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Top (spinner) - Pōtaka

Learning experience 5, Activity 3

Intended outcome(s)

The students could:

  • describe how their own feelings, beliefs, and actions in te ao kori activities, and those of others, contribute to their personal self-worth and hauora (well-being) (HPE 3 A4)

Suggested approach

Originally the pōtaka (the top) was made and cherished. This often competitive game involved spinning the top.

The students experiment with ways of spinning the top so that the top stays close by them. The students then share some easy tricks with each other as to how they get their tops to spin. Keeping the top spinning requires a whipping action. The top can be made of natural material, for example, a stripped harakeke (flax) leaf. A pine cone makes a very good top for a beginner.

The students attempt to complete the following sequence of skills in spinning the top.

  • Spinning the top close by them
  • Spinning the top inside a circle/square
  • Spinning a top to stay spinning for a long time
  • Spinning a top to hum.
Top (spinner) - Pōtaka

Duration: 00:39

The students then discuss and describe the activity and how they felt when the top spun/did not spin, when it toppled, when they mastered/did not master the skills.

The students, forming groups of four or five, experiment with ways in which they can support and encourage one another until all group members can spin their top in preparation for a group challenge. In relays, each student in the group moves their top around a course set out with cones in the shortest time possible. Each participant can have one other member of their group to help them whip their top if they wish.

The students could describe how they felt during the activity, and how this relates to hauora (well-being) by completing the following summary.

  • Taha tinana: Describe what you did in the activity.
  • Taha hinengaro: Describe what you felt and thought during the activity.
  • Taha whānau: Describe what other group members did that contributed to your positive and negative feelings.
  • Taha wairua: Describe what you felt about the total experience of the group activities and what you did to safeguard your own hauora through the use of assertive skills.