Unit 1 – Riding The Currents
Activity 1 – Navigating the Currents
Download Teacher Pages PDFActivity (Teacher Verison) PDF Download
Download Student Pages PDFActivity PDF Download
Materials & Setup
In Advance Student Reading
Assign the Student Page “Navigating the Currents” (pp. 15-19) as homework. (Students should bring this reading to class with them.)
Class Period One
• “Map of Pacific Ocean Currents” acetate (master, p. 12)
• “Reference Course and Course Heading Map” acetate (master, p. 13)
• “Map of Currents Between Hawaiʻi and Nuku Hiva” acetate (master, p. 14)
• Overhead projector and screen
For each group of three to six students
• Student Page “From Nuku Hiva to Hawaiʻi: Charting a Course” (pp. 20-27)
For each student
• Student Page “Navigating the Currents” (pp. 15-19)
1) Show the “Map of Pacific Ocean Currents” acetate to put Hawai‘i and Nuku Hiva (in the Marquesas Islands) in context. Ask students if they know which main South Pacific island group the islands of Hiva belong to. (They are in the Marquesas, a part of the “French Polynesia” group of islands.)
2) Divide the class into groups of three to six students. Explain that each group is a team in a voyaging canoe race from Nuku Hiva to Hawaiʻi. There are just a few more details to complete in planning their journey before they can set sail.
3) Give each group a copy of the Student Page “From Nuku Hiva to Hawaiʻi: Charting a Course.” Groups should work cooperatively to complete the assignment quickly and accurately. The rest of the crew of Hōkūleʻa is waiting for them—the wayfinders—to complete their work.
4) Allow groups about 20 minutes to complete the student page. If no groups are finished at the end of 20 minutes, you may allow more time. If a few groups finish before 20 minutes are up, quickly check their work to see if there are any obvious flaws they need to correct.
5) When all groups have finished, review the assignment asking groups for their responses to each of the tasks on the student page. Use the teacher version of the Student Page “From Nuku Hiva to Hawaiʻi: Charting a Course” (pp. 9-11) and the “Reference Course and Course Heading Map”acetate (which charts the correct course headings). As additional background, you may use the “Map of Currents Between Hawaiʻi and Nuku Hiva” and the notes in the Teacher Background “Wind and Current Zones in the Pacific” (pp. 7-8).
• If you were an ancient Polynesian setting off to settle a distant island, what would you take with you for the trip? What would you take with you to survive in your new home?
• After a month or more at sea, what do you think it feels like for voyagers to sight land?
• What do you think you would feel if you were a voyager stepping ashore? Write a chant or poem that reflects those feelings.
• How do you think Polynesian navigation compares to the way in which fish, corals, and other marine animals originally reached the Hawaiian Islands? Explain your reasoning.
• Student Page “From Nuku Hiva to Hawaiʻi: Charting a Course” (teacher version, pp. 9-11; correct course headings charted on “Reference Course and Course Heading Map” acetate, master, p. 14)
• Participation in group work and class discussions
• Journal entries