Climate & Environment
Visit Ngā Motu (The Islands) and learn about the indigenous language, culture and people of Aotearoa (New Zealand).
May 5, 2021
Video Introduction to Ngā Motu
Video link to Ngā Motu: Transforming how students learn Māori with Minecraft.
Minecraft World - Ngā Motu
Ngā Motu (The Islands) is a Minecraft world created by Piki Studios and is dedicated to learning about the indigenous peoples of Ngā Motu.
Ngā Motu Educator Guide - English Medium
Supporting guide to help educators steer their ākonga learning journey. This format is intended for A4.
Ngā Motu Educator Guide (wide view) - English Medium
Supporting guide to help educators steer their ākonga learning journey. This format is intended for poster-style printing in A3.
Ngā Motu Game Cards - English Medium
A learning card deck that features in-game and out-of-game cultural learning wero (challenges) connected to the Ngā Motu world.
Ngā Motu Educator Guide – Māori Medium
Supporting guide to help educators steer their ākonga learning journey in Māori medium. This format is intended for A4.
Ngā Motu Student Guide – Māori Medium
Supporting guide to help students navigate their own learning journey in Māori medium. This format is intended for poster-style printing in A3.
Resource Pack - Mahimaina - Māori Medium
Te Reo Māori language and resource pack for Ngā Motu. Open the included addon file in Minecraft: Education Edition, then add the pack in settings.
Additional Lesson Resources
Full lesson plan, usage instructions, glossary, and FAQ.
For thousands of years the people of the Pacific have explored and flourished across the vast expanse of the world’s largest ocean. Genetically, linguistically, and historically linked, it will come as no surprise to most to find that the cultures of these widely spread peoples have many shared narratives and oral histories. The indigenous people of AOTEAROA, who in modern times use the collective name of MĀORI, are descendants of these voyagers of the Pacific. Māori ancestors voyaged to and from Aotearoa and other Pacific islands over many centuries, eventually building communities called HAPŪ.
Most of these hapū use the great WAKA HOURUA that brought their ancestors to Aotearoa as a way of identifying who they are and how they connect to other hapū and the world around them. There are many other ways for hapū and people to connect including mountains, rivers, oceans, settlements, ancestors and more. Relationships and connections between hapū, people and the world play a huge part of Māori culture, and is reflected in the language and traditions that have been handed down over the centuries.
NGĀ MOTU means “Islands” in the language of Māori people. NGĀ MOTU is a map designed to introduce students to the language and culture of Māori people. Students are encouraged to ask questions while exploring NGĀ MOTU, especially around the early settlement days of Māori. Questions will likely come from the various activities that students play during the lesson. Some example questions might be:
Students should be encouraged to use external sources to help answer their questions as the game unfolds, as this will help students in their ongoing discoverer of TE AO MĀORI.
Students start out the lesson on a Waka Hourua, having arrived together at two small Islands not far off the mainland of Aotearoa. Students will interact with WHĀNAU from a small Hapū in a fortified village called a PĀ.
1. CREATING A PERSONAL GLOSSARY (Approx. 1 Hour)
Throughout the Pā there are Whānau who are sharing information with the Students. The Whānau are using Māori words for many things, and a short description is given as a clickable button. Students should create a personal glossary of words that interest them. Words can be found in the game, or gathered from research, and the Students can take a picture and write the word and its meaning, as a caption, in their Portfolio in game.
2. LEARNING HOW TO PRONOUNCE TE REO MĀORI (Approx. 30 minutes)
Students can visit Hinemoa down in the open-air learning space down by the river. Hinemoa is giving lessons on how to pronounce Te Reo Māori and runs games to help learn the Vowels and Consonants found in Te Reo Māori. There will also be a place where students can place letters to learn the unique sounds that each vowel, vowel pair, or consonant vowel pair that make up words in Te Reo Māori. Students can then use what they have learnt with Hinemoa to pronounce the words in their Personal Glossary
3. LEARNING ABOUT PĀ AND THE LIVES OF EARLY MĀORI (Approx. 1.5 Hours)
The islands have a traditional Māori settlement, called a Pā, that the students can learn about by exploring and having conversations with the whānau that live there. Students can use the information they have learnt in game, and any information gathered from external research, to build the various structures and utilities from around the Pā in PLOTS down by the river. Some example activities are:
1. CREATING A PERSONAL GLOSSARY
Students will have started a Personal Glossary of Māori Words that they can continue adding to in this series of games, and in real life.
Students will have found methods for discovering new words and their meanings in the game, on the Internet, and among each other through discussion.
2. LEARNING HOW TO PRONOUNCE TE REO MĀORI
Students will have learnt vowel pairs, consonant/vowel pairs, what the main syllables look like, and how they all sound.
Students will have learnt how to pronounce Te Reo Māori through game-based learning and will be able to speak in Te Reo Māori with an increased level of confidence.
3. LEARNING ABOUT PĀ AND THE LIVES OF EARLY MĀORI
Students will have learnt about various areas of Māori life including the kind of water-vessel they used for travelling the Pacific Ocean, the kinds of settlements and structures that were used, and the utilities within those settlements.
Students will have learnt some peripheral ideas about the culture that underpins Te Ao Māori, including ideas like separate structures for sleeping and eating, the connection to the Pacific Islands, and about NGĀ ATUA MĀORI. These ideas will lead into future lesson plans.
Sign up for the Minecraft: Education Edition newsletter. We promise to respect your inbox.