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Dancing Treasures: Icons from Te Papa

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This resource, written by Julie Cadzow, contains five units of work using selected 'digital resources' or icons made available to schools by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Access to the digital resources is through Digistore, Te Pātaka Matihiko .

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa refers to their substantial collection of 'significant items' as icons, and their Māori treasures as taonga Māori.

Each icon represents an important aspect of New Zealand's heritage, while recognising that New Zealand is a multicultural society. The icons include a huge range of artworks (such as paintings and sculptures), natural history specimens, taonga Māori, precious items from the Pacific and objects from daily life.

Unit One: 'Dancing Treasures'

  • Level: 5     Years: 9-11      8-10 lessons
  • Key Competency: Relating to Others
  • This is a generic unit to be used with any of the selected assets. A personal treasure and a Te Papa 'treasure' are used as stimuli for dance.

Unit Two: 'Dancing Flags'

  • Level: 4    Years: 8-10    8-10 lessons
  • Key Competency: Managing Self
  • The students will study a range of flags from early New Zealand times. They will design their own flags with others and create a dance using the new flags.

Unit 3: 'Weaving Pathways'

  • Level: 4    Years: 9-10    8-10 lessons
  • Key Competency: Using Language, Symbols and Texts
  • The students will use images of traditional Māori and Polynesian weaving patterns to create a dance based on the art of weaving.

Unit 4: 'Dance for Sustainability'

  • Level: 5    Years: 9-11    8-10 lessons
  • Key Competency: Participating and Contributing
  • The students will create a dance to highlight the need for the protection of our native birds and animals.

Unit 5: 'Black Phoenix'

  • Level: 5    Years: 10-11    6-8 lessons
  • Key Competencies: Thinking and Relating to Others
  • The students will use the Te Papa icon 'Black Phoenix' by Ralph Hotere to create a full class dance. Sections of the dance will be composed by groups of students and together they will recreate the story of the 'Black Phoenix' sculpture with human bodies.
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