Welina Mānoa

Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai (Lesson Plan)

Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai
English Language Tour

NOTE: This tour and curriculum was originally created for 4th/5th graders from Ka Waihona o ka Na‘auao Charter School. You will see references to Nānākuli and the west coast of O‘ahu throughout this curriculum. Please feel free to adapt the curriculum to your students and their home places as needed. The way we connect this curriculum to Nānākuli is an example of how you can connect it to other places.

Values that we will highlight throughout the visit: Kuleana, Laulima, Aloha ʻĀina, Mālama, Maiau, Maʻemaʻe. Connect these values to the importance of moʻokūʻauhau, moʻolelo, and the students’ connection to context/place (kanaka-ʻāina).

The Learning Inquiry

How are all the elements at Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai interconnected and how are they connected to our/kanaka health and well-being?

To understand our kuleana to healthy ecosystems and food systems, Hiapo will introduce the genealogy of the place through moʻolelo and talk about the importance of “names” through the kalo (‘Ohana Piko, ‘Ohana ‘Ula‘ula) and its interconnections with fish (ʻulaʻula kumu, manini, ‘oʻopu), and mana ʻohana.

Preparing Students for the Visit

  1. View and share with students the YouTube video on ‘ōpelu fishing. The You Tube video shows Uncle Walter and Uncle Eddie fishing for ‘ōpelu. The taro variety Mana ‘Ōpelu is used in this technique of fishing. The Mana ‘Ōpelu taro is used to entice the ‘Ōpelu fish into the net. Thus the name, Mana ‘Ōpelu. The video is also taken on the leeward coast coastline.
  2. Ask students to think about how they/their families/community mālama their ʻāina, grow food, and care for their water systems.
  3. Teacher and students review and become familiar with oli (chant) Ka Wai a Kāne (words in trifold). Divide students into six teams and have each team study their verse (6 verses in the oli), create a picture, and share with class. Then hang all 6 pieces of artwork in order of the verses they represent and use that as a visual tool to help students understand and review oli.
  4. Ask students to look around where they live and study how the water flows from place to place (if possible).
  5. Ask students to gather stories/moʻolelo about their place/community. For example, How Nānākuli got its name?

“In the old days, the people of Hawaiʻi were known for their hospitality towards travelers who would pass through their villages. It was the custom to feed these travelers and assist them in any way possible. But, when people traveled through Nānākuli, the people there would act deaf, either staring right past the travelers or continues to look down at their work, completely ignoring them.
The reason they did this was economic. Nānākuli had very little water, and the water they had came from a few brackish ponds nearby. Nānākuli people treated fresh water as if it were gold, often trading fish from their area for precious calabashes of it. Because of this, their agricultural yields were meager and of low quality, barely enough to feed themselves and their families. Also, in an area where your status was defined by the amount and quality of the water at your disposal to produce taro, Nānākuli was at the very lowest end. So, when travelers came by, not only could they not afford to welcome them in, they were also ashamed, and since it was considered rude for a Hawaiian resident not to callout to travelers and offer food and water, they simply pretended to be deaf and hoped the travelers would go away. Nānākuli got its name from the phrase that travelers used to describe their impression of the people there. The travelers said that they were “kū nānā kuli.” Kū means to stand, nānā means to look, and kuli means deaf or knees. Thus, Nānākuli means, “They just stood there looking deaf” or “They just stood there looking down at their knees.” Source here.

Lehua Kapaku, curator of the Nānāikapono Museum shared an alternative theory. She notes that the people of Nānākuli would never refuse to share their food and water with strangers and that Hawaiians would never give an area such a negative name as “To look deaf”. Kapaku notes that the demigod, Maui, who grew up on the Waiʻanae Coast, had two sisters, Lualualei, which means sacred water and Nānākuʻulei, which means look to my favorite one. She notes that there is no place called Nānākuʻulei, but there is a place called Lualualei, which is right next to Nānākuli. So, it may be possible that those who drew the maps may have misspelled Nānākuʻulei, not knowing the true meaning of the word.”

It is important to highlight that two stories are told here. We want to encourage the concept of “ ‘A‘ole pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi” (Not all things are learned from one source or school) to emphasize the importance of gathering many stories to learn different perspectives. This is an important aspect of their time at Ka Papa Lo‘i ‘O Kānewai, as the staff there believe that their way of farming taro is but one way. We want to encourage the students to learn different ways of farming and managing resources, such as the way folks in their community might do things.

Site Tour

(The starting time is adjustable depending where your school is coming from. But we do suggest keeping the same time allotments for each section of the tour).

9:30/9:45am Arrival: Take students to bathrooms

9:45 Come to entry. Protocol Oli Kāhea & Oli Komo | Set things under the tent

Begin tour at 10:00am (allow for a minimum of 2.0 hours at the site)

10:00 Enter the hale (from the east)–slippers off/handout field books and pencils

Kānewai staff to share moʻolelo and highlight the values of: Kuleana, Laulima, Aloha ʻĀina, Mālama, Maiau, Maʻemaʻe.

Activity at the hale

Ask students to take a moment to jot down the values and the elements of the moʻolelo that speak to those values. What stands out to them?

Kānewai staff to discuss Kānewai over time. Show photos of area over time. Ask students to describe difference. What has changed? How and why do they think change happened?

10:20/:25 Kānewai staff walk the student group to the poʻowai (information about the water system, underground water system, springs throughout).

Activity at the poʻowai (using the line drawing map and also a white board):

  • This is a fill in the blank activity–using the line drawing map of Kānewai—students sit at the poʻowai, listen to the water and the sounds around them
  • Under the guidance of the guides they learn the sources of the water (clouds, rains, mountains, streams, springs). Introduce oli (chant) Ka Wai a Kāne, identify the sources from the chant that they can spot there, recite oli.
  • Students will fill-in the parts of the poʻowai and identify where the water originates on their maps. Ask students to write/draw other features they see, hear, smell, taste, texture/touch. They can also observe different things they notice in the surrounding environment.
  • Hand out the Welina Mānoa: Ka Papa Lo‘i ‘O Kānewai portfolio. Use that as a guide to observe and think critically about the different parts of the lo‘i as they head down from the po‘owai.

11:00 Return to the loʻi (field books and portfolios put aside) and begin work in the loʻi (stress kuleana, aloha ʻāina, mālama, maiau, maʻemaʻe, introduce kalo varietals– names, uses, etc.)

11:30 Clean-up, Lunch (bathrooms)

12:00 Depart 

Field book activities to do after the tour on the bus

Return field books and portfolios to students – have them respond to the following questions (written and/or drawn pictures expressions).

  1. What is the genealogy of the water in Mānoa? Where does it come from? Where does the water go?
  2. Aia i hea ka wai a Kāne i Mānoa?
  3. Why is the water moving fast? Is it cold? Why? What makes the water move?
  4. How come we have fresh water fish when we are an isolated island surrounded by salt water?
  5. Where are the native fish?
  6. Pehea ka ‘āina?

Field book activities to do after the tour (In Field book):

  1. Go to Kupuna Kalo
  2. Draw and color a favorite kalo.
  3. Label the parts of the kalo.
  4. Write a brief description that explains the uses of your favorite kalo including some of its special uses.
Challenge Essay. Choose one of these questions to write about.
  • What does mālama ‘āina look like in different places? What skills, knowledge would farmers need at Kānewai versus Nānākuli?
  • How do you live these values at home and in your community? Choose three (3): Kuleana, Laulima, Aloha ʻĀina, Puʻuhonua, Maiau, Maʻemaʻe.
  • Write your favorite moʻolelo of your home place/ʻāina and talk about who told you this story.
Please write a response to each of these questions:
  • What was your favorite story you learned at Ka Papa Loʻi ʻO Kānewai about how Hawaiians in the past took care of water and ʻāina? Write down the story as you remember it and what you liked about it.
  • How can students like you, who live in Hawaiʻi, learn from this story and begin to mālama/care for our watersheds and ʻāina?

POST Questions for teacher to engage with students

  •  How did/do Hawaiians utilize Nānākuli’s natural resources to live?
  • Where does Nānākuli get their water from today?
  • Where did Nānākuli get their water from in traditional times?
  • Where do you find water in Nānākuli today?
  • What is the story of Nānākuli’s water?
  • Tell the history of Nānākuli as a Hawaiian Homestead.
  • Do you believe that the people of Nānākuli play deaf to visitors today? Why?
  • What story would you like students and their families to tell about Nānākuli today?

This lesson plan can be found here

For additional resources, click here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s