Ho‘ona‘auao: Education
Nainoa Thompson: A Challenge to Learn
Ten Themes of Learning
Key Elements of Education
Crew Training
Resources: Classroom Curriculum and Activities
Resources: Online Content
Resources: Online Photos, Graphics, and Maps
Resources: Songs and Chants of the Canoes
Resources: Films and Videos

Polynesian Voyaging Society-Hawai'i Maritime Center

1992 No Na Mamo, A Voyage for Education

Classroom Activities

The Purpose of this Voyage

We are out here on the canoe to continue our search to better understand the great accomplishments of our ancient seafarers, our forefathers. We hope that by taking the knowledge we get from learning about what it took for them to do their great epic voyages and passing it on through education, we will build a certain amount of dignity and pride about our traditions and our heritage.

Beyond that, the whole notion of exploration is something that's very vital to human survival whether it was sailing a canoe 2000 years ago, or, today, trying to find ways to keep our environment clean and to maintain a high quality of life.

In their time, our forefathers were great explorers and they took on the challenge of finding new islands in order for them to survive. I think that the need to explore is just as important today as it was in the past, and I hope that our experiences will help maybe motivate and inspire the younger generation to explore the challenges that their generation faces in order to survive.

-Nainoa Thompson, Sailmaster


By traveling along the ancient pathways of our ancestors, the Hokule'a's Voyage for Education "No Na Mamo" has unlocked a similar passion for discovery in the classroom. The curriculum we have designed has the potential to ignite our students' imagination, fuel their sense of wonder, motivate them to seek out answers, develop hypotheses, and communicate their discoveries to an audience. Our focus is on process before content.

We hope that these learning opportunities will equip Hawai'i's youth with the skills to be lifelong learners and thinkers. True student empowerment comes from providing learning opportunities whereby students can develop decision making, problem solving, and communication skills, which they can transfer to any experience or situation. The curriculum has enormous potential for integrating the disciplines in the school. Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Language Arts are incorporated into the curriculum in a way that emphasizes their relationships rather than their disparities. Moreover, the students will understand how the concepts and skills pertaining to each discipline are actually applied to real-life situations.

Benefits of Using an Inquiry-Based Approach to Classroom Activities

Since the nature of this field of study centers around exploration and discovery, the students' learning process must parallel this very experience. If the topics arouse genuine puzzlement within the students, they will be motivated to seek out the knowledge for themselves, collaborate with peers, and engage in thoughtful analysis and shared decision-making.

Therefore, this inquiry process calls for a teacher to be a facilitator, resource person, group counselor, as well as a learner along side the student. Consequently, the teacher relinquishes the role of a dispenser of knowledge and expert.

Benefits For the Classroom Environment and Students:

Objectives For the Learner:

Students will ...

... develop skills necessary to become independent learners and future decision makers.

... strengthen problem-solving skills by applying their knowledge of ancient Polynesian navigation skills in small group learning teams.

... experience the importance and rewards of effective group interaction and group consensus.

... develop a sense of self-worth by engaging in activities that are challenging and relevant to their personal lives.

... communicate their findings to build their oral and written communication skills.

... develop strong research skills through inquiry and investigation.

... experience an increased enthusiasm for learning.


This guide is designed to provide teachers with a wide variety of options from which to choose when developing their own activities for "Voyaging and Exploration." The intent is to present an assortment of relevant topics and teaching strategies; the real strength and power of the curriculum depends upon the creativity and expertise that you will bring to the creation of meaningful and challenging learning opportunities for your students.

Learning about ancient survival skills and applying them to modern times is a common theme that connects each element of these activities. A brief explanation of six possible areas of focus will clarify how the theme of surVival can be interwoven:

  1. Wayfinding and Polynesian Navigation brings students in touch with the ancient Polynesian way of reaching a destination without the use of instruments. Students can explore geography, oceanography, astronomy, the math and physics of sailing.
  2. Survival, Resources, and the Environment allows students to grapple with issues related to survival on land and sea, particularly, how to fmd a balance between human needs and the limited natural resources. Four questions raise issues about human survival.
  3. History of Exploration: the Voyages of Hokule'a and Polynesian Exploration; Columbus and European Exploration; and the Space Shuttle Columbia and American Exploration. This area provides students with an excellent opportunity to explore the similarities and differences between past and present voyages of exploration, and to think about future exploration of space. Teachers could develop a cross-cultural, crosshistorical approach to the theme of human exploration and survival. Questions in this Area will lead students back into Areas I and 2.
  4. Hawaiian Canoe-Building Traditions enhances students' understanding of the ancient rituals and techniques involved with building a canoe, and Hawaiian ethics and beliefs that accompany these rituals which reveal the relationship that the Hawaiians had with their environment; topics are closely related to Areas 2 and 3.
  5. The Literature of Polynesian Seafaring increases students' understanding of Hawaiian folklore, ancient Hawaiian life, and Hawaiian values. The literature can be read as part of anyone of the other Areas (I, 2, 3, 4), as historical and cultural information is woven into the stories.
  6. Voyaging as a Metaphor for Life offers students an opportunity to connect the voyage to their personal lives and determine exactly how studying about survival and exploration can have personal significance and meaning. The discussion of this topic should allow students to integrate lessons learned from alI the other Areas.

A Personal Note ...

... from a teacher who has tested this educational packet in her classroom

It was difficult for me to keep my excitement and enthusiasm for this project from bursting out at you on these pages. I had a unique opportunity to witness first hand the power and magic that following the Hokiile'a can bring to your students. I saw a sincere desire to know in their eyes; their posture was straighter; they held their heads higher. They would give up their evening pool time to meet in their learning teams! Unbelievable - I know. But there was this amazing hum of mental activity in the air! Once they began to pursue the answer to one question, they asked other questions that needed to be answered before they could answer the original question: "My head hurts," an exhausted student moaned. This was music to my ears!

I had very little time to prepare. In fact, I KNEW NOTHING!!! I was horrified and constantly screamed to myself, "You don't know what you're doing! Do they actually think that I will gleefully throw out one month of already prepared lesson plans, to teach something I know absolutely nothing about? I feared that I would unleash a zoo. "I need more time," and, "If I had more notice..." would have been perfect excuses-but I had no choice!

As I plunged into these unknown waters I was convinced that I would drown. Whatever the students asked me, I couldn't possibly reply, "I don't know." I'm supposed to be the "expert." My students will lose respect. Again, I had no choice, but I was willing to take a risk. At first I found myself trying to be "one step ahead of them" for the navigation segment, but the students' enthusiasm didn't ignite until I uttered my first "I don't know." (I struggled to find some saving words) ... "What do you think?" ...

An outpouring of possibilities hit my ear all at once! The inquiry process began, and independent learners and thinkers started to emerge: Internally motivated students started digging through Library Catalogs! The shyest students were on the phone with specialists from the Bishop Museum. One student had a burning desire to know the weight of a pig. The library was closed, so he called the zoo! He brought his medal of honor and mark of dependability before his teammates who truly thought that he saved the day! These were the most incredible sights and sounds an idealistic young teacher could experience.

Hopefully, those of you who already know what this is like, can easily plug Hokule'a in between October 20 - November 27. To those of you hesitating at the shoreline: "Fear not these uncharted seas." I've traveled with my students, and we explored ideas and critical issues together. I'm focusing on teaching my students how to think. If they're studying about facing the challenges that their generation will encounter, then I've got to prepare them for that monumental task. Striving towards qualities like perseverance, commitment, and the ability to work together, resolve conflicts, and solve problems, was important for the crew's success, and will be just as important for the student's success during his or her own personal voyage.


General Objectives:

To the Teacher:

The study of wayfinding can be intimidating because of the terminology, concepts, and new material involved in learning the art form. However, using inquiry-based, group investigation processes along with the materials in this educational packet, the general objectives can be achieved with limited prior knowledge on your part.


Gather Some Resources:

1. Readings and materials on wayfinding and Polynesian navigation are available at the PVS website: see "Wayfinding". For visuals aids and other online resources, see the menu for Ho‘ona‘auao: Education. Other grraphic aids can be found in the Online Crew Manual.

2. Here are other readings on wayfinding:

a. "Steering by Stars and Sea" by Herb Kawainui Kane et. al., in Polynesian Seafaring Heritage (ed. by Cecilia Kapua Lindo and Nancy Alpert Mower; Kamehameha Schools Press, 1980).

b. The Voyage to Tahiti (Nancy Alpert Mower, Polynesian Voyaging Society, 1976)

c. Voyagers (Herb Kawainui Kane, Whalesong, 1991)

d. To Find a Way (a children's book by Susan Nunes, illustrated by Cissy Gray; UH Press, 1992).

These publications should be in your school or public library.

Group Activity: Start with a Puzzling Question

1. Brainstorm (either in small groups or as a large group) on the following question: "If you were a wayfinder sailing on Hokule'a, what would you need to know about in order to find your way home without instruments?"

A list of general topics for further inquiry and group investigation should emerge. If students transform their list(s) into question statements, they will identify clearer avenues for further investigation. For example, they might list "astronomy." Possible question statements would be as follows:

2. Gather Information

3. Test the Hypothesis

Compare the initial hypothesis with information gathered: Do the discoveries and important information confirm or disprove the hypothesis?

4. Develop a New Hypothesis Based on Information Gathered

What was missing from the original hypothesis?

5. Communicate Results

While students are giving reports, presentations, or skits, classmates can be thinking about, or listing, how each group's findings are similar to, or different from, their own.

6. Class Discussion of Similarities and Differences of Findings

7. Evaluation of Their Own Learning Process and Group Growth Students can keep learning logs throughout the investigation, then reflect upon, react to, and / or evaluate their logs at the end. Examples: What I learned about wayfinding, myself, being a part of a learning team.

Students Inquire into Wayfinding with Nainoa Thompson

The following transcript of a conversation between students who participated in a summer pilot program and Nainoa Thompson is provided so you can:

  1. Get an idea of the kind of inquiry that can take place on the subject of wayfinding.
  2. Get a sense of what to anticipate when broadcasts over KCCN and Distance Learning interactive television programming begins.
  3. Feel a little more comfortable about bringing the study of Polynesian navigation into your classroom

STUDENT: You explained that the variable winds yesterday caused you to change the direction you were steering the canoe from NaIani to Haka on your star compass. [See the star compass on C-12 for translations for these directional terms.] Why is that, and what do you plan to do now?

NAINOA: Actually, our course that we intend to sail is SE Na Leo. The winds we are experiencing are not allowing us to sail that course and it's forcing us west which is a direction that we don't want to go. But at this particular time, we feel very confident that our position at sea is ok and that we can consider sailing in this direction to the west in hopes and anticipation that the winds are going to switch to a more favorable direction so we can get back to our course line.

The only other alternative now would be to tack the canoe: put the wind on the other side of the canoe and go back in a direction more towards the North East. Let's put it at North East Manu on your star compass. That would not be wise because that would take us back into the doldrum belt.

STUDENT: What directions are the winds coming from?

NAINOA: The winds are coming from South East Manu.

STUDENT: We're going to answer the question about the average heading which you gave us yesterday. We estimated that your average heading, based on the given star coordinates, was Malanai 'Aina. In the early part of the night, the planet Jupiter set dead astern. This clue helped us because the stem is the back of the canoe, and Jupiter set in Malanai La. The star Nunki rose between Malanai 'Aina and Noio. Because it was aligned with the bow, it confirmed our answer.

NAINOA: First of all, you are one hundred percent correct. I think you guys are brilliant and it makes us feel real good that it's making sense to you folks within the context of the Hawaiian star compass. For the general public who don't understand the Hawaiian terms, we sailed east south east which is about 22 1/2 degrees of south of east if you are using a regular magnetic compass.

STUDENT: You gave us a navigational problem to solve using the southern pointers for clues. We think the answer is between Noio and Manu in the quadrant of Kona.

NAINOA: Stand by one second, I have to think this through... yeah, it's pretty close. The average heading, that we were steering, was between Noio and Manu, but talk to Will [Kyselka] about what happens when the wind is pushing the canoe sideways. There's a thing called lead drift. It pushes you approximately one house downwind from the direction that the canoe is actually pointing. Where the canoe is pointing is not actually where you're truly sailing. Talk to Will and you'll find a more precise answer. But real good job. What you've answered is where the canoe would be pointing and that is a little bit different than where it's actually steered.

Students Inquire into Sealife with Hokule'a's Crew

QUESTION FROM THE CREW: Three days into our trip, a booby, an 'a, landed on one of our solar panels on the back of the canoe. For the last couple of days, the 'a has returned and has spent several hours on the comer of the canoe before flying off again. We don't know if it is the same exact bird. It has become somewhat of a ritual daily for the crew to await its return sometime in the early afternoon. We try to feed it raw fish and apples but it refuses to eat. The 'a looks healthy but it refuses to sit on the ocean like the rest of its friends. Whenever the boobies get close, he squawks at them to keep them away. We want an answer as to whether this is typical behavior of the bird.

STUDENT: The answer to your question is yes because of the information we gathered. We found that the 'a is known to show little fear of people, and can be found perching on floating objects-marking their territory. The Hokule'a is the object. This certain 'a bird could be of higher rank and the leader of the flock which is probably why it was on the Hokule'a squawking at the others. The 'a most likely didn't take the raw fish and apples because it likes to eat the whole fish and not just pieces of it. It usually eats at night so it's probably not hungry during the day.

NAINOA: Wow, that's awesome! Thank you very much. Maybe we should turn this whole program around and we'll ask you guys some more questions and you'll give us the answers! I want to thank the students for their enthusiasm and participation in the program and especially for enlightening us with doing the research for us about the Booby bird.


General Objectives:

Possible Strategy:


Access to libraries and outside sources is vital. Background information on environmental issues may need to be provided if your library is limited.
The Four Questions

Question #1: This first question deals with a closed ecosystem-the canoe itself. Whatever you take on the canoe is all you will have to survive, except for fish you may catch and rain water you may trap. So, what you load onto the canoe is extremely important. Given that the canoe has a weight capacity of 25,000 lbs., the bare rig is 14,000 lbs. You can load the canoe with another 11,000 lbs. which includes people, provisions, and equipment. What would you load onto the canoe?

Question #2: Along the same line of human survival: Who would you take on the canoe? What kinds of people, what kinds of expertise would be important to make the 2500 mile voyage of 30 days at sea, as well as be able to establish themselves on a new island group? Also, what quality of personality would they need to have?

Question #3: Once you find your island, using the island of Hawai'i as a model, how would you create a society that grows and prospers within the limits of the natural resources of the island?

Question #4: What if your island were the planet Earth, what decisions would you make to ensure the human race's survival?
Sample Student Responses to the Four Questions

Transcripts from radio conversations between students who participated in the summer pilot program and Nainoa Thompson follow:

Question #I-What Would You Take on a Canoe...?

STUDENT: We'll be answering the first question: What would you load onto the canoe if you had 11,000 lb. weight carrying capacity. We're answering this question as if we were ancient Hawaiians. Our answer is: 150 Ibs. for clothing, 500 Ibs. for weapons and tools, 1000 Ibs. for animals, 5300 Ibs. for food, 1750 Ibs. for people, and 1500 Ibs. for water. We would take 150 lbs. for clothing in case of a storm, 500 Ibs. for weapons and tools because we'd be encountering an uninhabited island. We purposely left 800 Ibs. just in case something weighs more.

NAINOA: We're going to write their answer down, and ponder their solutions, and maybe raise a few questions about some of their choices to see what they come up with later.

After the students reflected and evaluated their own response, these are some of the insights that they shared:

STUDENT: We focused too much on how much everything weighed that we didn't share a lot of the knowledge we gained about what our ancestors took. Remember all that digging we did about what plants and animals our ancestors took?

STUDENT: Oh yeah... and that stuff about equipment like the 'o'o (the digging stick) and the adzes, remember?

TEACHER: Ok, so continue evaluating your response to the question: What were its weaknesses?

STUDENT: Well, we were really pressed for time. We spent all day studying about our ancestors, but at night, we got all screwed up with the math and it was really frustrating. We were arguing and we didn't know how many pounds a gallon of water weighs, or how heavy kapa would be, or even how much a pig weighs. We sucked on the math.

STUDENT: We needed more time. We weren't ready.

STUDENT: We didn't really answer the question. The main part, anyway.

STUDENT: I think we got confused and didn't know which part was more important, the ancestor stuff or the math stuff.

STUDENT: They're probably both important but we forgot one... oops.

TEACHER: Why might they both be important?

Question #2- Who Would You Take on the Canoe... ?

STUDENT: I'm going to answer your question about who we would take if we were ancient Hawaiians: A ho'okele-wa'a (navigator), a kahuna ho'oulu 'ai (agricultural expert), a kahuna lapa'au (medicinal healer), a kahuna nui (high priest), a kahuna pa'a mo'olelo (historian), three women (experts at kapa making and lauhala weaving), a lawai'a (fisherman), a kahuna pu'uone (landscaper I engineer), one warrior, two ali'i (a man and a woman), and a kahuna kaIai wa'a (master canoe builder).

NAINOA: It sounds real good. They really thought about the requirements to make the voyage as well as making sure that once they found uninhabited land, they would be able to establish themselves with the right kind of expertise to have a high quality standard of living.

STUDENT: I'm going to tell you what qualities we would like the people on board Hokule'a to have. We would like them to be helpful, patient, considerate, honest, responsible, trustworthy, enthusiastic, cooperative, hardworking, courageous, leaders, adventurous, caring, strong, conservative, resourceful, and, most of all, we would like them to have the aloha spirit.

NAINOA: That's a real good answer. In our crew selection, we make sure that the crew is heavily trained in sailing, that they're healthy-we make them go through certain medical requirements and physical tests-but really, a major part of the selection is based on people with good human qualities who are able to live together in close quarters and who have all of those qualities that you described.

Question #3-What Kind of Society Would We Establish?

STUDENT: You asked us to imagine that we found our island, and, given the limited resources on the island, how would we plan to have our society grow and prosper. Well, we would begin by setting up an ahupua'a just like our ancestors did. Everybody worked together to provide food and shelter in this self-sufficient society. We would also bring back the kapu system. By making certain plants and animals kapu for harvesting or hunting, we would never destroy our resources. Most importantly, we would live by our ancestors values: MaIama 'aina and aloha 'aina. We would take only what we needed, we would have reverence for life and ask if we could use what papa (mother earth) has to offer, and we would always take care of her. We would cherish our water and design irrigation systems just like our ancestors.

Since our island has no fossil fuel, namely oil, we would use hydropower, solar and geothermal energy. We had mixed opinions about limiting our population. A lot of us come from big families. We would educate our society about birth control. Once our ahupua'a was over populated, we would explore other islands. We wouldn't want foreigners to live in our society unless they respected our ways, worked together in harmony with us, and loved the land as much as we did.

NAINOA: That's a pretty awesome answer. The intent of the question was to raise more ethical issues. I have a question back to them. We're talking about a historical, fictional island-well, not really fictional, because when our ancestors fust came to Hawai'i they did develop an ahupua'a system and they did have an ethical base that tried to keep their population within the limits of the natural resources, and they knew that whatever they took from the land they had to give back. If you look at Hawaiian history, and the fact that our ancestors lived there for 1800 years, and at a time when western explorers first found our ancestors in a very healthy state, that they must have been doing something right in terms of that balance between human needs and the limits of the natural resources. So my basic question is: Do you think that those ethical principles, and the processes that the ancient Hawaiians had have validity and meaning for us today as our population and as we rapidly begin to deplete our resources?

Question #4-What if Your Island Were the Planet Earth...?

STUDENT: For the benefit of the listeners, I'll repeat Nainoa's question before giving our response: He asked us, "What if your island were the planet Earth, what decisions would you make to ensure the human race's survival?"

First of all, the world will have to start with laulima, working together, because we can't be doing our own thing. We will have to decide on what kinds of values we need to set on our people. We strongly believe that our ancestors had the key to solving many of the world's problems today.

When 95% of what people in Hawai'i consume is shipped in from outside, something's wrong. When the average water use on Oahu is 110 gallons per person per day, something's definitely wrong! When we see that our koa forests have been destroyed, we get angry. When we fmally destroy our atmosphere with pollution, we will die. We are a wasteful and greedy race when you lump us all together.

But studying about the Hokule'a made us realize that we as Hawaiians have something valuable to contribute to the world. Just like the crew of the H okule' a has had to ration their resources because of light winds and slow speed, the human race must see themselves as part of the same crew, one ohana.

We had a hard time deciding on what we would do about overpopulation. One student recommended that we have mating seasons, once every six months, but we figured that love didn't work that way. Perhaps we need to explore, just like our ancestors did, just like the space shuttle Columbia is doing.

All we know is that our generation has inherited unreal problems, but the 33 of us are committed to facing these challenges and making a difference "no na mamo" for the generations.

NAINOA: What a wonderful answer. You know, we wanted to draw as far back as the voyaging canoes coming to Hawai'i to really facing the challenges of the future. It seems that the most important way to solve these problems of the future is really to make them challenges and you approach it first and above all with ethics and beliefs. If your ethics and beliefs are right for the world, then you'll find a way to solve them. I agree. I think that the issues you raised about water and overpopulation really shows that we're out of balance between human needs and the limits that the world can provide. But the fact that these thirty students are willing to do their part, if everybody would do their part, then we can solve these challenges.

A Poem Composed by a Student in the Pilot Program

Sprouting through Papa and Wakea
A new life emerges
And grows into maturity.

Branches joined by a single belief,
Sheltering one another,
Respecting all that surrounds them.

Full and fertile,
Growing and reproducing,
Venturing and learning
As they reach the distance.

Rooted to the 'aina
Massive and powerful
The young nourish upon the elders.

Slowly deteriorating as modern
time creeps slowly at its side.
Sucking it down deeper and
deeper until ...

... it's been forgotten.

Summer Rellamas, Eighth Grade Student Kamuela, Hawai'i


Many teachers will already be incorporating a segment on Columbus into their fall curriculum. In fact, Columbus Day, October 12, is nine days before Hokule'a leaves Rarotonga for Hilo, Hawai'i. And since this is the quincentennial year of Columbus' first voyage to America (1492-1992), there will be much media coverage of Columbus-movies, television programs, books, magazine articles.

While Hokule'a sails home in October, the crew will attempt a live radio link with the space shuttle Columbia, and a third party link to students in Hawai'i. This will be an opportune time to talk about and inquire into the subject of human exploration: why do human beings explore new environments? What effect(s) do they have on the new environments they enter?

The comparisons will allow teachers to take a cross-cultural, cross-historical approach to the theme of exploration and survival.

Starting with some basic comparisons would be helpful:

  1. When did each of the exploratory voyages listed above take place on the time line of human history? What distance had to be covered? What was the motivation for exploration?
  2. What sort of vessels were used for exploration? What are the dimensions, capacities, and capabilities of Polynesian canoes? Columbus' three ships? The space shuttle?
  3. How did these explorers find their ways to their destinations? How do their navigational techniques compare?

Eventually the discussion can lead to deeper, broader questions; the method outlined in Area # I-"Wayfinding and Polynesian Navigation" can be used to explore the following:

  1. What impact, positive and/or negative, did these voyagers have, or may have had, on their respective new environments-in the case of the Polynesians, the indigenous plant and animal life in the Hawaiian islands and other Pacific islands; in the case of Columbus, the indigenous people and environment in America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific?
  2. What effects would human colonies in space have on the environment of space? On the environment of earth? Is space exploration necessary? Should America continue its space program?

The questions and answers in this area will lead the students back to Area # 2-"SurvivaI, Resources, and the Environment."


For readings on Hawaiian Canoe-Building Traditions, see the menu for Canoe Building on the PVS website.

The following books are for elementary and intermediate school students and may be available in your local library:

  1. Hawaiian Canoe-Building Traditions, illustrated by Robin Y. Burningham and developed by Naomi N.Y. Chun, Kamehameha Schools / Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, Honolulu, Hawai'i, 1988. Available online at Ulukau.
  2. A Canoe for Uncle Kila, by Stanley Kapepa, is an excellent companion for this unit. Educators at any grade level can adapt these upper-elementary materials to their respective grade levels.


Voyaging stories and proverbs can be found on the PVS website.

A trilogy on Polynesian Voyaging Traditions, created by The Polynesian Voyaging Society, is an enjoyable, educational series for students young and old:

Book I: The Vision of Mo'ikeha, written by Nancy Alpert Mower and illustrated by Sharon Kumm. (Mo'ikeha, High Chief of Kaua'i, has a vision of a double-hulled canoe and its crew which will sail to Tahiti to find his long lost son, La'amaikahiki. Mo'ikeha holds a ti-Ieaf canoe contest in which his five sons compete to see who has the greatest skills in canoe building and sailing.) 47 pp.

Book II: A Canoe for Uncle Kila, written by Stanley Kapepa and illustrated by John Lennon. (Kila, the youngest son of Mo'ikeha, has won the contest and will be captain of the canoe. Kaha'i, grandson of Mo'ikeha, goes to live with the master canoe builder and participates in each step of building a double-hulled canoe.) 47 pp.

Book III: The Voyage to Tahiti, written by Nancy Alpert Mower and illustrated by Allen Akina. (Kaha'i is a crew member on a memorable voyage, which is not only an exciting adventure but a tremendous learning experience.) 47 pp.

The Voyage to Tahiti is an excellent resource for younger students who are interested in wayfinding. Other young adult and children readings on voyaging include:

Polynesian Seafaring Heritage is another excellent source for exploration into polynesian navigation for younger students.

Voyagers by Herb Kawainui Kane is another well-written book on Polynesian voyaging.

To Find a Way, a children's book by Susan Nunes (UH Press 1992), illustrated by Cissy Gray, is a story about an ancient voyage from Tahiti to Hawai'i.

These stories can be used in a literature unit by itself, or in conjunction with any of the other areas of exploration.


Possibilities are Endless!

If we offer students the opportunity to connect the voyage to their personal lives and experiences, they will find personal significance and develop unique insights. Encourage freewriting and creating writing; examples of focusing questions:

Encourage any medium of self-expression: poetry, short stories, skits, art, music, etc.; publish student work in a classroom literary magazine.