Tuesday, 25 June 2013

In the Beginning ... the story of how light came to Aotearoa

The story of “In the Beginning” retold Peter Gossage is one of the stories we read in acknowledgement of our Bi-cultural heritage.  Some of the children have embraced the story and we have extended it by integrating it into our art area with props of each of the 6 brothers.  Tu – the God of man and war is often a popular one with the boys,  Tane – the Guardian of the Forest is strong and kind.   I suspect they identify with Tu’s power and Tane’s strength.
Tane - the Guardian of the Forest

Tu - the God of Man and war

The story reads, “In the beginning were Rangi the father and Papa  (papatuanuku – the earth mother).  Many sons were born into the darkness between them…Some of the brothers tired of their cramped, dark life between their parents.  They decided something must be done.”

Tane is the one who finally manages to push apart his father (Rangi) and mother – (papatuanuku – the earth mother).  Tangaroa – the guardian of the sea with it’s lovely colours attracts the girls.  Tawhirimatea,  Haumia and Rongo are noted for their peaceful approach, so many of the children are drawn to this caring, nurturing image. 

“Rangi flew up into the air and light streamed in.  Then Tane clothed his mother in trees, flowers and ferns and dressed his father with rainbows, clouds stars and the sun (te Ra) and moon (te Marama)…..Now, when it rains, the Maori say that Rangi, the sky father, is crying for his lost love, Papa, the earth mother.”

Mason draws, paints and cuts out his Tu.




This is Katie's illustration of Rongo - you can see the wonderful attention to detail, a great likeness! 

The interest in the story has increased and developed with conversations, drawings, screen-prints, story reading and dramatization. 

Ethan, Thomas and Finlay are using screen printing, drawing  and painting to illustrate their perspective of Tane.
Amani illustrates Tangaroa, Guardian of the Sea  (above)   “I gonna do her  hair, she pretty.” 
Finn illustrates Haumia, Guardian of wild and uncultivated foods, a peaceful character in this story.
Lucas has chosen to prepare and make a lovely screen print of Haumia
During mat time has been an opportunity to revisit and retell the story, and give children the chance to share their understanding and participate in discussion about which character they identify with and why.

Francesca – “I like Tane ‘cause he’s nice but I don’t like Tu ‘cause he wanted to kill his parents”!


Ruby C – “I like him because he’s kind” (Rongo)

Dramatization of the story (a shortened version) enable the children to act out the story and develop the understanding of how these characters would feel.

  Tane, Guardian of the Forest, insects and birds, played by Thomas
Tu, God of Man & War played by Finlay
Tawhirimatea, God of the wind and storms played by Francesca
Tangaroa, Guardian of the Sea, played by Ava
Haumia, Guardian spirit of wild and uncultivated foods, played by Ethan
Rongo, God of Peace and Agriculture, played by Ruby

All the children of Rangi (the Sky Father) and Papatuanuku (the Earth Mother) are in the darkness, not being able to stretch and grow.  After a lot of discussion between the brothers...

 ... finally Tane stretches his legs and pushes Rangi away from Papatuanuku...

 ...with a little help from all the other children...
....the light streamed in!
 We have linked this story to the theory of Creation through a lovely book by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen – “Wonderful Earth” – this gave us another perspective to consider.
These wonderful stories enable our children to participate, to look at our environment through another lens, a cultural perspective; it gives meaning, it helps children to make connections with nature and hopefully a respect for nature and all its living things.
Who knows where this passage will take us….
As we continue to review our new outdoor environment, it will be interesting to see how our children find ways to make connections between this story and our own environment and use their knowledge to making meaning in their own context during their learning experiences.  
Documented by Karen and Leanne

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The ukulele orchestra continues.

The teachers continue on their journey with playing the ukulele and were delighted to be joined by a new member Ava who brought her beautiful pink ukulele to kindergarten to-day. She was delighted to discover that it was exactly the same as Dale's and once Dale had tuned it for her and showed her how to play the C chord they settled into to a little jam session . Later in the morning Ava was invited to join the teachers in their orchestra at mat time playing Twinkle, twinkle little star which everyone sang in English, then in Te Reo Maori using sign language at the same time. What a great player you proved to be Ava. Perhaps you could learn another chord to extend your repertoire.
Posted by Dale

Hurrah for the wind

Our Matariki celebrations continue.

Finally after making kites as part of our Matariki celebrations Tawhirimatea - the god of wind - smiled on the children and the kites were able to lift up towards Ranginui. The children have worked really hard at their kite making but on Tuesday and Wednesday there was not enough wind so they ran around flat out to try and get them to fly. However today was totally different and we even had one kite pull loose from its mooring on the fence and fly away. There was much singing of the Mary Poppins song ' Let's go fly a kite' which Helen had lent the Kindergarten and a especially fine rendition was provided by Ava.
We also revisited the  Maori Legend 'In the beginning" to look at the illustrator Peter Gossage's depiction of Tawhirimatea.
Our thanks to our student teacher Sarah who has worked with the children at this special activity.

Posted by Dale.

Monday, 10 June 2013

How do we celebrate Matariki at Kindergarten?

We have been celebrating Matariki by learning what is Matariki and how do we celebrate it?

Matariki is the Maori new year and it is indicated by the grouping of seven bright stars in the north east of the southern hemisphere.  Maori's would use the Matariki stars to know when to cultivate, prepare and plant their crops and the most important crop kumara.

It is a time a celebration with huge feasts, singing and dancing, followed by games and making things like kites, weaving, carving and story telling. It is also a time of remembering loved ones.

We have chosen cooking traditional receipes like the kumara chowder to give the children an experience of what tangata whenua may have eaten during those times.

The children have learned to co-operate with the tasks required to cook the chowder and everyone was keen to participate in different ways.

The children cooked Kumara Chowder with Suzi

First the children helped to peel the kumara.  It was quite challenging because "they are so bumpy".
Thanks for the support Samantha (Katie's Mum) and Becky  (Kane's Mum).


 Finley volunteered to peel the onions because this is something he does to help out his mum at home.
He felt quite proud of himself and he had a wonderful technique.

 ....and Finley was pretty good at chopping the onions too!

 Then after the kumera was cooked, everyone had a go at Mashing!!!!

we added butter and sour cream and milk and creamed corn... and of course we mustn't forget the onions!

 Then the taste test.... yummy!!

The Next Day:

The children made Crabbie Patties:

 Daniel helps to chop, rip and cut the silver beet.

 Then we grate in some cheese

Everyone had a turn at grating

Ava adds a little salt for taste

A little bit of this and a little bit of that....

Making the batter

and now we cook!

 and once again, our favourite part.... tasting!

But that's not all...  there is so much you can do to celebrate Matariki
We also made kites and flew them outside:
In ancient times, the kites were made to take messages to Ranginui the Sky Father.  They were usually made in the shape of a bird (manu).
The art of kite making has been revived in recent times to celebrate Matariki.