At Wairakei Primary School during the ‘Our Place’ inquiry we have been looking into the Nature of Technology strand. Our Year 4 and 5 Aratiatia team have used localised curriculum knowledge, working in conjunction with Ngati Tu Wharetoa, the Chris Jolly Outdoors Floating Classroom and the Turangi Trout Centre to provide authentic learning experiences.
By integrating our learning to Tuwharetoa legends, the students have gained an appreciation of Maori culture specific to Taupo, specifically that the rivers and streams are the life giving arteries of the land and the sacred waters that these streams carry are from Ranginui, as seen in Ana’s abstract art depicting the Creation story.
Ana creation art
The key understanding has been, ‘New Zealand has natural resources and man-made resources,’ the natural resources being the water and wildlife. First the students looked at various technological outcomes at the Trout Centre, then from the classroom and finally they read Epic books to gain further knowledge.
The students have been able to look differently at things around them, sorting them into which are and which are not technological outcomes, how they can change over time and the positive impacts there are for people.
Turangi Trout Centre Discoveries
List of Outcomes
A tarpaulin is a technological outcome because you don’t get dusty or wet and you can keep clean and dry. Pippa
A magnifying glass makes it easier for people to see very little things or find things. Lucy
A life jacket helps you to float so you don’t drown. Lexi
A fishing net makes it easier and quicker for people to catch fish. Hector
A paintbrush can be used to gently get the critters off the fishing net and into the water. Anamalia.
Glass is made for lots of things because it is see through. Emma
Fish tanks - The trout fish tanks are environmentally friendly.
Trout fishing clothing New fabrics make the fishing clothing more comfortable because it is waterproof.
Maori fishing baskets Fishing baskets have changed over time because now they are made of different materials.
Seth Critters right way It is easier to sort the critters using the plastic tray with dividers.
Tom cleaning nets It is easier and safer to use the solution in the bucket to clean the fishing nets.
Trapped trout viewing People can see the trout swimming without getting into the water.
Jessie Isla The paintbrush protects the critters so we can safely get them off the net and into the sorting box.
In the classroom students were amazed to find out they were surrounded by technological outcomes that were not just the computer, TV and phone.
Ear muffs help me to listen and stop others from hearing what’s on my computer. They have a soft bit on my ears to make them comfortable. Tui
Different colours help me learn my thousands, hundreds, tens and ones. I like the way you can change the numbers on the place value flip chart.
I found out that the lid fits perfectly on the end of the highlighter.
I learnt that food, like my popcorn, is a technological outcome because someone had to design and make it. Microwave popcorn is yum and it is quick and easy to make.
It was enlightening for Adam when he learnt that clothing like his bandana, some food and footwear are technological outcomes, not just technology like computers. Adam likes the design of his bandana because it can also be a balaclava, mask or scarf. In the future he would like it to be made of sun protecting fabric. An improved design could also have black out material, have a snack pocket attached and be able to change into a hoody.
Reading for New Knowledge and Understanding
To support understanding and gain further knowledge the students have read the following books on Epic:
Crash Engineering Course for Kids
Engineers are amazing because they help to design stuff that helps us in our lives. Pippa
The lever makes the train go faster or slower. Where the passengers sit there is an emergency brake. Stacy
I found out that engineers go through the process six or seven times. Isla
You can do heaps of different types of engineering and heaps haven’t even existed yet. Lucy
Technology Feats and Failures - Epic
The invention of the x-ray machine allowed doctors to see inside our bodies without cutting into them. If they didn’t have this my friend would have had to have her arm cut open. Pippa
New ideas lead to new inventions. Video games make our lives more fun. Inventions such as paper clips and cars make life easier. Jessie
Adam was inspired by the chapter book the class are currently reading to bring along his metal detector to show everyone. He ‘planted’ several coins in the sandpit for the class to go out in groups to find using the metal detector. It was fun talking about the various parts of this awesome technological outcome and seeing how much quicker and easier it was to find the hidden coins.
Mithesh Joseph Adam
Lachlan created his own technological outcome. He designed a board game using the Monopoly template but based it on Taupo and its scenic attractions.
The whole class worked hard to create a technological outcome. It took planning and expert advice to have the video ready to present at the end of term one. The students summarised the Ngatoroirangi legend using pictures, text and music. They were very excited to watch themselves on the big screen and see their families enjoy the celebration of their learning.
Keywords: technology, Maori, legend, localised curriculum, reading, tourism, resources, wildlife, science, design, inquiry, video