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Connecting with Waipuna-ā-rangi

A set of ka rawe activities that explore the rain and its continuous cycle, allowing tamariki to follow the path water follows as it moves around the earth.  

Firstly, the science...

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

Why this activity?

Waipuna-ā-rangi is connected to the rain and atmospheric conditions. It links strongly to other whetū by providing nourishment to Papatūānuku and enhancing the mauri of Tupu-ā-nuku and Tupu-ā-rangi.

What to do


Creative rain artwork

Create rain artwork - Explain that tamariki are going to create art by dropping ‘rain’ onto their paper. Talk about how they will keep the silhouette of the child dry. You’ll need: Liquid watercolour paints, paint droppers or pipettes, silhouette provided by Manahau, masking tape, heavy cardstock or watercolour paper.

  1. Either draw or print the silhouettes onto the cardstock or paper.

  2. Cover the silhouette with masking tape leaving the umbrella exposed. This will ‘protect’ the silhouette from the rain.

  3. Place the pictures on an angle, leaning back slightly (an easel or stiff cardboard will do the trick). Tamariki then fill their droppers and gently squeeze the paint onto the paper, letting it run down like raindrops on a window. Try using 2 to 3 colours for interest.

  4. The final step is to remove the masking tape and reveal the dry silhouette! Take a minute to korero about the flow of the rain (paint) and keeping the image dry.

Understanding the water cycle

We love this video to make sense of rain or this one a short introduction to the water cycle

For older rangatahi discuss the different forms of precipitation (rain, sleet, snow, hail) and why these occur. Consider what happens when we have a few days of rain in a row. Why does the water pool into puddles, and why do river/lake levels rise? What needs to happen for puddles to disappear or river levels to drop? This is a fantastic graphic showing the water cycle in more depth

Kaiako card

To come

Whānau engagement

Encourage tamaiki to do this activity again at home with whānau. Ask them to reflect on how the environment at home is different from that at school.

And to add to this...

Add a post to your school or whānau page showing the wonderful artwork or colouring tamariki have done.

Curriculum links

Health and PE Curriculum 

Personal Health and physical development: A2 - Regular physical activity

Movement concepts and motor skills: B1 - Movement skills

Science Curriculum

Investigating in science: Extend their experiences and personal explanation of the natural world through exploration, play, asking questions, and discussing simple models.

Planet Earth and Beyond: Appreciate that water, air, rocks, and soil, and life forms make up our planet and recognise that these are also Earth’s resources.

Interacting systems: Investigate the water cycle and its effect on climate, landforms and life.

The Arts Curriculum

Visual arts: Apply knowledge of selected conventions from established practice, using appropriate processes and procedures. 

Developing ideas: Investigate visual ideas in response to a variety of motivations, observations, and imagination.

Communicating and Interpreting: Share the ideas, feelings, and stories communicated by their own and others’ objects and images. 

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