Art projects are an excellent avenue for teaching children about other cultures. New Zealand, an island nation located near Australia, is home to a native tribe of people known as the Maori. The Maori are known in part for their tribal designs and crafts. Helping students create crafts that mimic those of the Maori people helps them learn about the culture through creativity. Students may also enjoy making crafts that represent native animals and plants found throughout New Zealand.
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The Maori people of New Zealand are known for creating the Koru symbol, according to the KinderArt website. Koru is a Maori design featuring curving lines and bright colours that represents a fern plant native to New Zealand. The Maori believe the Koru fern brings new life, growth, strength and peace. To recreate Koru designs in the classroom, teachers and students will need large sheets of paper, chalk pastels, oil pastels and black tempura paint. KinderArt recommends teaching students about the Maori legends of the Koru design. Allow students to observe pictures of ferns and trace designs on newspaper as practice. Create finished fern designs by outlining the shapes in black paint and filling in the work with bright coloured pastels.
Creating designs from sand has been a popular folk craft throughout New Zealand for many years, according to the Hands on Crafts for Kids website. Educate students about this popular craft by having them create their own sand cards. Hands on Crafts for Kids recommends the following materials for this project: craft sand, card stock, tag board, scissors, pencils, paper plates and glue. Students can express their creativity by creating their own designs similar to those seen in the traditional crafts of New Zealand. Students can transfer the original designs onto tag board which provides a sturdy backing for the sand. Cover the designs with glue and sand for an interesting, textured craft.
The Kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand and a fun subject for a cultural craft project, suggests the AZ Metro website. Create a fun, fuzzy Kiwi with students by using pom-poms, ribbon and googly eyes. This is a particularly good craft to do with younger children because templates of the Kiwi can be created ahead of time and students can decorate them with the pom-poms. Consider adding this craft to a lesson on New Zealand's native wildlife.
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