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

1996-1997 Statewide Sail Activities

Activity 1: Star Compass—Directions and Destinations

Concept: Knowledge is important to success (‘Imi ‘Ike—Seek Knowledge).

Focusing Questions: What does a person need to know to navigate without instruments?



Horizon: Form a circle with students marking the eight corners of the horizon. Students in the middle act as the canoe

Marking the Directions in the Daytime:

1. Hold the sun at approximately the direction in which it rises. "Wherever the sun rises in the Spring or Fall, is east." The student nearest this direction holds the Hikina / East Sign. Komohana West: Directly opposite. Throw ball to indicate the sun traveling overhead to the West: “Wherever the sun sets in the Spring or Fall is West.” Possible Questions: How long does the sun take to get across the sky? (11 hours in Winter; 13 hours in Summer.) Does the sun rise straight up or at an angle? Where does the sun go after it sets?

2. Marking the Mid-Directions: Ko‘olau (NE), Ho‘olua (NW), Kona (SW), Malanai (SE)—These directions have the same names as the winds that blow from these directions.

3. Marking the Directions at Night: Hokupa‘a / North Star: Stationary to the North; Hanaiakamalama/ Southern Cross: Pointing to the South. Stars, like the sun, travel from east to west. A constellation that rises due East and Sets Due West, like the sun: Orion. Other constellations the students might be familiar with: Na Hiku (The Big Dipper) rises between N and NE; sets between N and NW; Hokule‘a (Arcturus, Hawai‘i’s Zenith Star) and Makali‘i (Pleiades) rise between E and NE and set between W and NW; A‘a (Sirius, the brightest star in the sky) rises between E and SE and sets between W and SW.

Practicing the names of the directions in English and Hawaiian: Have a student stand in the middle of the circle; call out a direction and have the student throw a rubber ball to the person representing the direction. The students at the horizon can help by clapping to the person in the center when the directions they represent are called out. Call out another direction and have the student with the ball throw it to the person representing that direction, etc. Call out a rising or setting star or constellation, and have the student throw the rubber ball to the person representing the direction in which it would rise or set.

Now that we know our directions, where can we go from Hawai‘i?

Geography of the Pacific: Directions and Countries

Wind directions and names—normal tradewinds and clocking winds as a cold front approaches in the northern hemisphere (Hawai‘i).

Given tradewinds:

More Geography: Distances of various destinations from Hawai‘i: which ones are closest? farthest?

Math: How fast can a voyaging canoe sail? (4-8 knots [nautical miles per hour] on average, 100-200 miles per day.) How long would it take to sail from Hawai‘i to Tahiti? (25-35 days on average.)

Equipment Needed: A Ball; Cards with names of the directions, Names of celestial bodies marking the directions, Names of countries located in each direction.