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Matariki whetū artwork

This is a really simple and effective way to create some art of the Matariki whetū. Pair this with your Matariki learning, or make in advance of your Matariki event for whānau to complete together.

Firstly, the science...

Creating artwork of the whetū during Matariki can provide a creative outlet for self-expression, promote a deeper connection with te taiao and te Ao Māori, foster mindfulness and relaxation, encourage storytelling and cultural preservation, and contribute to a sense of community and social connection through shared artistic experiences. Many lovely benefits for our oranga!

Why this activity?

This is a simple way to create some really effective art work of the Matariki whetū. We’d recommend you include this with some of your Matariki whetū learning, and if possible set up ready for your Matariki event so tamariki can complete this with their whānau and share the Matariki whetū pūrākau. 

You'll need

  • Sturdy paper 

  • Crayons or oil pastels 

  • Black paint (such as tempera paint)

  • Dish detergent

  • Paintbrushes

  • Toothpicks and/or cotton buds

What to do

Basically this is scratch art, which we thought would make an awesome maruāpō (night) rangi (sky) scene which tamariki could add the Matariki whetū to.


We think this is the best video with instructions, but we hear adding a little dishwashing liquid to the black paint makes for a better ‘texture’ and is easier to ‘scratch’. 


We also recommend drying the black cover paint before scratching… because we just know what kind of mess wet paint scratching is going to create! 


You might create these in advance of your Matariki event, then tamariki could create the whetū alongside their whānau as part of your celebration together.

Whānau engagement

We love the idea that you work with your tamariki to set these up ready to ‘scratch’ with their whānau at your Matariki event. This gives tamariki the opportunity to share their Matariki whetū pūrākau learning, while completing their artwork with whānau. 

And to add to this...

To keep the creativity flowing try out Matariki kōhatu (stones) and Ngahuru Mindful Colouring

Curriculum Links

Social Sciences Curriculum

Continuity and Change – Students learn about past events, experiences, and actions and the changing ways in which these have been interpreted over time.

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