Welina Mānoa

Mānoa Heritage Center (Lesson Plan)

Mānoa Heritage Center

English Language Tour

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

“Ka Wai a Kāne,” an oli, is the focus of our learning inquiry to help us to reinforce the kanaka-ʻāina link with all the elements in our natural/environment, spiritual/oneness, and human world.

To understand our kuleana to healthy ecosystems we need to learn to care for wai, ʻāina, and our endemic and indigenous plants. The oli provides ample opportunity to ask the students to examine more closely and come to know their moʻokūʻauhau (human and environment) through moʻolelo.

Preparing Students for the Visit

  1. Teachers prepare haumana to recite the oli “Ka Wai a Kāne.” Teacher and students to 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.
    1. Teacher query prior to visit: Ask students to think about how they/their families/community mālama their ʻāina, where does the water come from in their home community, what plants do they grow, and how do they care for their water systems.
    2. Teacher query prior to visit: Ask students to define endemic, indigenous, and introduced plants and identify these plants in their community (The Welina Mānoa: Mānoa Heritage Center learning portfolio has these definitions on the back).

 Helpful online sites about endemic plants include

Helpful online sites about water cycles (Western Science perspective) include:

Site Tour

9:00am–Arrival and walk up to MHC (backpacks stored, bathroom, etc.)

Notes regarding tour:

  1. Given the size of the Mānoa Heritage Center it is advised that classes be split into small groups of 5-6 students w/chaperone.
  2. Student groups do not need to do “all” the activities but could take the time toward the end of the tour to present what they learned to other groups.
  3. Keep in mind that there are many “focused” tours that can be developed for this age group. So, the following lesson plan can be presented as three stand alone tours, one tour with three separate groups, or a full day tour).

9:30am–Front Lawn—seat in 2-rows/ “U” facing Kūaliʻi Begin the tour (allow for a minimum of 2.0 hours)

MHC staff Welcome and Introduction (Overview of Rules)

MHC staff

  • Tell the stories/genealogy of MHC the way it is presented in the Welina Mānoa: MHC learning portfolio. Use the moʻolelo to help define the values of maiau, maʻemaʻe, mālama/aloha ʻāina, kuleana
  • Pass out composition books with pencils and ask the students to reflect on how the values are described in the moʻolelo. Ask the students where they might practice these values as they visit the Mānoa Heritage Center (overview rules).

10:00 – 10:45am– Small Group Tours

Activity A. Focus on Plants. Begin at the White Garden to heiau to Canoe Garden:  Group learns the names and uses of endemic and indigenous plants then teaches the rest of the class what they learned (Incorporated in the Welina Mānoa: MHC learning portfolio).
  • Step One: Introduce the students to the endemic & indigenous plants in the garden and up to the heiau and down in the canoe garden. Stress the need to grow and protect those that are endangered. MHC Guide to use white board to write name of plant and talk briefly about each (care for them, use, and so on):
    • ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua
    • Loulu
    • Alahe‘e
    • Lama

The plants above are the focus of the learning curriculum, but there are many more plants including: Hinahina, ‘Awa, Kalo, Maʻo Hau Hele, ʻŌlena, Hala, Kauwila, Kukui, Pāpala Kēpau, Wauke

  • Step Two: Take a moment to locate the endemic, endangered, and indigenous plants in the garden and map them onto the map in your composition book.
  • Step Three: Work with your team to develop a short presentation to teach your classmates about the plant life at MHC. You may refer to the questions in the learning portfolio.
Activity B. Introduction to Kūkaʻōʻō (place of respect/agricultural/observation)
  • Step One: Students learn about the heiau, dry stacked walls, and its agricultural significance (refer to learning portfolio). Specifically for Kūka‘ō‘ō, it is a place where kūpuna came to observe the movements of the sun and other natural elements such as the different body forms of water and by understanding the sun and water, knew when to plant new things and manage the water in the valley, ultimately to provide nourishments to the people.
  • Step Two: Students Practice walk through the oli– Ka Wai a Kāne (having already become familiar with it in class), identifying elements in the oli from the vantage point of the heiau. After identifying water sources, recite the oli. We suggest physically facing the different sources for each first (ie. Face the east for the first verse, the west for the second verse, towards the mountains for the third verse, etc.)
  • Step Three: In the arbor, students create a drawing of an aspect of the oli Ka Wai a Kāne that they can see from MHC that they will share with classmates as a way to teach about the wai in Mānoa Valley.
Activity C. Focus on moʻokūʻauhau thru Kahalaopuna
  • Step One: Begin in the MHC “living area space” telling the story of KahalaopunaSpecifically, to highlight how the mo‘olelo is useful to remind of us of the natural elements important to Mānoa such as the wind, rain, rainbow, pueo, ‘elepaio, etc.  Ask students to reflect on the values and the plants, animals, and natural elements in the story.
  • Step Two: On the MHC lanai look at the valley and talk about change over time —using photos—having students talk about where the “places” and the animals/birds in the moʻolelo describe and what they look like/where they are today.
  • Step Three: Have students create a short play that tells the story of Kahalaopuna and teach their classmates about Mānoa. Use their field books to write their script. There is an English version of the story that teachers might want to use. Please check with the MHC Staff.

10:45am–Student presentations

11:00am–Lunch, Clean-up and Walk back to bus

11:30am–Depart On the bus back to school – return field books to students – have them respond to the following questions (written and or drawn/pictures expressions).

Questions for students to ponder and respond to (in field book):

  1. Aia i hea ka wai a Kāne? Describe the sources of water in Mānoa Valley.
  2. How do those sources compare to your home-place?
  3. What has changed over time in Mānoa Valley? How and why do you think these changes occurred?
  4. Our kūpuna used heiau as a place to observe their environment. Where might you do this today? Why?

Field book activities to do after the tour (placed in Field book):

Challenge Essay. Choose one of these questions to write about.
    1. Ask a kupuna what your place looked like when they were growing up. Ask a makua what your place looked like when they were growing up. Look closely at your place today. Write/draw about how your place has changed over time.
    2. In the canoe plant garden you may have been introduced to one or more of the fishing related plants: ʻākia used to paralyze fish; ʻūlei used as small spear, whipping poles, top of scoop nets; alaheʻe for spear; pōhuehue to beckon waves helping carry fisherman out to sea; ohia used for canoe gunwales; hau for ʻiako of canoe; and kokiʻo for dying fish nets. Choose one of these plants and explore more about it. Write about why your selected plant is important to Native Hawaiians and why it is important for us to mālama.
    3. Review the oli “Ka Wai a Kāne.” Use the questions to write about your water sources: Where do the waters come from? Talk about the cloud formations, the rains, winds, and the rainbows and other weather phenomena in your place. Locate your underground springs. Where are your agricultural heiau that was used to observe the environment? Where is your water today?
Questions for discussion
    1. What was your favorite story you learned at the Mānoa Heritage Center about how endemic and indigenous plants, wai and ʻāina?  Write down the story as you remember it and what you liked about it.
    2. How can students like you, who live in Hawaiʻi, learn from this story and begin to mālama/care for our watersheds and ʻāina?

This lesson plan can be found here

For additional resources, click here.

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