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Exploring a local story

This video describes how children from Kidsfirst Kindergartens Lyttelton learn about the great Māori navigator Tamatea Pōkai Whenua.

  • Transcript

    Transcript Transcript

    (Kaiako Cathy Wall talking to the camera)

    CATHY: My name is Cathy Wall. I work at Kidsfirst Kindergarten.

    (Exterior and interior of kindergarten)

    (Ships in Lyttelton Port)

    We are in Lyttelton which is in Te Waipounamu, the South Island, and we're in a busy port town.

    Tamatea Pōkai Whenua is a Māori adventurer from the 1300s who travelled around Aotearoa.

    (Tamariki sitting inside their kindergarten)

    We were first introduced to this story by a colleague who created a book about his adventures in Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour. So there are several different versions out there about Tamatea’s adventure.

    (Tamariki acting out the story of Tamatea)

    We were able to consult with our local iwi and really make sure that we were doing the version of the pakiwaitara that they were happy with.

    Initially we started with the picture book. Once they had started to retell the story themselves with the picture book we moved on to making a model of Te Poho o Tamatea, which is the maunga/the mountain in the story. They then used this model along with props to retell the story. Then we noticed that they were taking elements and concepts from this pakiwaitara and using it in their own play. We wanted them to really think about what it would have felt like to be Tamatea and his whānau out on Whakaraupō.

    (Tamariki in their cardboard waka reenacting the story)

    So we supported them to reenact the story and to make a backdrop and resources that they needed. So they are now retelling the story through drama.

    (Tamariki moving black silhouettes on a light box and using figures on a felt board)

    Some of the resources we’ve created have included silhouettes that we've used on overhead projectors and on lightboxes. Our children are now at the point where they know this pakiwaitara so well that they can even make and illustrate their own books.

    (Three tamariki sitting on a couch, with a child showing her book to the other two tamariki)

    We have one child who has retold me the whole story and then done all the illustrations and she now shares that book with her peers and her whānau. She's very proud of herself.

    (Kaiako Cathy Wall talking to the camera)

    So her being able to tell this story and create the book tells me that she has a very in-depth understanding about this pakiwaitara and how it affects people around them in her own whānau. She's added elements on that really are important to her.

    (Tamariki watching the reenactment)

    Most of the tamariki were involved in the reenactment but some were still observing so we wanted to ensure that these children had another means of retelling a story and deepening their understanding.

    (A child using a storytelling app and moving around the figures in the story)

    We introduced a storytelling app that they were able to use quietly by themselves to really express what they understood. Then we were able to share this digital platform with peers and whānau.

    (Children using clay and drawing with crayons)

    The children also use paintings, drawing utensils, and clay to represent their understandings.

    (Artwork hung throughout the kindergarten)

    We've made books and we celebrate all their artwork throughout the kindergarten. So this really in-depth look at this one pakiwaitara has given the children the opportunity to really explore their understanding.

    (Tamariki acting out the story during the reenactment and outside play)

    They think a lot and talk a lot about what it would have been like to live in Aotearoa hundreds of years ago. What the clothing would have been like, what food would have been like, what the means of transport were, even what the family structure was like. We've really been able to explore the story and unpack it with them.

    (Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour with the traffic going past)

    We’ve now discovered that the children are going home and telling their whānau members about Tamatea – where he's been and what his adventures have included and also where our landmarks in our local community have come from. As kaiako we have really come to understand how important it is for children to value their place in the community and have a feeling of belonging. Through this pakiwaitara they've been able to have an understanding of this and make links with the local landforms, the local iwi, just the whole local community. That's really strengthened their sense of identity.


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