Lesson plan

Weaving - plaiting, twining and basket-making

Twine wool and/or grass. Plait pipe cleaners to make a mesh to model separation of clams and sand. Look at images of twined rope, clam baskets and hats.
Science content
Biology: Indigenous People's sustainable use of Living Things (K, 2, 3)
Chemistry: Indigenous People’s Materials/Separation methods (1, 6)
Chemistry: Physical Changes, Solutions, Mixtures and Separating (2, 4, 5, 6)
Activities in this lesson

Do twining with dyed wool, or grass, to make a bracelet.
Model how the weaving of a clam basket catches clams, but not the sand.
Look at images of Indigenous twined materials, including clam baskets.

The Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, who’s land we are on, use a woven basket for collecting and cleaning clams that are collected from beaches.
They make a basket that has just the right sized holes to keep clams in the basket but let sand and gravel through. The clams are gathered and washed in the basket.
Show a pic of clam basket. This clam basket is made with a twining method, but we’ll try another kind of weaving to try and catch pretend clams.
You’ll make a model of a clam basket by using another kind of weaving called plaiting.
Refine your weaving to catch more clams.

Clam baskets are often actually made by twining.
Twining is a traditional weaving method, used by the Coast Salish. Other Indigenous groups have the same Traditional weaving method, though its name may differ.
Twining can made twisted handles of a clam basket. The sturdy meshed basketry of the basket is made by twining around uprights.
Students twine with grass and/or coloured wool.

Grades taught
Gr 2
Gr 3
Gr 4
Gr 5
Gr 6