Identity and self-worth: Celebrating whānau

Tagged with:

  • Mental health
  • Relationships With Other People
  • Healthy Communities and Environments
  • Hauora
  • Health promotion
  • Attitudes and values
  • Years 1–4

Celebrating whānau asks ākonga to identify and describe their whānau and their place in it. Recognising all of the different kinds of whānau encourages ākonga to treat others with respect and accept individual differences.

A meeting with parent, teacher and student

Understanding ourselves and getting on together — Activities collection

This resource is part of the Understanding ourselves and getting on together collection.

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Possible learning activities

Ask ākonga to identify and describe all the groups they belong to in their homes, class, school and community, and describe these. Ask them to share and display their descriptions. You can give ākonga a physical or digital template, or ask them to create their own.

Ākonga then discuss the people and relationships within their homes, and whānau and aiga, including same-sex, extended/whānau whanui, nuclear, single-parent whānau, blended whānau, and ākonga who spend equal amounts of time with each parent. Ākonga identify whānau roles and how their whānau members contribute to meeting the needs of individuals within their whānau.

Ākonga create a poster, video, digital artwork, or story showing their place in their whānau and identifying the things in their whānau that are important to them, such as values, connections to whenua, celebrations, things they do together, and the ways whānau members help and support each other.

Develop this activity into a class mural or digital artwork that illustrates the diversity of whānau structures and roles.

Conclude the activity by asking ākonga to consider the different whānau shapes, and what it is that makes a whānau.

Cultural and diversity considerations

All ākonga are part of wider whānau, hapū, iwi, and other community groups. Culturally capable kaiako and tumuaki know, value and integrate the cultural capital of their ākonga into the work of creating positive classroom communities. Classroom programmes dealing with mental health should be sensitively developed so that they respect and reflect the diverse values and beliefs of ākonga and the whole school community.

Kaiako need to make space for ākonga who are not comfortable sharing about their whānau situation because of whānau difficulties or trauma, for example, ākonga whose living situations have been affected by housing instability, to talk about their whānau in broader terms or to talk about one whānau member who may or may not live at their house.

Kaiako notes

Consider presenting the class mural or chart about whānau as part of your class or school assemblies as an ice breaker for building and growing your relationships with whānau and your community.

Focus inquiry questions around the learning before and after the activities to support ākonga to reflect, and think critically about the activities.