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Cup and saucer - Te kapu me te hoiha

Learning experience 4, Activity 1

Intended outcome(s)

The students could:

  • participate in a wide range of ngā mahi a te rēhia (games and pastimes) activities and identify the factors that made the experience enjoyable (HPE 1 B2)
  • express their own feelings effectively and listen to those of other people while working with others in hand and string games (HPE 1 C3)
  • explore line, shape, and form using manipulation techniques with string (Visual Arts 1 PK)
  • express ideas about their own and others' string figures (Visual Arts 1 CI)
  • identify the resemblance of the string figure to a cup and saucer (Visual Arts 1 CI)
  • consider why people make string figures (Visual Arts 1 UC)

Suggested approach

Use a 2-metre length of cord knotted into a single loop. (Some games need shorter cords and some need longer ones.) Harakeke (flax) string is customary, although commercially available cords (nylon, braid, wool) can be used.

Demonstrate to the students how to make the pattern described below and have them try it:

  • Hold the string out from the body at stomach height, hooked over the thumb and the little finger on both hands, with the hands up, and from each thumb, number the fingers – from one (closest to the thumb) to four (the little finger).
  • With finger one on the right hand, go across to the left hand, tuck finger one under the string of the left hand, and drag the string back until it is taut again.
  • With finger one from the left hand, go across to the right hand and do likewise.
  • Keep the fingers all pointing upwards to prevent the strings dropping off – there will be six crossed strings forming a pattern at this stage.
  • Take both thumbs and pass them over strings two to five, and drag string six back towards the body.
  • Use the teeth to pass string one (the string closest to the body) over the thumbs without dropping any other strings.
  • Release the string from fingers four of both hands and gently pull it through the others to form a cup and a saucer pattern.
cup and saucer

The students then describe how they felt when attempting this string pattern and how they felt when their partner encouraged them. They talk about the ways they used lines to make shapes and forms and how what they made reminds them of a cup and saucer. They give reasons for people making string figures.