Matariki Art in Room 5

Matariki is coming up soon, so Mrs Thompson read us a book about this special event. We brainstormed everything that we knew about the Maori new year, Matariki. Then we decided to do some Maori art to display for Matariki.


Matariki books

First we researched Maori symbols and looked at kowhaiwhai designs and other Maori art. We discussed where the koru symbol comes from and learned that it is a representation of the young fern frond. We thought it was a good symbol to use in our art for Matariki, as it represents new life and growth. Matariki is about celebrating the new year, harvesting and planting for the next season.


Kowhaiwhai research

We noticed that there was a lot of reflection in the kowhaiwhai designs that we looked at. We looked at how lines, koru and triangle shapes are often reflected or rotated in Maori art. We also looked at symmetrical symbols that we could use in our art, like the whale tail. We noticed how when we reflected diagonal lines or triangles, we could create a fern shape. This is a symbol often associated with New Zealand, so we also decided it would also be good to incorporate in our designs. We had some time to practise drawing koru and to come up with our designs.


Designs ready to cut out

To make our artwork we began by folding a small black piece of paper into quarters. We planned and designed each quarter. We tried to keep our designs simple, as we knew we would have to cut the pieces out!


Careful cutting


Busy cutting

Once we had drawn our designs in each quarter with pencil, we carefully cut them out. We had to collect all of the pieces and be careful not to lose them.


Cutting out shapes


Collecting the shapes we cut out

The next step was to glue our black paper onto coloured paper.


Having fun being creative


Gluing to coloured paper

After this we had to put all our little pieces back in the holes that they had come out of. This was like a puzzle and some of us found it quite tricky!


Fitting the shapes back in

Mrs Thompson showed us how to “Fit it, then flip it”. This meant that we carefully took the pieces that were in the holes and flipped them over the line where the edge of the paper was. This was like reflecting the pattern. Some of us even experimented with little mirrors to check our reflection was correct. This step was tricky to get right and some of us got a bit confused.  

After gluing our flipped/reflected pieces our artwork came together. It was fun to see how our art looked when it was finished. It was a tricky process, but we were really proud of the final product. We were also excited to learn that all this reflection and symmetry work was actually maths! It was a fun learning experience that integrated social studies, art and mathematics. It required a lot of perseverance, but the final product was worth it. The pictures will be on display in Room 5 if you would like to come and have a look.


All finished


Amy s art


Angus art


Brooke s art


Chelsy s art


Donald s art


Emma s art


Finished art


Jack s art


Mac s art


Mrs T s art


Nick s art


Nikea s art


Skylah s art

Cutting out shapes2