In this activity, students discuss the importance of observation in science. They are given the opportunity to observe harakeke and record their observations. It is important to seek knowledge and understanding from your local iwi about the correct protocols and tikanga around harvesting and using harakeke.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • appreciate the importance of careful observation (the act of noting and recording something) rather than merely looking
  • explain why good observation skills are important for scientists
  • discuss important features of one of our native harakeke species and make inferences from their observations and background knowledge.

Download the Word file for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • instructions on what you need and what to do
  • discussion questions
  • ideas for extending your students
  • Extracting fibre from harakeke image.

Nature of science

This activity encourages schools to work together with local iwi to share and develop understanding and knowledge about harakeke. Students’ skills related to the Nature of Science aims of investigating in science and participating and contributing could be effectively developed through this activity.

Useful links

These videos from the Biotechnology Learning Hub describe the types of harakeke and its traditional and industrial uses.

/biotech_and_taonga/the_harakeke_project_at_industrial_research/products_from_harakeke

/biotech_and_taonga/the_harakeke_project_at_industrial_research/types_of_harakeke_or_flax

    Published 17 November 2015