This activity involves making rope using dried maize husk, water, and Aboriginal weaving methods. Coloured raffia may also be used to substitute for the dried maize husk. Initially, students will be taught the sequence when on how to make the rope. Later, they will be asked to think of different things that they can make using the weaving method. It could be as simple as making a friendship bracelet in the colours of one’s favourite AFL team. Students can then be asked to think of designing something that they can use in school or at home. It can be as simple as a ribbon for a book mark or a key ring.
Digital Technologies Link:
Links to Develop and communicate design ideas through describing, drawing, modelling and/or a sequence of written or spoken steps (WATPPS07)
Work independently, or with others when required, to create and safely share sequenced steps for solutions (WATPPS10)
Design and Technologies:
This activity, which addresses both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures and sustainability cross curriculum priorities, can be integrated in the following areas:
Science: An investigation into which method makes a stronger rope: weaving the raffia or maize dry or wet (ACSSU018)
English: Writing a procedure text (ACELY1661)
Mathematics: Use the rope as an informal unit to measure and compare length (ACMMG019)
HASS: Students can discuss what the rope could have been used for in everyday life, and what tools are being used for the same activities now. (ACHASSK030)
When students design their products using the rope that they have made, it is an example of a modification task using the SAMR model. When products are designed collaboratively, assets borne out communication, collaboration and creativity, according to the Positive Technological Development (PTD) Framework are: connection, contribution, and competence.
Safe, responsible and ethical use:
While there is no digital technology being used in this exercise, the teacher must still explicitly teach students that materials used during the exercise must not be wasted. Moreover, because rope is being made, students must be warned that they are never to tie the rope around their neck or their classmate’s neck.
Synthesis and critique:
This particular activity is exciting for me because it lends itself so well to possibilities of integration. I have also noticed, especially during my last practicum, that young children are very curious about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. This can be a point of interest that can be used to engage and sustain student interest as per UDL guidelines. I would be very careful, however, to emphasise with children at this age that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is alive and not relegated to history. I would also be very cognizant of ensuring that the implementation of this lesson does not become tokenistic.