Cultural Identity Through Weaving

Educator: Renee Andolina, Mixed Studio Art Teacher

Teaching Artist: Oksana Danziger, Weaving

School: Hicksville High School,  Grades 9-12

District: Hampton Bays Public Schools District.


This particular group of students represented a diverse mix of religions and races from India, Bangladesh, China, El Salvador, and Pakistan. Three students were English Language Learners and five others had IEPs. The project focused on cultural identity and pride through the traditional folk art of weaving. Students' projects reflected not only the values, beliefs, and traditions of their own culture, but also the National Heritage of Native Americans and Mexico, and the importance of using sustainable materials in art.

Big Theme/Guiding Question(s):

Students will explore and understand their cultural Identity through weaving. Students will learn values, beliefs, and traditions of their own culture as well as the National Heritage of Native Americans and Mexico. Emphasis is on sustainability of materials.

The process and final works of art helped students to better understand ways that change can be brought about by one person or one action when it is intentionally sustainable and when it includes ideas from past and present culture.

What learning goals/standards did this meet?

  • Arts Anchor Standard 1 • Creating • Investigate, Plan, Make VA:Cr1.1.HSI , VA:Cr1.2.HSI, VA:Cr2.1.HSII
  • Anchor Standard 3 Refine and complete artistic work. VA:Cr3.1.HSI, 8
  • Anchor Standard 5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation. VA:Pr5.1.HSI
  • Anchor Standard 6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work. VA:Pr6.1.HSI
  • Anchor Standard 7 Perceive and analyze artistic work. VA:Re7.1.HSI
  • Anchor Standard 10 Relate and synthesize knowledge and personal experiences to inspire and inform artistic work. VA:Cn10.1.HSI
  • Anchor Standard 11 Investigate ways that artistic work is influenced by societal, cultural, and historical context and, in turn, how artistic ideas shape cultures past, present, and future. VA:Cn11.1.HSI


This project will prepare students for college readiness and open new horizons and possibilities in the career choice .Working with alternative materials may bring an interest in sustainable science or art.

Students will see that sometimes an individual choice can contribute and solve local issues, like polluting air and using plastic bags ,which most of the time end up in the ocean damaging fish and animals.


Fostering high expectations and rigorous instruction: Have high expectations and deliver rigorous instruction for all students regardless of identity markers, including race, gender, sexual orientation, language, ability, and economic background. Strive to be culturally sustaining by centering the identities of all students in classroom instruction, encouraging cultural pluralism rather than asking students to minimize their identities in order to be successful.

In this project we prepare students for independent learning and the ability to connect .Because it's a sustainable project it will teach them about alternative materials and different ways of using them (plastic bags for weaving).

As they see a possibility to reuse “waste” materials and create beautiful objects, they themself can create a social change in the society!