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Activity: Making a waka kōrari – Levels 1-3

Achievement Objectives - Whāinga Paetae: Te Tōpana me te Nekenga

1.2 & 2.1 Explore and experience motion, floating, pushes and pulls. Te Marautanga o Aotearoa: (p.98-99) Ō Ahupūngao, Te Tōpana me te Nekenga, Taumata 1.1 and Taumata 2.1

Learning Outcome

I will be able to: 

  • choose materials for my waka kōrari that make it easy for the waka to float
  • make a  waka kōrari
  • include in the design of my waka kōrari items that make the waka stable in the water.

Success criteria

Success criteria Self-assessment Peer assessment Teacher assessment
I can choose materials for my waka kōrari that make it easy for the waka to float.                  
I can make a waka kōrari.                  
I can include in the design of my waka kōrari items that make the waka stable in the water.

Exploring floating and sinking by making a waka kōrari

In this activity you will be making your own waka kōrari using materials that are easily obtained. You can choose to make your waka using modern or natural materials.


Modern materials

Natural materials

  • Drinking straws
  • Four 2cm squares of bubble wrap
  • Four wooden kebab sticks or skewers
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors
  • Thick straw or thin pieces of kōrari
  • Seaweed air bladders
  • Two flexible twigs (30cm long)
  • Thin strips of harakeke
  • Scissors

Your waka kōrari will be a model that is between 22 and 30cm long. It will need to be stable in choppy water and difficult to capsize (tip over). It will need to have at least one seat with room for a person’s legs. Feel free to use a toy person as your cargo.

  • Why is it important for the waka kōrari to have bull kelp (rimurapa) in its structure? Where is the best place to secure the bull kelp (rimurapa) in the waka?
  • What would be the problem if the wooden poles were not included in the making of the waka kōrari?

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