In this activity, students use their knowledge of the Sun and Moon to make compass directions and then use these directions to participate in a treasure hunt.
By the end of this activity, students should be able to:
- find E, W, N and S using the Sun and Moon
- devise a compass to use within the confines of school
- use their compass knowledge to complete and/or make a treasure hunt (that uses compass point clues).
Download the Word file (see link below) for:
- introduction/background notes
- what you need
- what to do
- extension activity
- student handout.
Traditional wayfinding involves observing and understanding nature.
Astronomical techniques involve knowledge of the night sky and are described in these articles:
- The star compass (kāpehu whetū) uses cardinal directions and 220 stars to show where stars will rise and set on the celestial equator.
- The celestial sphere uses reference points like the horizon, the zenith and stars’ altitude to determine direction.
- Navigating with Sun, Moon and planet looks at how the rising and setting of the Sun and Moon and recognisable planets are useful for wayfinding.
Navigating by the stars introduces students to traditional navigational skills – using the cardinal directions and the Southern Cross.
See the Moon phases in:
- www.rasnz.org.nz/in-the-sky/lunar-phases (New Zealand only)
- www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/new-zealand (select a different country if you want).
In this article, from the University of Waikato, meet Dr Haki Tuaupiki, who is researching ancestral ocean navigation. His research explores traditional narratives in te reo, including waiata, karakia and whakataukī, to understand how the sun and stars, the movement of wind and clouds, ocean currents, bird and whale migration and seasonal patterns helped to guide ancient ancestors. Included is a video Ancestral ocean navigation.