Nikau palms…what can you do with them? A rich resource indeed!

What indeed? Cots. caves, guitars, masks, funnels, trolleys, roofs, art…. a long list. So here they are! First some images a230781nd then some

West Coast

 

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.So there they are … glorious and lush and frequently dropping these magnificent bowls.

And Maori used them for medicine but especially for roofing. I was going to have a  nikau  roof for my first  house and I received lessons from marvellous women in Kennedy Bay. The fronds have a pleated groove down the centre like a little drain, so if you place them the right way up, once woven, they naturally guide any water down off the roof. Check out this website for more details of building strategies.http://www.mangatowai.maori.nz/WharenikauA.html

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Geometry concepts evolve into the story of The Squabbling Leaves.

I went for  a walk and was musing on the possibilities of various plants that I could take with me for a one day relieving opportunity. Building houses with  strips of gum bark founP1080158d yesterday while lying under the trees’ leafy shade, and then huge dried karaka  leaves. Looking at different leaves and possible ways to use them. My focus shifted to the fact that they have ERO visiting and want me to incorporate  maths into my mattimes and impress the inspectors.

Then thinking of the geometrical shapes of houses… teepees, yurts, castles, mansions, caves and so on. And the language for the shapes and started thinking about all the different shapes, and then textures, and then sizes of leaves. Curved,  pointed, round, triangular, square, thin, wide,  large and small, wrinkly, shiny…. so  many wonderful descriptive adjectives. Another inadvertent language outcome.

 

 

It became obvious that just talking about shapes would be a whole lot less engaging than if I could weave the geometry and attributes of the different leaves into a story.I picked some and as I walked home a story evolved!   And here it is:  The squabble of the leaves…. (more…)

Loose parts in story telling.

Today I had the pleasure of one day’s work in a distant kindergarten. Story telling is rapidly becoming mydefault setting and I decided, since it was wet and uninspired but we were sheltered outside around a big table, to record the vignettes and stories which the children volunteered as I got to know them.  I drew and then wrote about one girl and her absent brother and their  matching raincoats, then about a scarecrow made by another boy at his church out of a spoon and an iceblock stick which he brought to share at  mat time, about how one girl was going to go to Hawaii and swim with the dolphins, learn to surf and eat a coconut! Such diversity and colour and range! Soon they were writing their own books, adding illustrations and then dictating the words for me to write.

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