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Te wānanga o ngā manu: Teachers' notes

 The following topics are covered in this page. To skip down the page to a specific topic, click on the relevant link:

Introduction

Welcome to the teachers' notes for the 'Te wānanga o ngā manu' interactive on Te Kete Ipurangi. These notes aim to provide you with ideas and support to implement 'Te wānanga o ngā manu' interactive into a wider classroom programme about New Zealand native birds.

The 'Te wānanga o ngā manu' interactive enables students to investigate the connection between birds and the art of the taiaha in mātauranga Māori.

Students explore:

  • the movements of different native birds
  • how these movements were observed by Māori
  • how these observations have influenced the development of the art form, mau taiaha.

This resource supports objectives in the science and pūtaiao curriculum statements and also parts of Te Aho Matua.

There are also extensive opportunities to incorporate this resource into other wider classroom programmes related to the living world including the environment, Māori and the natural world, Tānemahuta (god of the forest), and dance and movement.

How to use these notes

The 'Te wānanga o ngā manu' interactive has been developed for incorporation into a wider classroom programme about New Zealand native birds as part of the living world.

These notes provide:

  • links to the curriculum
  • new words
  • learning experiences
  • assessment examples and indicators
  • links to other resources about native birds of New Zealand.

You may find it helpful to have read some of the background information from the links provided in these notes before introducing the topic of New Zealand native birds to your students.

Consider:

  • the important Māori cultural beliefs and practices associated with birds
  • the way that bird calls and cries are mimicked in whaikōrero and waiata
  • the significance that birds are attributed in Māori proverbs and myths
  • the feature of birds in different material art forms including tukutuku (decorative panels), whakairo (carving), raranga (weaving)
  • the importance of native birds to the survival of early eastern Polynesians when they first arrived here in New Zealand.

Find out what your students already know about the different kinds of native birds in New Zealand. You could begin with a brainstorming session working either in small groups or as a class, to list all the native birds that your students know.

Further discussion could include:

  • the different ways that birds can be classified (for example, flightless birds, sea birds, birds of the forest, endangered, extinct)
  • their different habitats
  • what they eat
  • the different features each bird has and the reasons why.

You could use a think, pair and share technique for this discussion.

You could share some pictorial resources of different native birds to introduce the topic and to encourage discussion. The pictures could be used to facilitate discussion around the topic.

Once students have been introduced to the topic, you could implement the 'Te wānanga o ngā manu' interactive into the programme.

Provide support for any of the new words that may be unfamiliar to students by writing them on the whiteboard and including them in discussions with your students. A list of new words is provided in these notes.

Achievement objectives

Strand: The Living World Level: 1 and 2
Evolution

  • Recognise that there are lots of different living things in the world and that they can be grouped in different ways.

The New Zealand Curriculum: Science

Strand: The Living World Level: 4
Evolution

  • Begin to group plants, animals, and other living things into science-based classifications.

The New Zealand Curriculum: Science

New words

Below are some of the words that your students will meet while using the interactive and engaging in the proposed activities.

Āio calm, at peace
Āta titiro look carefully, observe
Caution care, concern, watchfulness
Evasion dodging
Haere mai welcome
Mobility moveability, how well or easily you can move around
Nau mai welcome
Ngā tohu ā nuku the signs below, on the ground or around
Ngā tohu ā rangi the signs from above, in the air on the sky
Observe watch, examine, study
Pesky annoying
Te wao nui a Tāne the forest of Tāne (god of the forest)
Unpredictability changeability, not sure how something will change or what something will do

Names of the birds

Pūkeko a swamp hen
Tītīwaiwaka fantail
Weka woodhen

Learning experiences

Students could:

  • Collect pictures of birds and make pictorial identification charts by placing birds in appropriate groups.
  • Investigate and design a chart to show the different phases of the life cycle of a selected bird.
  • Investigate birds as a food source for Māori when they first arrived in Aotearoa. Students could investigate how Māori people caught birds and the tools they used. Students could also explore other uses that Māori people had for birds (i.e. feathers for weaving).
  • Discuss and investigate the similarities and differences between features of different native birds. Students could write their observations in a table. See the 'Characteristics of native birds of New Zealand' table below.
  head beak wings legs colour eyes
pūkeko            
weka            
tītīwaiwaka            
kiwi            
tūī            
kākāpō            
tōroa            
  • Learn the taiaha movements demonstrated in the 'Te wānanga o ngā manu' interactive. The book Māori Haka and Games by Alan Armstrong, 2005, Reed Publishing Auckland, provides a description of some taiaha movements to further extend students' learning.

Other learning experiences

  • Visit a local bird reserve to observe the birds in their natural habitats.
  • Investigate tikanga associated with mau rākau. The book Māori Haka and Games by Alan Armstrong, 2005, Reed Publishing Auckland, provides a description of some different taiaha movements. The Tū strategies website also provides useful information.
  • Investigate different Māori stories and legends that feature birds.
  • Design a poster showing the different endangered bird species in New Zealand and their predators.
  • Explore the whakataukī:

"Hūtia te rito o te harakeke
Kei whea te kōmako e kō?
Ka kī mai koe ki ahau
He aha te mea nui o te ao?
Māku e kī atu
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata."

"When you slice open the heart of the flax plant
Where will the kōmako sing?
You ask me
What is the most important thing in this world?
I say
It is people, it is people, it is people."

  • Students could explore how this whakataukī could be incorporated into the classroom. Discussion could be facilitated around what its relevance is today in contemporary Aotearoa. Students could also explore other whakataukī that include birds.

Assessment examples

Teachers and students could assess the students':

  • ability to identify the different characteristics of birds, when students collect pictures of birds and place them in appropriate groups to make pictorial charts
  • understanding of the life cycle of birds when students draw a chart to show the different phases of the life cycle
  • understanding of general functions of the main parts of birds when students discuss similarities and differences between features of different birds.

Suggested assessment indicators

  • Students will be achieving at level 2 when they can talk about their observations.

This relates to achievement objective: recognise that there are lots of different living things in the world and that they can be grouped in different ways.

  • Students will be achieving at level 4 when they can present what they did and what they found out in their investigations in ways and forms appropriate to their peer group.

This relates to achievement objective: begin to group plants, animals, and other living things into science-based classifications.

Related links

Websites about New Zealand native birds

https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/

http://www.kcc.org.nz/

http://www.maori.org.nz/slideshow/category.php?CategoryID=11

http://kakaporecovery.org.nz/kakapo-habitat/

Māori beliefs and customs about native birds

http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/maorimyths.html

http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/maorikites.html

Resources

http://www.ngamanu.co.nz/




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