Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Matariki -

The latest 'Starters & Strategies' magazine (http://www.teachingonline.org), dropped onto my desk this week, this is what they have to say about Matariki.

Tell students that Matariki, the name given to the Maori new year, refers to a cluster of stars that are seen just before dawn, slightly north of the easterly horizon during late may / early June. The celebration of Matariki begins when the first new moon appears after the star cluster becomes visible. This year it is 27th June.

  • If the stars in the cluster are clear and bright, then it is thought that the year ahead will be warm and productive.
  • If the stars in the cluster are hazy and shimmering, a cold winter is ahead and we must prepare for this.

The nearest star of Matariki is 440 light years away from earth. Light travels at just under 300,000 kilometres per second. Can students suggest a method of how to calculate this distance? Can they do it?

Here are some web sites that the magazine suggests:



Kites are a special part of Matariki celebrations so you may want to make kites during Discovery Time.

I've search a number of sites and these two seem to be the best. Be warned though, I haven't tried them... yet!!! I'll report back next week.

http://www.xs4all.nl/~pdj/birdkite.htm This gives good simple instructions for making a bird kite out of plastic.

http://www.aloha.net/~bigwind/20kidskites.html This is a very simple kite using paper and shish kabab sticks.

Make sure you hunt out 'Starters & Strategies' in your schools. there are lots of ideas for Matariki.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


For those of you who are not inspired by football... what about some ideas or resources around Matariki?
Football World Cup

When I set up this blog I thought that it would be interactive. That people would add information and ideas through the comments function. This hasn't happened!!!!!

So how about it!
Over the next few weeks some children will be following the World Cup, so how about letting us know how you are going to incorporate this into Discovery Time. Maybe developing soccer skills, designing jerseys for a New Zealand team or perhaps exploring food from Germany. I'm sure there are some good websites out there that children could explore too.

So how about sharing your ideas. Just click on the comment icon and leave an anonymous message (if you make it anonymous you don't need to log on or get involved in passwords). Give it a go, we'd love to hear from you.