-, 6-, 8- 10- and 12-pronged stars
  • Balls of yarn in many different colors
  • Hot glue (to glue the craft sticks into the various stars)
  • Scissors
  • Markers (for students to write their initials on the backs of their Ojos de Dios so they don’t lose them)

Questions –

  • Why do the Huichol make an Ojo de Dios?
  • Can you point to any patterns on the (example) Ojo de Dios?
  • What are complementary colors?
  • What is a pattern?
  • In what ways can you practice pattern?
  • What would it mean to take a risk on your project?
  • How can you experiment with an Ojo de Dios?

Evaluation –

Did students:

  • Become proficient in the basic 4-pronged weaving technique of the Ojo de Dios?
  • Use their understanding of this technique to try new techniques?
  • Did students experiment with color and pattern?
  • Did students take risks to create a more elaborate Ojo de Dios?

Informal:

  • Student questions
  • Group discussions
  • Oral responses to essential questions
  • At least one finished piece
  • Elaboration and risk-taking
A 5th grade student’s Ojo de Dios showing the most simple pattern
5th grade students’ Mexican Ojos de Dios showing a variety of patterns
5th grade students’ Mexican Ojos de Dios showing two different patterns
A 5th grade Ojo de Dios with 6 prongs
A 5th grade Mexican Ojo de Dios with 8 prongs
In this 6-pronged Ojo de Dios, a 5th grade student alternated prongs to create her pattern

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