Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

I want to make a net to catch fish.

Sam wanted to make a net to catch fish. After talking with him I found out what type of net, (I later learned it is called a landing net.)

So together we experimented with tying string to a bamboo rod. Over the weekend I thought about it and decided a frame and weights were needed. So having talked it over with Sam on monday he helped me make a frame, then I helped him to tie the knots.

We discovered Hirini Melbourne's waiata cd had a really good pace for net making and chatted about all sorts of things as we worked. Sam's comment "this is hard work" lead us into mending and recycling broken nets. Recycling is one of Sam's favourite topics. Talking about historical net makers lead us to pause and hit the library books, back at work I told him the story of Kahukura and the net. As we worked others came to watch us. It really make you appreciate the communal effort net fishing is. Tuesday, we changed our method today. Last night researching net making I came across . Johnjayrambo11111 shows a real simple way to make nets in this video. Having thought about how to adapt it over night it was down to the river for some willow to form the frame of the net, then down to mitre 10 for some builders line.

I talked to Sam, we watched the video, discussed it and then Sam decided we'd try the new way. We made the frame (learning about willow in the process), cut the strings, hung them and then started to tie them. With a bit of practise and experimentation we developed a technique Sam could use and he set to work. It was hard work, and Sam's perseverance was tremendous, and when he became tired it was a good oppertunity to talk to him about why we need to take breaks, drink water and have some food to help us focus.
sam was away Wednesday, but Thursday saw him asking to do more, when he arrived and again after lunch, "Can I go out to work on my net now?".

He continues to work through the day on it, taking occasional breaks to join in other types of play, drink and eat. I had been having to support Sam with undoing knots and pushing up the knot when it was too big. But today we looked closer at how to push up the knots (to get the right size) and Sam has now mastered this. This is just as well as he's pretty critical of his work, evaluating the guage of the holes with his hand. Making use of the spare willow, I'd collected to experiment on, I made Sam two different tools to try out to see if they would help him loosen any knots he decides needs resizing. He'd tried his finger nails but they hadn't been able to pick them open. We also tried a carpentry nail but found it didn't work. The second tool seems to do the trick, I also made some more for the clay table.
During the day, after mentioning it and having Sam ask about it, I introduced Sam to flax (Harakeke) and since he no longer needed much help, started an experimental net with strips of flax, while also showing him the muka. We also had a look at ocean fishes, looking up some pictures of hoki in my fish book.


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