With our crowded curriculum, it is almost impossible to cover all subject areas without a level of integration. Matariki is a great topic to integrate across subject areas as it easily links into social studies, science, te reo Māori, social studies, drama, visual arts…and the list goes on. Read on for some practical suggestions on exploring Matariki across the curriculum.
The Benefits of Exploring Matariki across the curriculum
An integrated curriculum is great because:
- It is basically impossible to fit everything we need to teach into the school days we have available.
- Students have higher retention of knowledge as concepts are reinforced throughout the day, rather than just during one subject.
- A theme or concept is explored from a variety of learning styles and multiple intelligences, catering to more students. Differentiation and inclusion = woohoo!
I have hunted out some links to help you explore Matariki through a range of curriculum areas!
Exploring Matariki through Science
The discipline of Astronomy is closely linked to Matariki, which is a star cluster.
- Stardome has a useful section within their website on Māori astronomy and the science of stars.
- Stardome have also put together a teacher guide entitled: Facts, Resources, and Activities on Matariki – Space/Time Guide. Click here to download this free PDF.
- The Science Learning Hub has some great information on exploring the Matariki star cluster through science. Don’t miss the useful links section at the bottom of the page!
- Sciblogs has a great blog post that references the work of Waikato astronomy researcher Dr Rangi Mātāmua, who we have referenced in previous blog posts.
Exploring Matariki through Visual Arts
In my previous blog post, 5 Ways to Introduce Matariki, I listed a bunch of great Matariki art ideas. You can read about these and follow the links provided here.
Exploring Matariki through Drama, Dance and Music
There are many Pūrakau or Māori Myths and Legends that tell the story of Matariki.
- Ngā Mata o te Ariki Tāwhirimātea – The Eyes of the God Tāwhirimātea
- Matariki and the Six Sisters
- The Seven Fish of Matariki
The performing arts are a powerful and engaging way for students to tell these traditional stories. Students can retell a myth through:
- Writing and performing a dramatic retelling on stage
- Creating a soundscape that captures the essence of the story through instruments
- Interpretive dance
Exploring Matariki through Social Studies
Matariki provides opportunities to explore how traditions and customs are passed from generation to generation.
- The website NZ History has some useful ideas on how to explore Matariki through Social Studies.
- The Matariki Collection at NZ On Screen has a wide range of videos and documentaries that explore Matariki and the Māori culture.
- The Māori Language Commission has put together a great information booklet (in both English and te reo Māori) that explores Matariki’s ancient past. There are some great whakatauki (proverbs) at the rear of the booklet. Click here to access this free PDF.
Exploring Matariki through Literacy
There are many ways to explore Matariki through reading, writing and visual language. In fact, this is where I come in. I truly believe that my resources will help you to explore Matariki in creative ways that engage your students. Let me show you how!
Matariki Scavenger Hunt Puzzle Poster
Our popular scavenger hunt range gets a Matariki twist with this engaging puzzle poster. Students work in pairs, groups or individually to hunt for facts to complete each puzzle piece.
Your students will learn about the history of Matariki, Matariki celebrations today, and the nine Matariki stars (updated with the latest research).
Matariki Reading Comprehension Passages and Questions
Our Year 5-8 and Year 3 and 4 Matariki Reading Comprehension Passages and Questions feature higher order thinking, differentiate passages and unique follow up activities.
- Learn about the history of Matariki and how it is celebrated today
- Discover two pūrākau (Māori myths) about Matariki
- Engage your students in a range of interesting follow-up activities
- Practice multiple reading comprehension strategies such as sequencing, using prior knowledge, summarising, finding specific information, asking questions, and making connections.
Matariki 3D Star Activity
Matariki Visual Language Activity
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Matariki Digital Reading Activities
Go paperless with our Matariki Digital reading comprehension resource!
- Paperless digital resource using google slides.
- Learn about the history of Matariki, investigate how Matariki is celebrated today.
- Explore Matariki myths and legends.
- Includes four passages (at two levels) with six-eight unique slides of engaging text-dependent questions and higher order thinking interactive tasks.
Engage your students in the Māori New Year celebrations with our interactive Matariki digital scavenger hunt and puzzle pack. Your students will learn about the history of Matariki, Matariki celebrations today, and the nine Matariki stars (updated with the latest research).
How about a discounted bundle?
Let us save you time this Matariki season with our Matariki Activities Bundle: a range of fantastic Matariki literacy resources featuring Reading, Writing, Social Studies and creative thinking activities. Perfect for the NZ (New Zealand) classroom and your guided reading and literacy program! Grab a bargain today.
Did you say Freebie?
I have two great freebies for you. You can access them both by signing up to our email newsletter.
The first is a set of follow-up activities for the wonderful Matariki picture book “The Stolen Stars of Matariki.“ by Miriama Kamo. I highly recommend checking it out. The stunning illustrations by Zak Waipara are just ataahua (beautiful)! The Stolen Stars of Matariki is a story about two children, Sam and Te Rerehua, visiting Grandma and Pōua at Te Mata Hāpuku (Birdling’s Flat). They realise that the cheeky Patupaiarehe have stolen two of the Matariki stars and… I won’t ruin the rest for you!
The second freebie is a set of Matariki Display Letters. Print in colour, laminate, and cut out each letter to make a stunning display heading.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com. I am happy to help!
Onwards and upwards,