As a part of our team learning journey the teachers and children of Follett Street Kindergarten have been researching and learning the whakapapa (ancestory) for Papatūānuku (Mother Earth) and Ranginui (Sky Father). We have decided to have a focus on seven of their children; Tūmatauenga, Tāwhirimātea, Tāne Mahuta, Tangaroa, Rongomātāne, Haumia tiketike and Rūaumoko. We have introduced these Māori Gods to our children through the story In the Beginning and have aligned them with our Enviroschool kaupapa and current internal evaluation.
We plan to teach this through a variety of mediums during the day including conversations, stories, art and wall displays. We read the story In the Beginning to the children, weaving the story into the weather and discussions from last week about the change in seasons. Later we followed up with a korero with the children more specifically about Papatūānuku and the types of things we will find on her, revisiting last terms learning around New Zealand. We then revisited the story In the Beginning this time with a focus on Papatūānuku and Ranginui’s children (The Māori Gods). We used visual personifications of each ‘God’ and talked about their responsibilities.
We are really impressed with the feedback from our whānau about the information children are sharing at home. This indicates to us that children are enjoying and retaining what we have been teaching. We hope this learning will become a natural part of everyday conversation around the kindergarten.
This current focus will support us in the introduction of Matariki (The Māori New Year) during the Month of June.