Forum: Folk / Polynesian Dance

Polynesian Lesson plans for Charter School
By K_Kay
On Thu Aug 13, 2009 08:07 PM

How can I develop a unit of about 4weeks for this for 4th/5th graders? The students may meet once or twice per week.

Where would I get authentic visuals on their dances, culture, music?

Where can I buy accessories, props? Are there any dvds I can show them segments off?

3 Replies to Polynesian Lesson plans for Charter School

re: Polynesian Lesson plans for Charter School
By Tahiti_E_Imua
On Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:14 AM
Hi there. First off, I think it's great that you're thinking about focusing on polynesian cultures in school. I remember learning heaps when I was little, about Asia, Africa and Latin America, but hardly anything about other cultures - so kudos to you, for considering this.

I'm not a teacher, so I'm not sure how a curriculum would need to be structured in order to comply with your school system, but I'm thinking that if the kids are meeting with you for 4 weeks, twice each week, my suggestion would be to select four of the polynesian cultures to focus on - one per week.

There are of course many more islands that comprise Polynesia, but with only 4 weeks, just a couple hours per week, the kids might absorb more by learning about only 4 of them, vs. trying to cover a bunch, ya know? During the first session, you could always give an 'overview' of the 'Polynesian triangle' - identify all the islands that fall within that 'realm' - and spend the remaining classes focusing on specific islands.

BUT CARRYING ON.... there are TONS of resources out there to get information about these islands. It might be fun to spend one class period talking about a culture, with the next session featuring an activity from that island, like making Hawaiian poi or playing the maori 'tititorea' - Try looking up the following sites:

maori.org.nz
This site is dedicated to the native culture of Aotearoa (New Zealand). It discusses traditions, customs (ie. protocol for a funeral or visiting guests), language (pronunciation and translations), dance (what is a haka? What is poi?), weaponry (different hand-to-hand combat items and how to use them), instruments (flutes, etc), and music. Along with lots of written information are pictures of almost everything discussed on the site. I'm sure many of the pictures could be turned into slides for a presentation, etc. The site also includes links to other maori culture sites, including craft sites, that explain how to teach children to make Maori 'poi' or how to create their own 'purerehua.' These might be fun activities for your kids.

hawaiitraditions.com
This site is about both 'modern' Hawaii and ancient 'Hawaii.' A lot of non-Hawaiians have many misconceptions about Hawaii, and what 'authentic' Hawaiian culture is. Hawaii has experienced an influx of foreign people from Europe and Asia over the course of many, many years, and these newcomers brought their traditions over as well, intermixing them with the local ones. So there are many things considered 'Hawaiian' which are actually 'hybrids', influenced by many other cultures as well, you know what I mean? So this site explains about the origin of many "Hawaiian" things - where the ukulele came from, origins of surfing, origins of hula, traditional Hawaiian cuisine vs. what we now call 'local' cuisine (which includes Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, etc influences). It also includes links to other sites, which may focus specifically on hula or other Hawaiian customs and/or traditions....

There are other sites, such as blackpearldesigns.com (Tahitian) and polynesia.com (Polynesian Cultural Center) which have more information about many of the other polynesian cultures as well, including information about different activities you can do with your children, etc.

As for videos and music, other than purchasing things from Amazon or other such places, you should know that You Tube does have MANY, MANY videos up, showcasing traditional polynesian singing and performing arts. When searching for appropriate video footage, use the following words:

TE MATATINI - this is the name of the national kapa haka festival, where traditional maori performing arts groups from around New Zealand come to compete against one another.

MERRIE MONARCH - this is the name of the annual hula festival, held every year in Hilo, Hawaii, where groups from all over the world come to compete in hula kahiko (traditional-style) and hula auana (modern-style)

HEIVA - this is the name of the annual Tahitian culture festival, held every year in Tahiti in the month of July. Groups from around the islands and the world compete against one another in dancing, singing, etc.

TEUILA FESTIVAL - this is an event held annually in Samoa, where the community comes together. Different villages, schools and church groups share dances, songs, etc.

Finally, can I ask you what area you are located in? I ask this, because a GREAT resource for you would be to contact Polynesian dance groups and cultural groups in your area. There are hula halau (hula schools) and other polynesian studios ALL OVER the United States and in many other parts of the world as well, with instructors who are knowledgable about the culture, and would LOVE coming into your classroom once a week to bring in a drum, or a dance implement, a costume, etc - and to talk to your kids about the cultures.

If you give me the name of your area or city, I'm pretty sure I will be able to find a polynesian group not too far from you, that might be able to assist you with not only providing music and dance implements, etc - but who might be able to do a LIVE performance or visit to your classroom, to teach the students some dance moves or even a short routine, etc...

Anyway, let me know if I can be of further assistance. This sounds like a great project, so good luck to you!!
re: Polynesian Lesson plans for Charter School
By K_Kay
On Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:21 PM
I'm near Buffalo NY. Tahiti_E_Imua you are amazing! I'm soooo greatful, thankyou!!
re: Polynesian Lesson plans for Charter School
By Tahiti_E_Imua
On Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:19 AM
Hi again....OK, here are some hula halau within 100 miles of Buffalo, NY:

Lehua's Hula Halau
Lackawanna, NY (approx 6 miles from Buffalo)
Contact: Lehua Bray Jim (716) 984-8054

Gallery Kauai Hawaiian Dance Studio
Rochester, NY (approx 75 miles from Buffalo)
Contact: Victoria Kaiulani Visiko (585) 385-8735

Hula with Kini
Rochester, NY (approx 75 miles from Buffalo)
Contact: Jean Smith (585) 872-3558

The Hula San Village Dance Troupe
Missisauga, Ontario, Canada (approx 100 miles from Buffalo)
Contact: Glen Samar Jr. (647) 268-8460

Siony's Dance Company
Missisauga, Ontario, Canada (approx 100 miles from Buffalo)
Contact: Siony Relato (416) 255-9078

Hope this helped a bit.... good luck!

ReplySendWatch

Powered by XP Experience Server.
Copyright ©1999-2019 XP.COM, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS
XL
LG
MD
SM
XS