Here are a few things we learned about while studying Persian rugs: symmetry, the types of designs (geometric, curvilinear, pictorial), the elements of a rug (border, central medallion, repeated motifs), child labor laws, how to value a rug based on knot count, the difference between natural fibers and manmade fibers, and more.
Large canvas rectangles
Crop-a-dile or other awesome hole-puncher
Lace-weight yarn/thread in different colors
Poster paint and brushes
Punch holes in the short sides of all the carpets, about 1/2 inch apart. You are going to need a serious, no-kidding hole punch to get through canvas. I used a Crop-a-dile.
Cut the thread into pieces about 10 inches long. Deep rich colors are best.
Step One: Fringe
Give each child a choice of thread colors and encourage them to work in patterns. They can use a simple knot to create their fringe. Make a loop in the center of the thread, push the loop through the hole, and then thread both ends through the loop. Pull tight. You can fold over the edge of the fabric as you go to create a smooth edge.
Step Two: Paint
First have the children sketch their ideas with a pencil lightly so they can erase and redo it if they're not happy with it. Make sure everyone remembers to put in a border, a central medallion, and then repeated motifs.
The kids took home some interesting work! Painting on the canvas was challenging for a few, they needed reminding to keep a lot of paint on their brushes. However, making the carpets led to some interesting discussions about what the carpets mean to the people who make them. Here is the class singing a Persian folk song while they worked. They started singing spontaneously, then of course I had to run get my camera and have them do it again!
What class is this? My elementary literature class at Norfolk's premier co-op of extreme homeschool awesomeness, Homeschool Out of the Box.