Monday, 27 May 2013

Our Korowai with year 2-3 students

Annaliese, Fletcher, Sam, Qwade, and Lachlan from Rm 13 have been interested in a korowai (feathered cloak) that Eb showed them. They had lots of questions and ideas so we spent some time together exploring their ideas further. They were particularly interested in how the cloak was a gift that obviously took a lot of time and effort to make. It must take a lot of thought and courage to give a special gift, especially one that takes so much of your time. We wondered if we give a gift to someone do we need to think about what is special to that person?  We decided if we don’t then we aren't thinking about who that person really is. We decided giving a gift requires courage and responsibility to get to know the person you are giving the gift to. Giving a special gift to someone shows how much you care for them and tells a story about the reason you are giving that gift. It connects the gift-giver and the person giving the gift.  Just like Shaun's Nan's cloak to Shaun told a story about him studying and who he was as a have think when you give a gift to someone.

So we found out more about cloaks and the stories behind them.  Even though the cloaks were so special they were also practical and some people would have slept with them. The story protects you and keeps you safe and cosy. We could see patterns in the cloaks and thought about the patterns around us - there is even a pattern in safeness (like snoring).  Cloaks are not always made of feathers, but also other precious materials like dog's fur! Sometimes the person who made them hid something in the cloak, like a signature. The specialness of a cloak matches the specialness of the occasion. Shaun's cloak took a long time to make like Shaun’s study took a long time. Shaun's Nan must have made it from her heart. Sam and Fletcher wondered if she 'lost her mind' from making the cloak with over-excitement? We wondered how happy she must have been giving something so special to someone she loves. That takes courage.

Everyone also thought teaching and learning takes a lot of courage. So the group decided to make a korowai to the staff at RSS to show how much courage it takes. Our story shows what we have learnt about korowai's and gift giving.  It was important to us to use recycled materials for our cloak so that we are being responsible at looking after our earth.  We had some older students from Kapahaka come in and help us.
 The green represents the harakeke and maoritanga of our school.  The harakeke is a peaceful space in our school.  We wanted the black and white ‘steps to success’ to be the centre of our story becuase they represent excellence and accuracy.  This is what we do to aim high.  It is also in the shape of a whare which is Russell Street School; our house of learning.  Inside our whare is whanaungatanga: our buddy classes and the older children helping the younger ones to learn.  This is outlined in sequins to look like paua, which is precious.
The light, medium and dark brown are like rafters (ribs) in the whare nui.  They represent the teachers and staff who much have courage to teach us.  The top of our cloak has a pattern of red and blue like an hour glass.  This represents the time it takes to learn.  The feathers have been designed by all the children in the school and each feather has a special message on the back about how RSS helps us to be the best learners we can be.

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