Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Storytelling and String Figures

Our fifth grade classes are studying Global Native People at the moment, so I began investigating storytelling websites in the hopes of doing an oral telling for a lesson. While investigating, I came upon a lot of information about string figures. Basically, these are the fun things that many of us remember doing as a child-- taking a piece of tied string and creating Jacob's Ladder or Cat's Cradle. Well, who knew that all these string figures were all based on native tribal tradition? Kids' Easy Guide to String Figures has a number of design options as well as videos to demonstrate how to make them (the key part, I think, as it's not as easy as I remember!). I chose to focus on a story called Moth, The Fire Dancer from a book called Keepers of the Night by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac. There is a moth string figure design that goes nicely with it. The plan is to slowly be making the moth design while telling the story. Kids can then use the site themselves to make their own designs.


Red said...


I remember spending hours doing whole sequences of string figures when I was child - isn't it amazing how you can lose the knowledge but not the memory? I do not even remember who taught me, but having the right kind of string was of the utmost importance...

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Joya said...

Greetings from JOYA*! I have taken strings to India and found wonderful fascinating stories there. The guru I travel with had a great metaphor about the sting and life's path - how we humans tangle ourselves up so many times when all we need to do is untie the knot and take the straight path. Just a thought.

Please check out the wonderful website from the Navahoe nation:

Please include me in your mailings regarding the ever evolving "WEB" of string art!