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The Frost Trade Bead Collection Activities

The activities for this collection focus on bead weaving techniques. Students will learn how loom-weaving and bead-sewing are done, and will learn the basic process of making millefiori-style large beads by using polymer clay (instead of molten glass).

Weaving with Seed Beads on a Bead Loom lets the students (grades 5-8) design a geometric bead pattern based on Ojibwa designs and colors and weave a bracelet or an applique. (HTML version) (PDF version)

Sewing Seed Bead Designs on Cloth gives the student (grades 5-8) experience in sewing beads onto a fabric in a floral pattern based on Ojibwa designs. (HTML version) (PDF version)

Making Polymer Clay Trade Beads and Jewelry has proven to be a very popular activity for middle schoolers. Students make a necklace from several types of millefiori beads they form in polymer clay, thus gaining an understanding of how European glass factories formed the beads they sold to traders in the nineteenth century. (HTML version) (PDF version)

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