Creative Classroom Ideas for Exploring Matariki

Creative and engaging Matariki ideas for your classroom 

It’s that time of year again. Matariki! So, why not try something new to engage your students and get them excited about learning and sharing their knowledge and expertise. Here are a few ideas on how you can use a range of tools to celebrate and explore Matariki with your learners. 

Book Creator 

Use the templates in Book Creator to create a collaborative class cookbook. Here are some ideas for the chapters that could relate to each of the stars of the Matariki cluster: 

  • Matariki – The star of reflection, hope, our connection to the environment, and the wellbeing of people.  

Here you could unpack the overview of the project – The why we are doing this (as a class and the cultural significance). 

  • Pōhutukawa – The star connected to those who have passed away. 

Handwritten recipes that are of special importance to someone passed. 

  • Waitī – The star associated with bodies of freshwater and the food within it. 

Freshwater food: watercress, eel, salmon, trout, rice, etc.

  • Waitā – The star associated with the ocean, and the food within it. 

Kai moana (need I say more). 

  • Waipunarangi – The star associated with rain. 

Vegetarian recipes. 

  • Tupuānuku – The star associated with food that grows within the soil. 

Vegetarian recipes from within the Earth, Kumara, potato, beetroot 

  • Tupuārangi – The star associated with food that grows up in the trees. 

Fruit desserts 

Everyone has a recipe or meal that is special to their whanau and the finished product could be published and shared online across the world for friends and family! 

Explore Matariki with Minecraft Education 

To celebrate Matariki using gamification, one of our amazing trainers, Kelly Kenyon, has created the ‘Exploring Matariki with Minecraft’ world. There are so many educational and engaging activities for all the whetū in the Matariki cluster (stars).  

We’re running a FREE webinar which you can sign up to which runs you through the custom-built world, as well as an amazing kete of resources including lesson plans with differentiated activities to extend your students’ knowledge about the Māori New Year. If you are new to Minecraft Education, don’t worry, this is for beginners as well as those experienced gameplayers. 

Register here to take part on 22 June, 5-6pm! 


Curipod is my new favourite tool. Imagine being able to create a whole PowerPoint or Google Slide presentation in less than a minute that is interactive. With this tool you can include word clouds, multichoice questions, drawing challenges, and polls! The best part? The students can write long answers and the artificial intelligence in the background will instantly write specific and meaningful feedback, how’s that for timely and responsive?!  

I’ve already used Curipod to run several lessons on Matariki, and even those kids that rarely engage were totally into it. 

While Curipod is easy to create, and easy to use, most teachers and students will need to use it a couple of times to before they really know what to expect. If it doesn’t work smoothly for you the first time, persevere, it’s worth it! 

For more on using Curipod’s AI platform, you can read this blog from Rach: Transform Your Teaching with Curipod: The Ultimate AI Tool for Educators  

Click here to register for our FREE upcoming online webinar on ‘Exploring Matariki with Minecraft Education’ – register now before you miss out on all those amazing resources.! 

At UTB we love to help get you feeling confident using digital tools, so if you want some guidance with the tools featured in this blog, book a discovery call with our team here to chat about your specific needs for your context. 

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