4th Grade Wampum Belts

by | Nov 23, 2021

I found this project idea over the summer from There’s a Dragon in my Art Room (plbrown.blogspot). On her blog is a free template and instructions for this project. I began amassing pony beads as soon as I found them! Why? I noticed the beautiful dioramas put out by Mrs. Warren’s 4th-grade class during their Native American unit last year. This year’s display was spectacular too! And I was so excited to jump on the coat-tails of this unit with the pony bead wampum belt-inspired project.

The students used the free template resource to brainstorm three different designs for their project and narrowed it down to their favorite one. All of their designs were required to have meaning – whether in color or by symbols (or both, of course). I am so impressed with the spiritual-mindedness of this class! The first project image represents six people worshiping God. The second project image represents the house of God. Other belts included: strands of red and gold – red for the blood of Jesus, gold for the streets of Heaven; God, the Father, and the Holy Spirit looking at Jesus on the cross, and one lettering “PEACE.” Other belts depicted themes such as family, friendship, freedom, and personal favorites such as an animal or hobby. I love that all the belts are unique and meaningful to the makers!

There was a steep learning curve to the weaving technique but all the students improved upon it. Missed rows, taking out sections, and untangling string allowed the opportunity to discuss persistence and practice patience… wow, these students are wonderful! After multiple classes working on this to completion, I think most were proud of their finished work and I am excited to discuss and create more art with these Warriors!