Anne introduced us to a wonderful pukapuka called ‘Papatūānuku has a tummy ache’. We thought this was a wonderful resource to share with the tamariki of Mairtown Kindergarten as our tamariki have connections with many of the Atua, through our kindergarten environment and also on our Nature Programme.
This story is written by Annette Coppings. It has beautiful illustrations and aligns with our enviroschools kaupapa, with the aim to empower young people to, “make a change for sustainability.” The narrative in the pukapuka is based on the Fox River Landfill disaster in 2019 when over 11,000 rubbish bags of debris were collected in a clean up after the landfill was washed out following extreme weather. (https://enviroschools.org.nz/news-and-events/articles/papatuanuku-has-a-tummy-ache/)
Papatūānuku in Māori “creation stories” is the Earth Mother. This Earth is where we live, where we grow our food and from which we gain sustenance. As we continue to fill our landfills with toxic non-biodegradable rubbish, her puku and friendly worms are all suffering.
We must widen… “our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
– Albert Einstein
This pukapuka has been revisited many times over the year, and we wanted to make a visual representation of her with the tamariki of Mairtown Kindergarten. We believed this would support their learning and link it with was happening within the daily life of kindergarten. Tamariki helped draw a large illustration of Papatūānuku and we placed her on the wall. We then placed a bag on the wall to act as her puku. After morning tea and lunch times we started to collect rubbish that was left behind on the tables and deck area, putting it in 'the puku' of Papatūāku to demonstrate the destination and outcome of the rubbish we were collecting at kindergarten.
“When tamariki/ students connect with their place and its people, and then plan, design and take action, they are creating change. Through this empowering experience, they will become life-long change-makers. The collective exploration is based in the concept of ako, where all participants are simultaneously learners and teachers, and everybody learns from each other. It is a process of co-creation between people and all of the elements and energies around us. Caring for our place and the whole planet becomes a living curriculum where skills and competencies are gained through experience and mahi within meaningful community settings” (Enviroschools ; https://enviroschools.org.nz/ ).