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Activity 1: Caring for the environment Te tiaki i te taiao

Intended outcome(s)

The students could:

  • take individual and collective action to contribute to te ao kori environments by establishing their own simple tikanga for collecting natural materials (HPE 1 D1 and 3)
  • establish their own tikanga and explain how this contributes to conservation and personal/group safety (HPE 2 D2)

Suggested approach

Introduce the idea to the students that, when they collect materials, they are taking things from the environment.

The students discuss what they know about caring for plants, trees, and the areas in which these things grow. In groups, the students develop guidelines for looking after Papatūānuku (Earth Mother).

The students brainstorm how they can care for their local and school environments and make a plan of action points for their class to help look after the resources in their school grounds.

Introduce tikanga associated with the collection of environmental materials and discuss how this might help the students in looking after themselves, others, and the environment.

The students discuss why tikanga is followed in collecting natural resources. This discussion may be assisted by local Māori who will best know the tikanga that is, used within their region in relation to the collection of natural resources.

Show the students pictures of bush, swamp, and coastal areas where they could collect materials that could be used for te ao kori activities, for example, leaves, harakeke (flax), raupō (bulrush), toetoe (sedge grass), pine cones.

Show the students pictures of raupō, toetoe, and harakeke so that they can see which parts of the plant they will gather. As a class, the students discuss and identify the characteristics of the plants, such as, shape, colour, where each plant grows, and which parts will be collected.

The students discuss the tikanga of how to look after the plants so they will continue to grow well. The students discuss how to cut, carry, and look after their gathered materials as they move from place to place and also how and where they should store the resources they collect.

Discuss and identify with the students possible dangers that could cause them physical harm. As a result of the discussion, establish simple guidelines that can be used when the students are collecting materials for te ao kori activities.