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

Celebrating Matariki – Unit plan

Final outcome: Iced biscuits
(Click on image to enlarge)


Year 1 – Students working towards achievement at Level 1
Teacher: Lou Reed, Te Kura o Otangarei

Global intention: We are going to design biscuits to help us celebrate Matariki not only for our class but for the whole school and attempt to understand technological modelling

Dates: The rising of Matariki, or the star cluster known as Pleiades, usually occurs near the end of June and the beginning of July, marking the start of the Māori New Year.

Curriculum links


  • Excellence
  • Innovation, inquiry and curiosity
  • Diversity
  • Respect
  • Equity
  • Community and Participation
  • Care for the Environment
  • Integrity

Key competencies:

  • Managing Self
  • Relating to Others
  • Participating and Contributing
  • Thinking
  • Using Language, Symbols and Texts
Technological practice Nature of technology Technological knowledge

Planning for practice

  • Outline a general plan to support the development of an outcome, identifying appropriate steps and resources.

Characteristics of technology

  • Understand that technology is purposeful intervention through design.

Technological modelling

  • Understand that functional models are used to represent reality and test design concepts and that prototypes are used to test Technological Outcomes.

Brief development

  • Describe the outcome they are developing and identify the attributes it should have, taking account of the need/opportunity and the resources available.

Characteristics of
technological outcomes

Understand that technological outcomes are products or systems developed by people and have a physical nature and a functional nature.

Technological products

  • Understand that technological products have material and performance properties.

Outcome development and evaluation

  • Investigate a context to communicate potential outcomes. Evaluate these against attributes; select and develop an outcome in keeping with the identified attributes.

Technological systems

  • Understand that technological systems have inputs, controlled transformations, and outputs.

Learning outcomes and success criteria

Context learning outcome

We are learning: What Matariki is and ways that we could celebrate Matariki at school.

We know we have achieved this when we can: Explain what Matariki is, and why it is important to celebrate.

Student presentation sheet
(Select image to enlarge)

Curriculum learning outcomes and success criteria

We are learning to: We know we have achieved this when we can: 
Describe to others what we are doing and what attributes our final outcome has to have. (BD) Describe an image that will represent Matariki and be suitable for using on the top of a biscuit.
Develop different design ideas and test these against the attributes our final outcome has to have. (ODE) Develop models of our design ideas and share these with the class so we can all agree on a design that best meets the brief.
Develop and test a prototype, and make the final outcome. (ODE) Make a biscuit (prototype) based on the selected design and ask Matua Charles for his opinion. Make a batch of biscuits that are all the same design and quality for the celebration lunch.
The difference between a model and a prototype and how they help future decision making. (TM) Make models to test our design ideas (name as models). Make a one-off outcome to test before making more. Call this our prototype. Explain the differences in terms of how each model helped us to decide what to do next.

Formative assessment

Diagnostic assessment Assessment task
  • Pre-test
  • Assessment Resource Bank
  • asTTle
Brainstorm on what we know about Matariki and how it could be celebrated

Lesson outline

Week  Activity
Week 1
  • Matariki – What is it? What is its significance i te Ao Māori?
  • How can we celebrate this time for us, for our class, for our whanau and for our school – brainstorm.
  • Food focus: With the Matariki story the whanau celebrated with kumara over the fire. Let's look at biscuits – Matariki biscuits.
  • Lets design a biscuit top that represents Matariki for us.
  • The best model will be chosen by the whanau and we will then develop the prototype.
Week 2


  • The children will write down the ingredients for the biscuit topping and what other ingredients will be used for the stars etc.
  • The prototype will be made and taken to Matua Charles to "test drive".
  • The result will be recorded. Representative of Matariki, tasty?
  • The children then make their own biscuits and increasing the quantity of ingredients accordingly for the whole whanau and the staff.
  • Design assembly line for making lots of biscuits, following prototype design.
Week 3


  • The children will brainstorm other things that could be used as models and prototypes.
  • Model cars will be brought in to study and discuss the differences between models and a prototype.
  • The children will work in pairs to evaluate the biscuits produced and discuss ways they could have improved them.


Summative assessment:

  • Questionnaire
  • Self-assessment
  • Peer-assessment

Formative assessment:

  • Ongoing discussions with the class on progress and where to next.
  • 1-1 discussions with children around what they were doing and the attributes they thought the biscuits needed to have.

Reflection on unit: The unit was a bit rocky to start of with but once I got my AO's aligned with my learning intentions and lesson progressions it went very well. The children were highly motivated and I think this was due partly to me being very motivated. I understood as I progressed through.

Planning and preparation: I feel I needed to actually analyse the AO's a lot closer as I found that I could move freely from one AO to the other. Once I understood, there was no stopping me.

The preparation has been to purchase the ingredients for the biscuits tops, the materials so the children could brainstorm and record their results in their groups and really thinking every step through so that I could move the children through at a good pace."

Catering to individual students' needs: Extend the more capable like Nicholas, Nancy Rose, Petera, Jayden and give Taylor the opportunity to step into roles of responsibility.

Challenging all students: I would like to see the quieter members of the class taking an active role in the various roles.

Use of class time: Three half hour sessions three times a week for three weeks.

Overall delivery: I was pleased with the outcome and all the children were able to explain and show in their own way their understanding.

Success of unit based on assessment and anecdotal observations:
All of children could state what they were aiming to make and why. Many of the children could clearly state the attributes a Matariki biscuit would have to have, mostly in terms of tasting good and having 'stars' as decorations. The children have shown a clear understanding of the difference between a model and a prototype and they all used their paper models to explain and test out their design ideas. Getting agreement on the best design was not too difficult as the limited resources available to us in terms of the size of the biscuit and ingredients, meant they had lots of similar design ideas. All the children enjoyed playing their role in the assembly line and were proud of their outcome. Getting to eat the food was an awesome added bonus.

Areas for future improvement (what would have worked better):
Possibly a better understanding of the technology learning area but I have learnt so much through doing as opposed to just playing a passive role and reading.

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