Maatariki as a national celebration has developed while I was teaching overseas, so this is still a festival that I am catching up on. However, this year, I have really enjoyed exploring Maatariki with my class.
I used an art idea from NZ Teachers (Primary) Facebook group. It was interesting how the 3 teachers in NE all used the same idea, and produced completely different artworks with their kids. I also read a post about the names and meanings of the 9 brightest starts in the constellation. So, I decided to combine the placing the of the stars on their art with a lesson on mindfulness. I gave each child 9 star stickers and we named them one at a time and learned what they represent. The children then thought in silence about that element. It took about 30 mins to meditatively work our way through all 9 stars, so I was impressed at the patience of these little ones.
We then followed this up by writing a Matariki wish.
On top of this, the school held a Maatariki fun evening for families. It is an evening of cultural awareness and whanau. I was in charge of the poi making activity and we were absolutely inundated with kids and parents. Hundreds of poi must have been made that night.
Forever curious, always learning, deep thinking teacher. I am a New Entrant teacher and loving it.