1 June 2018

M A T A R I K I 2018



Many kaiako are looking for new activities and resources to acquire deeper understandings of Matariki. There is so much information available now and with some creativity there is no need to have to resort to just colouring in a bunch of gold stars.
At a recent wānanga I held we work-shopped some fun activities to deepen our knowledge  of recent findings by Māori astronomy experts (Tōhunga kōkōrangi) around Matariki.
There are various Matariki stories and Rangi Matamua mentions in his awesome book the stories we have come to use as reliable pūrākau. However, many of these stories have been “borrowed” from Greek myths and do not have Māori origins or understandings.
Recently there has been a resurgence in Māori astronomy. This makes it possible to  access  Māori information around the stars and their meanings. Astronomy was woven into so many aspects of Māori life and was indeed part of every season and played a big part in survival.
Findings have shown that there are in fact nine stars visible in the Matariki cluster and these whetū were the original cluster of stars that Māori used to navigate. They were seen as tohu for how the year was going to pan out.
Did you know that each of these stars have a domain that they connect to?


Rehua and Matariki are the parents who produced the whetū in this cluster and each has its own purpose and meaning.
Waipunarangi (female)-The rain.
Waitī (female)-Streams, fresh water and the creatures within.
Waitā (male)-Te moana, the sea, and the many foods gathered from it.
Tupuārangi (male)-Kai from above. Birds and berries.
Tupuānuku (female)-Kai from below. Food grown in the earth.
Ururangi (male)-The wind.
Pōhutukawa (female)-Remembering those who have passed on.
Hiwa-i-te-rangi (female)-Wishing star.

Wondering about where to start when introducing Matariki?

This resource begins with the story of Tāwhirimātea and how his eyes came to be the stars of Matariki. Hence the name “Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea.” The Eyes of the God Tāwhirimātea ”or Mata ariki.

The story comes with beautiful colourful illustrations and a black and white version, so your learners can re-write their own stories. You could also make a sequence story or a class collaborative pūrākau.
One bonus of this resource are the magnetic pictures included. 

These can be cut out, magnets placed on the backs and your learners can interact with them making up their own versions or retelling the story. At the workshop each rōpū had part of the story to retell and then we put them all together. This is a great activity to be added to your reading or language choices. You or your learners could add dialogue-fill in speech bubbles or act out the scenes. You could add different backgrounds and drawings, take photos and add to seesaw. This is a good opportunity to add kīwaha or kupu Māori as part of the conversations between characters.


Now it’s time to talk about each star and its domain. This resource has 9 posters of each of the whetū with pictures as prompts to remember their domains.
This can help you come up with more activities or Inquiry.


For example you could talk about Ururangi-the rain star and Waitī and Waitā in a conversation or activities around the water cycle. “Wai” means water. Or how about making shaving cream clouds as an experiment on how clouds form, or evaporation experiments. Get creative!


The collaborative poster “Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea” is wicked! It fits in nicely with the Matariki collaborative (same size) and we had heaps of fun working with each other to get the right colours. This has 25 pieces and would be awesome for teachers or whānau to complete too.
If you wanted to talk about Ururangi and how like Tāwhirimātea he influences the wind you could use this template included in the resource or make your own manu aute, manu tukutuku or manu kāhu (kites).

As well as all of this there are the popular star ball decorations and tirama tirama, the te reo version of twinkle twinkle.

The star balls are one per A4 sized paper. I think they would be a good activity for a small group-each responsible for one of the whetū.

This is definitely a great addition to your Matariki kete mātauranga!
If you are looking for an awesome Matariki resource I can recommend this one!
We had fun 😊

 (Whole School License)
Would your learners like this Freebie Matariki card?
If it looks familiar its the same picture as the Matariki Collaborative :-)



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