Matariki {Let’s celebrate Māori New Year!}


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Did you know that the Matariki constellation is called ‘Subaru’ in Japan? Or that although we can normally only see 6-7 stars with the naked eye, there are actually over 400 included in the Matariki cluster?

This 56 page mini booklet pack is designed to support your classroom discussions about Matariki. It was created to address the lack of easy to use resources for primary aged children – you can mix and match from the large selection of pages to best meet the needs of your class! *Also included in this resource is a large wall display banner and a set of word wall cards (scroll down for more information).

56 page ‘Let’s celebrate Matariki’ Booklet ~ page topics include:

• What is Matariki? (the basics)
• Information about how the date of Matariki is determined (both now and in the past)
• The importance of Matariki as a marker in the Māori calendar (for harvesting and planting)
• Whakapapa (genealogy) and its connection to Matariki
• Mapping challenge – locate and mark on the map the other cultures around the world that celebrate the Pleiades constellation
• Yum! What foods were traditionally harvested around Matariki?
• Pākau (Kites) and their connection to Matariki celebrations
• Myths and legends about Matariki. What myths do your iwi have about Matariki? Find out and record
• My Whanau (family – why family is an important part of Matariki celebrations)
• A selection of Matariki themed colouring pages
• Let’s celebrate! What are your favourite party foods and music?
• What’s going on in your community? Research and record some local events that mark Matariki
• Matariki can/has/is graphic organiser
• Top tips about how and when to go star gazing
• Specific instructions and diagram to show where exactly in the sky you need to look to view Matariki
• Add the vowels to complete the Matariki themed words
• The moving heavens – draw a map to show where the moon and sun rise and set at your house/school
• Matariki themed word find
• Information about the phases of the moon
• What does the word MATARIKI translate to in English?
• What are the names of the 9 brightest stars in the Matariki constellation? Use a highlighter to match the names to the picture
• The role of Papatūānuku in Matariki celebrations – what can you do to help the environment?
• A selection of places to include photographs or sketches
• Read some Matariki books and record 3 new facts
• Things to think about……. Why do you think Matariki was not celebrated after the 1940’s until recently? How do you think Matariki will be celebrated 100 years from now? Etc.
• Glossary – use a Māori dictionary to look up the meanings of a selection of words contained in the booklet
• Translate me! Use a Māori dictionary to translate some selected words
• Compare and contrast Matariki day celebrations in the past, with events today
• Astronomical facts as they relate to the Pleiades/Matariki constellation
• What nocturnal animals might you see out at night while star gazing? Make a list of creatures that are local to your area.
• Matariki scavenger hunt – how many of these things can you see or do? E.g. hear a Matariki song, see someone with a torch, eat something delicious, find someone who can say ‘happy New Year’ in another language etc…..
• A selection of Matariki themed blank writing templates
• Matariki true or false questions (plus answers)
• Record some Matariki adjectives
• Matariki was a time for setting goals for the New Year. Record some learning and personal goals
• Find 3 people who……. (Have seen Matariki; who can identify a constellation; who can spell Matariki etc.)
• 10 Matariki themed challenges e.g. have a sleep over with your family (under the stars, in a tent or in your lounge!) Tell family stories and share memories of the years that have been before….Have a feast with family or friends and give thanks – you could explore some traditional Māori food like hangi, rewena (Māori bread), kumara or shellfish. Talk with your Mum and Dad about their memories of being allowed to stay up late, going camping or watching the stars when they were young.

This resource also contains:

• A large Matariki wall display banner (assembled using four A4 sheets in landscape format)
• Small mini poster (in colour and black and white) perfect for adding to inquiry/topic books
• 22 Matariki vocabulary wall cards (for laminating and using on a wall display/word wall ~Most cards also include translations~)
• VOCAB INCLUDES: Matariki, Pleiades, Constellation/Kāhui Whetu, Māori New Year/Matariki, New Moon/Kōhiti, May/June/Haki-Haratua/Pipiri, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Winter/Hōtoke, Star/Whetu, Celebration/Whakahari, Reflection, Goal setting, Planning, Harvesting, Planting, Whanau/Family, Whakapapa/Genealogy, Marama/Moon, Pākau/Kite, Puanga/Rigel (the star), Ranginui/Sky Father, Papatūānuku/Earth Mother.