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.