Before we began our weekly sewing club at Garden Oaks Elementary School in Houston, I asked the group of twenty-two students to raise their hand if they liked to read. Four of them raised their hands. I told the group that only the four students that liked to read would get to sew their own bookmarks, which was our project for the week. Suddenly everyone raised their hands…they all wanted to sew bookmarks.
When many people think of creativity in the classroom, they often think about the actual art form involved. They believe that painting is simply painting a picture or that sewing is simply attaching pieces of fabrics together. By designing a creative project such as sewing a bookmark, we were able to get the students talking about reading books. Some students chose the fabrics and colors of the bookmarks to resemble a favorite book or they chose buttons and trims to embellish their bookmarks to resemble abstract characters from their favorite books. One student attached 10 small buttons to his bookmark because that was the number of books he read since school began.
By the end of the class, the students were extremely excited about the bookmarks they made. What they failed to realize however was that everyone was talking about books (Not only the four students from the beginning of class), they all gained some fine motor skills (I made them all thread their own needles) and they are all learning how to sew!