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Connecting with Tupu-ā-rangi 

Connect with the Matariki whetū, Tupu-ā-rangi while planting some herbs and having a mindful moment

Firstly, the science...

Recognising Matariki as our new year contributes to the revitalisation of te Ao Māori fostering a strong sense of cultural identity, pride and in turn supports positive oranga (wellbeing). There are also many other hauora and oranga benefits which include connecting to and appreciating te taiao, engagement with our communities and Matariki also supports our sense of meaning, purpose and hope.

Why this activity?

Tupu-ā-rangi is connected to the kai that comes from the sky. Traditionally kererū were harvested around this time. Tupu-ā-rangi is also connected to the harvesting of elevated foods such as berries, fruits and foliage.

You'll need

  • Egg cartons, small pots or containers to plant into

  • Soil, potting mix or compost (be sure to plant outside)

  • Parsley or chive kākano (seeds) (but you could use vegetable seeds for tamariki to eventually take home. Or seedlings work just as well and would be guaranteed for Matariki festivities!

  • Watering cans or jugs

  • Trays to line your windowsill and stop water seepage

What to do

Begin introducing tamariki to Tupu-ā-rangi using the Matariki display, and the whetū connection to kai grown from the ground. You can use Aaron from our team’s video to support this

Kōrero about growing kai and who's had experience of this, what at the supermarket is grown from the ground. Kōrero about what nutrients plants need - soil, water, and sunlight.

Explain you'll be growing herbs for Matariki time, and that it will help make great kai, whether you tamariki take this home or use to make some kai or hupa (soup) to share at school.

Support tamariki to plant the kākano (seeds), kōrero about what the soil feels like on their hands, what they can smell, see, hear - connect to the experience. This might help with some terrific writing later too!

If using potting mix to plant your herbs take this as a moment to kōrero the importance of using gloves, PPE, and being safe when gardening.

Place the kākano (seed) pots in a sunny spot in your classroom and set tamariki up to water them regularly and check them to observe their growth.

For a mindful end to this activity while remembering that connection to manu, try our activity Manu of a feather, or some mindful colouring with our Manu of Aotearoa colouring sheet

Kaiako card

To come

Whānau engagement

Encourage tamariki to go home and share their planting experience with whānau, possibly even replicating it with other plants at home.

And to add to this...

Continue your Matariki learning with our assortment of Matariki activities. 

Curriculum links

Health and PE Curriculum Personal health and physical development: A3 - Safety management
Movement concepts and motor skills: B1 - Movement concepts and motor skills 
Movement concepts and motor skills: B2 - Positive attitudes
Relationships with other people: C1 - Relationships 
Relationships with other people: C3 - Interpersonal skills

Science Curriculum

Living world: Life processes, understanding the requirements all things have to stay alive and understanding that all living things grow in different ways
Living world: Ecology, understand why different life forms are suited to their environments.

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