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Treasured Plants

This kit introduces students to some New Zealand native plants, as well as ways they were used by Māori historically. It encourages imagination and connection with the land as a sustaining resource and as a home, and introduces Māori harvesting tikanga through a flax-fibre harvesting activity.

- It is recommended that you take some time in class to look at different native plants - note recognisable features and invent some ways to remember their names. Encourage students to think about what New Zealand looked like historically, and how we have changed the land since we arrived.

- Print out worksheets for your class and don't forget your pencils!

- Follow-up classroom activities could include weaving flax baskets and mats, reading a Māori creation story and guiding students to write their own about a native plant, or creating charcoal from different woods and testing which is the best for drawing.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Observe and imagine change of land over time through human activity/use.
  • See Maori as the first scientists in New Zealand, and learn different native plants uses.
  • Respect and connect with the land through knowledge and use of plants.

Related Curriculum Achievement Objectives:

Curriculum Levels 3 and 4

  • Learning Languages: Cultural Knowledge
  • Social Sciences
  • Science: Living World, Nature of Science, Planet Earth and Beyond

Physical Resources:

Plant identification guides

  • 15x treasure maps
  • 15x laminated leaf samples
  • Craft knife, gloves, butter knife, scissors
  • Mussel shells, kete
  • Flax to be harvested or provided by staff
  • 5x clipboards (shared between kits)
  • 1x information sheets for facilitators
  • Flags placed by staff on request

Muka Harvesting Tutorial

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