Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Māori History

This week we jumped in to a bit of reading and research about the legendary Māori explorer Kupe. With our new Inquiry, Whāia Ngā Whetū (Follow the Stars), we are starting to think about what kind of place Whetūkairangi would've been when Kupe came across it over 800 years ago.

We know how beautiful our view is - now we are wondering what the tāngata whenua might've been thinking about as they gazed out at the same magnificent scene. 
We are also starting to think about things like the staggering distances covered by Māori travellers at that time, in waka hourua, or twin-hulled waka. We watched a fascinating video about Hekenukumai (Hek) Busby, who built a waka hourua and sailed to Rarotonga to recreate a journey like that of Kupe.

Hekenukumai (Hek) Busby - a great leader and tohunga (skilled person)
The most exciting part about all this is the many connections we are making with other learning areas. Not only are we building our understanding of Te Ao and Te Reo Māori, we are also developing our skills in English Literacy - reading, watching and listening to heaps of interesting stuff! There was also a chance to put our character writing skills to good use in describing Hek Busby. There are chances for Mathematics learning around Māori navigation and construction techniques and, the Arts! Don't even get us started on the Arts...

You can watch the video here: https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/kupe-voyaging-by-the-stars-1993


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