top of page

Connecting with Ururangi

A set of fun and mindful activities that support tamariki to learn more about Ururangi and the environment we live in

A little background...

Ururangi is the highest star in the Matariki cluster and connects with the wind, atmospheric conditions, and the sky. Traditionally it was used to predict the movement of the wind, for example when navigating across oceans.  In Maori storytelling (pūrākau), Tāwhirimātea, is the God (atua) of weather, controlling the wind, thunder, lightning, clouds, and storms. 

Tāwhirimātea was one of Papatūānuku (the earth mother) and Ranginui’s (the sky father) six sons. The parents were very close, and as the children lived cramped together beneath them, they seldom saw any light. The sons became frustrated with the darkness of their world, believing that it was caused by the closeness of their parents. They decided to separate Papatūānuku and Ranginui but Tāwhirimātea did not agree. As the brothers forced their parents apart, light flooded the earth. Tāwhirimātea became enraged, and tore out his eyes, throwing them upward to the sky. It is said that this is how the whetū of Matariki came to be. Legend says that Tāwhirimātea now adjusts the weather, depending on how he is feeling. When he is content and forgiving of his brothers, the weather is calm and fine, with a slow, gentle, breeze. However, if Tāwhirimātea is feeling sad, hurt, or angry, he showers the earth with storms, strong winds, and turbulent weather.

Our ideas...

Tāwhirimātea waita
We love this waita about Tāwhirimātea for younger tamariki.


Flying a kite

Flying a kite is a fantastic way to explore the wind and how it changes from day to day. In this video Aaron from our team, demonstrates how to make a kite for Matariki. Get tamariki in groups and encourage them to work together to create a Matariki kite to fly, and later display in the classroom.

A simple kōrero with tamariki

Take the time to kōrero with ākonga about how Tāhwirimātea expresses his emotions through the weather. Talk about which emotion might be a slow, gentle, breeze, or which might be a strong, buffeting wind. What about a thunderstorm? Or a bright sunny day? This is an awesome way for tamariki to think about what emotions feel like, and put a name to them. 

Tāwhirimātea kanikani

Another way to explore and express emotions is through dance. Head outside, put on some music and have tamariki dance like a particular weather, for example, “dance like you’re the wind”, or “bolts of lightning”. Have ākonga think about what their energy levels might be, or how their bodies might move differently for each weather type. 

If you would like a more challenging and physical dance interpretation of Tāwhirimātea, check out this awesome clip from Māori Movement.


Sharing the pūrākau of Tāwhirimātea
We love this video which shares the pūrākau of Tāwhirimātea. It’s great for older ākonga.

Whānau engagement

Encourage tamaiki to share their Ururangi learning with whānau. You could even send home Aaron from our team's video to support whānau to create their own kite at home

bottom of page