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Ministry of Education.
Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe; e kore tō tātou waka e ū ki uta

"The Mysterious Stones of Tonga", School Journal, level 2, August 2017

21 August 2017

The mysterious stones of Tonga.

In this article, Dr ʻAna Maui Taufeʻulungaki describes and discusses an unusual stone monument, Haʻamonga ʻa Maui (the Burden of Maui), which stands near the village of Niutōua in Tonga.

You can find the article, the teacher support materials, and the recorded interview on Literacy Online: "The Mysterious Stones of Tonga ", School Journal, Level 2, August 2017.

Other useful resources

Students could research the monuments suggested below and/or investigate monuments in their communities.

Discussion questions

These could include:

  • What is the purpose of these different monuments?
  • Who uses these monuments?
  • What are some of the important physical (what it looks like) and functional attributes (what it does) of these monuments? (See the design process for the Canterbury Memorial wall for information on physical and functional attributes.)
  • Choose a monument and describe the relationship between the physical and functional attributes. (For example, the Christchurch Memorial wall needed to provide a space for civic events each year. The walkway and sitting space were designed to meet this attribute.)  
  • What materials are used in the monument?
  • What are the performance properties of the materials used in the monument? (for example, weather resistant, flexible, colour, and so on)
  • Why do you think that these materials were selected for this monument?
  • How have they manipulated the materials to make the monument? (for example, shaping, joining)

Indicators of progression for discussion starters

Component  Indicator  Level
Characteristics of technology
  • identify that technology helps to create the made world
  • identify that technology involves people designing and making technological outcomes for an identified purpose
Characteristics of technological outcomes
  • identify who might use particular technological outcomes
  • identify the physical attributes of technological outcomes
  • identify the functional attributes of technological outcomes
Technological products
  • identify materials that technological products are made from
  • identify performance properties of common materials
  • identify how the materials have been manipulated to make the product
Characteristics of technology
  • describe the relationship between technology and the made, natural and social world
  • identify social and/or environmental issues that may have in influenced particular technological practices and/or the attributes of outcomes produced
Characteristics of technological outcomes
  • identify a technological product and describe relationships between the physical and functional attributes
Technological products
  • describe the performance properties of a range of materials and use these to suggest things the materials could be used for
  • describe feasible ways of manipulating a range of materials 
  • suggest why the materials used in particular technological products were selected

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