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  • There are nine whetū/stars in the star cluster Matariki. In te ao Māori, each whetū holds dominion over a particular area of wellbeing and the environment.

    Te iwa o Matariki

    Matariki is the name for the cluster of stars that signals the beginning of the Māori new year. Drag and drop each star's label to its location in the star cluster.

    In this activity, students use online and/or paper-based resources to identify and label the nine whetū in Matariki and learn about their associations with wellbeing and the environment.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • identify the name and location of each star in the Matariki star cluster
    • recognise te ao Māori association and/or significance of each star with an aspect of wellbeing and the environment
    • consider the importance of te ao Māori in the placement of the stars within the Matariki star cluster
    • develop observation skills
    • practise comparing and interpreting representations.

    Download the Word file (see link below).

    Nature of science

    Science and mātauranga Māori are knowledge systems. Both systems are ways of understanding and explaining the natural world.

    Related content

    The Matariki star cluster gives an overview of this significant group of stars.

    The webinar Picturebooks for Matariki support teachers to deepen our students and our own understanding of Matariki. The collection Matariki picture books and science contains the resources discussed during this webinar.

    This activity explores star clusters and constellations and cultural legends about them.

    Check out additional resources associated with Matariki.

    Useful links

    The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa has a collection of articles, videos and an activity book related to Matariki.

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has lots of resources related to Matariki, including videos, posters and a colouring and activity book.

    Living by The Stars with Professor Rangi Mātāmua is a web series on Facebook.

      Published 28 July 2020 Referencing Hub articles
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