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3 Matariki books in invitations to retell them with frames and a lightpad.

Updated: May 22, 2023

The themes of Matariki are remembrance, celebrating the present and planning for the year ahead and we have been busy celebrating the present with the help of My Matariki Stories (Aku Paki Matariki) a kete with 3 stories (6 books) in English and te reo Māori that celebrate Matariki.

The books in the kete are:

Flit the Fantail & the Matariki Map/Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka me te Mahere Matariki Another fabulous book about Flit and his friends, Keri the kiwi and wise old Ruru, as they explore the night skies using a kawa leaf to find their way home.

The Seven Kites of Matariki/Ngā Manu Tukutuku e Whitu o Matariki Seven sisters make kites to celebrate the Māori new year. The kites fly away to become the stars of Matariki.

The Stolen Stars of Matariki/Ngā Whetū Matariki i Whānakotia This book is a way of explaining the number of stars of Matariki being now 9, 2 were stolen, could it have been the patupaiarehe seen on the beach at Birdling’s flat?

I ran out of time last year to fully use them (they were mentioned in my BLOG (Matariki for ALL in 2022) so I got them out early this year and have begun reading the books and sharing invitations to play for the children to retell the stories with frames and a lightpad.

Retelling stories continues to be a huge interest and so I grabbed my frames (that i had sourced from family and the second hand shops) and some loose parts and let the children play and retell them.

Here are some of their ‘framed’ stories.

L loved the wooden 9 wooden whetū created by Isobel Te Aho-White (Kai Tahu and Ngāti Kahungungu ke te Wairoa. They wanted them in all the stories they told when the frames were put out. I soon found that one BIG frame worked best for the stars to fit and for the children to work together if they wanted to.

L was interested in why one book had 7 stars and the other 9 and I drew my BLOG from 2019 7 or 9 stars of Matariki? And explained that there are many Māori pūrākau or whakapapa narratives told with variations and in one book there is only 1 star in The Promise of Puanga. This was due to being able to see the stars and new knowledge and understanding of them. L appeared to think about this and said “a bit like how Pluto is no longer being a planet”. I smiled and admired they knowledge and deep interest they had in the solar system and said yes.

The loose parts used in the invitations were:

Magnetic chips, metal bowls, napkin rings, preserving jar rings, egg cups, sink chains and beads.

Stars made of wood, cane, and plastic.

Wooden beads, napkin rings, circles and bangles.

Doilies, scarves, pom poms, jute, string and mats or trivets.

Pinecones, wood cookies and craft sticks with washi tape.

Rainbow peg dolls, natural peg dolls and fantail finger puppets.

I used many of the same loose parts from the frames invitations but added translucent numbers, gems, sticks (from LookSharp), ice cubes with water inside (which make a great effect on the lightpad) and a kawakawa leaf.

To make the kawakawa leaf I used an image of the Matariki cluster and made dots on a kawakawa leaf I download off the internet. I taped the image to the green plastic folder and cut it out and made holes in the ‘leaf’.

I think this is the first time I wished I had a BIGGER lightpad as all the stars did not fit on the one I have.

I just downloaded the new karakia resource with karakia written by Tā Pou Tamara and Mātauranga Matariki Professor Rangi Mātāmua and each one equips us with knowledge about each star in the Matariki cluster and to understand the traditions of Matariki. The karakia can be spoken just before the sun rises but we will do them at the start of the day. All but the karakia for Matariki have a similar structure in te reo Māori, starting with E tū and the star name and the English is also provided.

I will endeavour to use them all but know I will use the karakia for Hiwa-i-te-rangi as the tamariki always connect to the star and making a wish. Now to practice!!

There are new books this year and I hope you get them soon (had to pre-order them)- a book by Gavin Bishop called Matariki and The Twin Stars of Matariki: Waiti and Waita by Miriama Kamo. Gavin’s book is a board book and looks similar to his others mihi, e hoa and Koro. And Waiti and Waita is about the twin stars who look after the waters, the sneaky Patupaiarehe (fairies) feature again like they did in The Stolen Stars of Matariki/Ngā Whetū Matariki i Whānakotia.

Until next time.


P.S. there are affliate links in blog and if you use them I may get some moolah

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