Plans of Treasure

The New Zealand Curriculum aims to create writers who can form and express ideas on a range of topics. The challenge was to find a topic that could hook Room 11 writers with a topic they felt passionate about. 

What could be more important to students, than their treasures or taonga?

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Room 11 brainstormed ideas about taonga. Students described taonga as objects that they associated with happy memories or something of value. When students write they are learning to sequence ideas then add details to their stories. To do this, students started off with a simple picture plan of taonga. They shared their ideas with their peers. Their next step was to explain why it was a taonga. As a class, we decided one success criteria for this piece of writing was to use the word ‘because’ to add more detail.

Student writing

My bracelet is my taonga because it has turtles on it and it reminds me of the aquarium

My diamond is my taonga because it reminds me of the glimmering lake.

My gym clothes and my white socks are taonga because they remind me about cheerleading and gymnastics.

When conferencing with these writers, I praised them for adding detail,  adding personal voice and using descriptive language. Students achieved this by using humour, emotion, adjectives and exclamation marks.

For their second  piece of writing, students had to choose a person or pet that was a taonga to them. I wanted to challenge the class to write using even more detail, so we trialled using planning templates that asked for more information.

When asked whether or not the templates helped them with their writing, this is what some students had to say

Writing words in my plan helps me remember what words to write.

It was good because I can use the colour information from the plan and put it in the story.

It was hard. I didn’t know it was a plan so I did all my writing on it.

Although some students found the templates challenging to fill out, they helped others write using more detail and to sequence their ideas.

My dad is a taonga. He is nice, creative and artistic. He has brown hair and he likes playing Call of Duty with me and he loves me so much.

My mum is a very special taonga. She has wonderful black and blonde hair. She has green sparkly eyes. She is beautiful, kind, and caring. She’s good at pottery, and enjoys making bracelets……but the thing she loves most…..IS ME!

Our next step is to become more confident at using different plans to scaffold writing and to gain  independence in writing. 

Through this writing we discovered that we treasure the people around us. They are important in the Whare Tapa Whā model of health. They support us and keep us safe and happy. 

Room 11 students hope you have enjoyed learning about their plans of taonga and what they treasure. We encourage you to take time out to appreciate the people in your life that are taonga to you.

2024 Morehu

Paul Morehu

I am from Christchurch but moved to Taupō at the end of 2018. I am passionate about travelling with my most memorable trip being to Egypt. I also love keeping fit through sport, the gym and just getting out and exploring the outdoors.

I have been a qualified teacher working in New Zealand since 2013. Prior to that, I spent 8 years in Hong Kong working with Chinese children in primary schools.

I decided to pursue a career in teaching because I loved the idea of making a difference in the world by helping children learn and develop as people. It is rewarding to see the progress children make and to be a part of their learning journeys.

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