Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Best Kiwi Christmas Read Alouds! {+FREE Printable follow up activity sheets}

Ahh.... good old summer holidays...... and not a snowman in sight!  Alongside your usual term 4 sun safe lessons, end of year reports and beach trips, it's nice to delve into some Kiwi themed Christmas books...  Here's a list of my favourite 'read alouds' - scroll to the bottom for a FREE download containing follow up printables for the following books!

We really are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautifully illustrated and written New Zealand books - have a peek below for a quick review and some specific reader response sheets that match the books.... have I missed your favourite?  Flick me an e-mail or leave a comment below!

A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree
By Kingi M. Ihaka
This classic (written in 1981) is still a favourite, and perfect for a sing-a-long!  If you're teaching in a city school, this book is choc full of lots of interesting vocab which may require some further explanation (huhu grubs, puha etc.)  This song is also great for adapting to create your own class version...

A Kiwi Jingle Bells
By Yvonne Morrison & Deborah Hinde
This modern version of Jingle Bells comes complete with a CD and catchy lyrics!  Packed full of lots of Kiwiana references, it'll have you day dreaming of starting your beach holiday early...

Christmas in the Bush
By Lindy Kelly
This book (suitable for slightly older children) follows the story of Josh who is off to spend Christmas with his Dad in the country.  It gently touches on the topic of split families, and also the idea of creating different traditions with different sides of your family.  I also enjoyed the theme of Christmas as a time for creating new memories - not the big focus on commercial gift giving.

The 12 days of Holidays
By Yvonne Morrison & Jenny Cooper
Parents and busy teachers will all sympathise with the frazzled Mum in this book, who is juggling her older child and baby in the lead up to Christmas! Older children will enjoy the exploits of the 'big kid', and younger ones will enjoy the unfolding chaos of a busy house hold through the detailed illustrations.

Grandma's Kiwi Christmas
By Helen McKinley & Craig Smith
Fans of Grandma's other adventures (including 'Grandma joins the All Blacks' & 'Grandma's week off') will enjoy following her as she bustles around town preparing for Christmas with her jar of infamous marmalade....

Looking for more Christmas resources?  
This 46 page booklet pack is a great way to support your classroom discussions about what makes Christmas time special in NZ (no snowmen and wintery Christmas trees in this book!) The booklet contains a wide range of activities - perfect for independent work or as an early finishers activity pack – mix and match the pages to suit the ability levels in your class.  

Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou! ~ Season’s greetings for Christmas and the New year!

Grubbily yours,

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Lyrics for the Māori version of the 'Hokey-Tokey' song!

A simple set of action cards to match the Māori version of "Hokey tokey!' 

You put your right hand in,
you put your right hand out,
you put your right hand in,
and you shake it all about,

you do the hokey tokey,
and you turn yourself around,
that's what it's all about!

The cards are in Māori (with a brief English translation), and were designed for my hard-working-musically-minded-Mum to hold up for her students to see as the song progresses.  The cards contain the key words from the lyrics, as well as simple illustrations and arrows to support all your learners with the correct actions.

Also included are some simple position cards (in Te Reo & English) for the words under, on top/over, inside, outside in front & behind!

Grubbily yours,

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Māori & Samoan Colours ~ FREE prinatable mini posters!

Mā is white,
Whero is red,
Kākāriki green..........

Such a Kiwi classic!

Along with using them as prompts during singing (their original intention), these cards would also be perfect for printing and laminating to use as classroom posters.  

As well as the usual colours (red, yellow blue etc.) this set also contains the colours brown, grey, gold and silver - please let me know if your corner of the country uses alternate words for any of the colours - I'm happy to add additional pages as need!

Grubbily yours,

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Action Cards in Te Reo Māori & English {FREEBIE!}

Another set of cards for my hard working Mum!  These cards have been made to match the action song 'Pakipaki.' (this is her version of the song with some extras added in!)

Mum prints, laminates and joins the cards in the corner with a jump ring, then flips the cards over as the song progresses to support her special needs learners.  The cards include the Māori and English words for the action, plus a matching picture to scaffold all your little learners!

This resources contains cards for:

Pakipaki (Clap) 
Hurihuri (Turn around) 
Peke (Jump) 
Oma (Run) 
Kanikani (Dance) 
Hula (Hula) 
Takahia (Stamp) 
Kata (Laugh)
Korero mai (talk to me)

If you're creative (like my Mum) and think of an alternate action card you'd like included that's not listed -  please leave me a comment below or flick me an e-mail using the mail icon on my blog header and I'll endeavor to include your verb.

*EDIT JULY 2016 - as per request, I've now also included the following cards - enjoy!

Rere (Fly)
Hikoi (March)
Whakarongo (listen)

Hope you all had a great Māori language week,
Grubbily yours,

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Designing a Butterfly Garden (+ FREE printables)

We're really excited to be guest blogging over at More than a Worksheet about designing butterfly gardens!  CLICK HERE to view the post, and while you're there, have a good rummage around at all the other amazing posts tucked away in their website...so many hands on and practical activities!

Grubbily yours,

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Happy Solstice! (FREE summer & winter wall display posters)

Here in NZ, we often think that winter has arrived the moment we hit the month of June, even though technically it doesn't arrive until the WINTER SOLSTICE  (which is normally around the 21st of June every year).  Of course this also means that our friends in the northern hemisphere are heading into their SUMMER SOLSTICE at the same time!

Click here to see a 'Brain Pop' video clip that better models how the earth tilts, and explains how these Solstices work.

The posters are perfect for displaying on your nature table to mark the transition from: spring to summer (if you're in the northern hemisphere), or autumn/fall to winter (if you're in the southern hemisphere like me!)  They pair really well with our seasonal nature walk recording sheets (as seen below).  Going on a nature walk to mark the changing of the seasons is an activity that most kids will love, and once back in the classroom they can reflect on their experiences by recording the seasonal 'clues' they spotted on the nature walk sheets. 

Which ever hemisphere you're located on, I hope you've had a happy solstice and enjoy the up and coming season!

Grubbily yours,

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

NZ flag Referendum 2015-16 {Free colour by number flag sheets}

Well, everyone's got an opinion on the 2015-16 Flag Referendum!!  If you've been having conversations with your class about the ongoing process that is the flag referendum (the infamous 26 million dollar referendum...!) then you might be interested in my FREE colour by number flag worksheets, which include:
  • The flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand (1834-1840)
  • The Union Jack (1840-1902)
  • The Tino Rangatiratanga flag (Official Māori flag)
  • The Blue Ensign with Southern Cross (1902-current)
Click here to download these FREE colour by number flags.

EDIT SEPTEMBER 2015 *Explore the announcement of the 4 alternate flag designs with this double sided worksheet! 
Click here to download your free copy here:

During my research into our flags, I was fascinated to discover that we actually have at least 6 more official flags (who knew?!) some of which I'd never heard of let alone seen...If your class is looking at our flags as part of the inquiry process, you might be interested in having a peek at my latest resource - one that focuses on the past, present and potential future of NZ's flags.  Click here to find this resource (below) in my TpT store.

Grubbily yours,

Sunday, 7 June 2015

NZ BUGS! (FREE printables for Spiders, Worms, Praying Mantids & Butterflies)

I recently had the pleasure of being invited in to visit some year 4 classrooms to talk bugs!  Each class had taken on an investigation of different creepy crawlies as part of their inquiry work.  I whipped up some tiny 'one cut books' to match their bugs of interest - perfect to use as an independent early finishers activity as there's room to add illustrations or diagrams.  If you'd like a slightly larger size (as seen with the worm booklet above) make sure you print your one cut booklet sheets on A3 paper.  These mini booklets focus specifically on NZ natives, and are filled with little facts and interesting tidbits that highlight the special features of each native, including Māori names, threats they are facing and how to recognise them. 

The Bugs included are:

  • NZ Preying/Praying Mantises (including the tragic story of the invading, cannibalising South African species)
  • NZ Spiders (did you know we have 4 species of FISH eating spider?)
  • NZ Worms (Learn about our 1.4 metre glow in the dark native worm!)
  • NZ Butterflies and Moths (did you know our Zebra moth features on the NZ $100 bank note?)
  • Are you focusing on a different native bug and would like a booklet?  Leave me a comment and I'll endeavour to include your creepy crawly!

The resource above also includes clickable links to other great internet based Kiwi resources!
Some classes were also working on detailed artworks of their bugs, and used these sketching sheets to ensure they included all the main features of their creepy crawlies.  

Below are some of my favourite bug themed books (not all specific to NZ) for reading to your class as you dive into this fascinating topic...

There Was an Old Woman
by Kaitrin McMullan & Liz Weir
The familiar "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly" rhyme has been stepped up a notch with this kiwi themed book.  Even children at the upper Primary level will enjoy the hilarious illustrations by Fraser Williamson...(Ewwww!!)  Each picture is accompanied by a photo of the native species to match, and also included a pictoral fact file at the back with more information about the creatures.  This book would be great to re-write and illustrate as a class using bugs of their choice.

by Denise Whitmore
This clever book contains a two stories in one.  It interweaves the written story of the Moth's life cycle, along with a 'photo story' that follows a young child and their family through time.  These tales are accompanied by beautifully collaged illustrations - perfect for inspiring your own classroom pictures of moths or butterflies.  Click here to read our previous blog post about the incredible Puriri moth.

The Kuia & the Spider
by Patricia Grace
This Kiwi classic combines the writing of Patricia Grace with the illustrations of Robyn Kahukiwa (love her work).  I recall being read this book at school in the early 80's..... but as my son has also recently enjoyed it, I think we can safely say it's stood the test of time!  Packed full of lots of Kiwi themes, this is a must read for your bug topic.

Diary of a Spider (and Worm)
by Doreen Cronin
I've yet to find a class that hasn't enjoyed these humorous 'Diary' themed books!  If you've got some children who are less than enthused (or scared) of various creepy crawlies, these books are the perfect way to 'put yourself in the shoes' of these bugs and see things from their point of view.  Writing a 'day in the life of' diary post would be a great follow up activity after reading.

Manuelo the Playing Mantis
by Don Freeman
I can't believe how difficult it was to find a 'Praying Mantis' themed fiction book!  This delicately illustrated book by Don Freeman shares the adventures of Manuelo has he struggles to fulfill his music playing ambitions.

Don't forget to check out the labels on the right for lots more bug/insect/creepy crawly themed resources,

Grubbily yours,

Friday, 15 May 2015

FREE Mihi/Pepeha template {1-cut-book}

This little one cut 'Mihi/Pepeha' booklet is a great scaffold to support your students with learning their mihi!
The small size is perfect for holding discretely in your palm for quick reference during assembly or in class, and the pictures provide extra guidance for your little ones.  Simply print, fill in and colour, then follow the picture instructions to cut, fold and assemble your little booklet.  If you'd like more room for your students to explore their whakapapa, I suggest enlarging and printing your sheet on to A3 paper - this will provide more room for your children to add notes and extra illustrations as applicable. 
Also included is a themed colouring page to support your discussions about some of the items mentioned in the booklet.

*Please note - there a variety of different mihi formats included, so make sure you print the one that's most suitable to your region.
** Does your school use a different order or format?  Leave me a comment and I'll try to include it in the download :-)

Grubbily yours,
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