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Kowhaiwhai - Geometry of Aotearoa
Kowhaiwhai - Geometry of Aotearoa
Pages and Files
What are Kowhaiwhai?
Resources - Photos of Kowhaiwhai
Translation and Vectors
Mixed Combined Transformations
Symmetry and Analysing Symmetrical Patterns
The New Zealand Flag
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Teaching Registration - Teachers Council Registration Criteria 3
Demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand.
: to demonstrate respect for the heritages, languages and cultures of both partners to the Treaty of Waitangi
: In my teaching, how do I take into account the bicultural context of teaching and learning in Aotearoa New Zealand?
Why teach about Kowhaiwhai in mathematics
The geometry of Kowhaiwhai patterns is part of mathematics called ethnomathematics. Ethnomathematics is the mathematics that is involved in the art and culture associated with different civilisations.
IB International Mindedness
Education for international-mindedness relies on the development of learning environments that value the world as the broadest context for learning. IB World Schools share educational standards and practices for philosophy, organization and curriculum that can create and sustain authentic global learning communities. In school, students learn about the world from the curriculum and from their interactions with other people. Teaching and learning in global contexts supports the IB’s mission “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect”.
See the following readings about ethnomathematics.
Cultural - Averill.pdf
Use of a Cultural Metaphor.docx
Maori Mathematics-content or culture.pdf
Cultural - Hawera.pdf
Cultural - Higgins.pdf
NZ Curriculum Documents for Levels 3-6
Teaching in the context of Kowhaiwhai is specifically mentioned in the NZ Curriculum documents at each level.
NZC Level 3 Geometry Transformations.docx
The New Zealand Ministry of Education promotes the use of realistic contexts by providing the “Figure It Out” series free to all schools. This series of Mathematics books (supported by extensive teacher notes) caters for all of the mathematics curriculum strands. All the activities are based on contexts familiar to New Zealand students, as in the following extracts on kowhaiwhai.
Series of articles on Kowhaiwhai and Geometry
Knight, G. (1984). The geometry of Maori Art-rafter patterns. NZ Mathematics Magazine, 21(2), 36-41.
Article about the Art and Geometry of Kowhaiwhai
eacher/Student Resource Booklet from the Auckland Museum
The long repeated pattern of the kowhaiwhai is called a frieze. Mathematicians have found that there are only 7 ways to make a frieze pattern and all 7 ways can be found in Kowhaiwhai. Transformations include reflection, rotation, translation, enlargement, glide reflection and shear.
Powerpoint on Kowhaiwhai in Transformation Geometry
Visual Resources - Photos of Kowhaiwhai
Note: I have placed the links to photos or images where there is copyright.
My Pinterest Board of Photos of Kowhaiwhai (
Other websites with photos
9. Primary School Kowhaiwhai
Other Print Resources on the internet
Cross Curriculum Unit Level 3.docx
Blank Graph grids for drawing kowhaiwhai
Blank Large Graph Grid.pdf
Blank small graph grid.pdf
There are lots of ways for students to use this site. They will be able to:
See photos of Kowhaiwhai
Find the geometrical patterns in Kowhaiwhai
Construct their own geometrical Kowhaiwhai patterns using correct techniques
Download files that they need.
Contribute their own work and see other students' work.
Prepare for the tests and exams related to this unit of work.
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