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Who celebrates?

Building conceptual understandings of identity and place.

Best Evidence Synthesis

  • Connections – concepts are related to students' own experiences of celebrations
  • Community – by holding discussions students are encouraged to work collaboratively
  • Interest – use of videos and photos engages students, and a variety of activities are used to help students apply concepts to particular contexts

Developing the key competencies


  • Participate and contribute, and relate to others, through contributing to group discussion.
  • Interpret texts/newspaper article to understand different perspectives, and draw personal conclusions.
  • Engage in metacognitive processes to make sense of what they are learning.
  • Develop as competent thinkers who reflect on their own knowledge.

Ka Hikitia

  • By sharing important values that come through culturally specific celebrations, Māori learners realise their cultural distinctiveness and potential.
  • By contributing to an understanding of the significance of Waitangi Day, Māori learners successfully participate and contribute to te Ao Māori.
  • Through a collaborative inquiry approach, Māori learners gain universal skills and knowledge to successfully participate in and contribute to Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.

Social inquiry links overview


Social inquiry overview 2.pdf  1 MB

Finding out information

  • What are celebrations?
  • How do celebrations reflect culture?
  • What is identity? - personal, cultural and national
  • How does Singapore celebrate its national day?
  • How do other Asian nations celebrate their national days?
  • Does New Zealand have a national day? If so, what celebratory activities occur?
  • How do these national celebrations compare?

Exploring values and perspectives

  • What values are promoted during national days?
  • In what ways can different views and perspectives be expressed during national day celebrations?

Considering responses and decisions

  • How are national days a response to cultural interaction in a country's past and present?


The following activities explore what celebrations mean for people and for nations.

  • Students read examples of celebrations provided and then identify and describe a celebration that they have recently participated in. Students then complete conceptual development activities based on their own lives.
  • Celebrating National Days - Students explore the concepts of national, personal and cultural identity so that they are able to distinguish between these forms of identity. Students complete the worksheet individually, followed up with a class discussion on the nature of national identity and the inclusive and exclusive aspects of this.

Formative assessment opportunity: collecting student response sheets & provide feedback/forward.

  • Students create a brochure to distribute to New Zealand households, explaining the values they have decided should be promoted on an imaginary national day.
  • Reflection and evaluation of learning: consider the following with your students. This could be done in the form of a class discussion, learning logs, group discussion, think-pair-share, or other suitable activity.
  1. What do I understand about celebrations of national identity?
  2. What is the influence of cultural interaction on national days?
  3. How can national days enable a variety of views to be heard or celebrated together?
  4. In what ways has Aotearoa-New Zealand's history contributed to the fact that we do not have a specific national day? Do you think there is also something in our psyche that means we would be reluctant to be too demonstrative in our celebrations?

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