New Zealand Flax {Fun & Facts Harakeke booklet}


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Are you and your class exploring technology, art or culture through the amazingly engaging medium of flax? Then this ‘Humble Harakeke’ resource is exactly what you need! It’s packed full of fun facts and a wide variety of activities designed to appeal to all your learners (boys and girls)…


*This resource also includes the (printable) posters from our popular harakeke blog post!


40 page ‘Hooray for Harakeke’ booklet ~ topics covered include:

• What can I cut? Māori view the flax bush as a family – learn more about what part of the flax bush you can cut and why
• Harakeke eye spy – how many of these harakeke related sights, sounds and touches can you complete?
• Adjectives – add some flax describing words to the weaving
• What’s that part of the plant called? Read the detailed description, and then use the information to match the keywords to the illustration (3 pages covering labelling the flax bush, flax leaf and kōrari (flower stem)
• Add the vowels to complete the harakeke themed words
• Harakeke & raranga ‘can/has/is’ writing prompt template
• Flax harvesting protocols and rules
• Harakeke uses by early Māori – illustrate the words & label the pictures
• Complete the glossary of flax related words
• Do you know any weavers? What’s their story?
• Let’s play! Draw a little cartoon picture to match the descriptions traditional Māori toys made of harakeke
• Make a plan for your own toy created out of some part of the flax plant
• Match the word shapes to the harakeke themed words
• Māori creation traditions – did you know that weaving has its own whakapapa/genealogy?
• Flax strip or fibre? Venn diagram sorting task
• Harakeke whakatauki (proverb)
• Frames spaces for including your own writing and photographs of your topic work
• Did you know it’s customary to give any the first piece of woven work you make? Who would you give it to and why? What did you learn from making this first piece that could help make the second one even better?
• Harakeke fact true or false
• Did you know that during the NZ wars, some Māori made types of harakeke armour to slow the impact of musket balls if hit? What do you think the armour looked like? Draw your design
• Find and sketch – what can you see on a flax bush?
• Read and match – draw a line to match the harakeke item words to the pictures
• Harakeke themed word find
• Very brief overview of harakeke flax use in NZ from 1250-2015 (please refer to our ‘timeline of Harakake/flax use in NZ’ resource for a more comprehensive information
• Things to think about….. (e.g. people often buy little ‘flax kete’ from their local dollar stores, but they’re not made in NZ and certainly not from flax!)
• Choose one of the amazing flax facts listed to share with an audience through music, artwork or acting….
• Korowai (cloaks) were often made using woven flax fibre and decorated with a variety of different things. Use the space to design your own korowai
• 10 Harakeke themed challenges (e.g. watch some youtube clips about weaving in Aotearoa and around the world, make a little waka out of the flax flower stems etc.)
• Flax themed acrostic poem template