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Further inquiry

Approximate duration: 2–3 lessons


Key competencies:

  • Thinking
  • Using language, symbols and texts
  • Managing self
  • Relating to others

Effective teaching:

  • Creating a supportive learning environment
  • Enhancing the relevance of new learning
  • Facilitating shared learning
  • Providing sufficient opportunity to learn

Links to social inquiry processes:

  • Finding out information
  • Exploring values and perspectives
  • Reflecting and evaluating


Conceptual understandings/learning intentions:today we are learning that...

  • (Level 3) The cultural practices of Chinese New Zealanders and other New Zealand cultural groups do vary but they often reflect similar purposes.
  • (Level 4) Chinese New Zealanders and other New Zealand cultural groups pass on and sustain their culture and heritage in different ways and for different reasons.
  • (Level 4) The passing on and sustaining of culture and heritage has consequences for Chinese and other cultural groups in New Zealand.

What customs and traditions add fun to the lantern festivals today?

The mini inquiries below could be published onto card and displayed. Students could choose the card or cards they wish to work on and do so individually or in small groups. If students are working on-line they can link straight to the sites they need. Students who do not have internet access will need the research pages either downloaded or printed out.

  • Card 1: Lights and Lanterns
  • Card 2: Fireworks
  • Card 3: Food
  • Card 4: Lantern riddles and Distich
  • Card 5: The Chinese Valentines Day

The students read the level 3 conceptual understanding and consider how and why lights, lanterns, fireworks and food also feature in other well known celebrations and festivals – celebrations and festivals from different countries and cultures.

What additional information can we find out about the lantern festival and the Chinese New Year?

The students list further questions that they have about the Chinese lantern festival. They may want to widen their inquiry to focus on other customs and traditions associated with the Chinese New Year. The teacher and students make a question chart. The questions may need to be categorised into different themes/topics.

The teacher asks the children if they know any people who might be able to answer our questions about the Chinese lantern festival and/or the Chinese New Year. The first port of call will be parents and friends of the school. Make a list.

As a class decide what could be done to get these people along to school. Decide what information needs to be included on an invitation and how they can be contacted - written invitation, phone, fax or e-mail.

Contact your possible visitors first to explain what is happening but give your students the chance to make contact themselves. It will add purpose to their writing.

Students can ask their visitors the questions when they come to school. People from the Chinese community will be your best resource so share your ideas for the rest of the unit with them. They may be able to assist.

NB: Small and remote schools may not have access to Chinese people in their local community. Students may need to contact somebody who lives out of their local community and conduct interviews by e-mail, telephone or fax. The following websites offer community directories to assist schools in contacting somebody suitable to interview:

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