Lesson Number: 13 Social Studies in the New Zealand Curriculum Lesson Title: a scene from the past #1 Level: 3 Strand: Time, Continuity and Place Achievement Objective

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Lesson Number: 13
Social Studies in the New Zealand Curriculum
Lesson Title: A scene from the past #1

Level: 3

Strand: Time, Continuity and Place

Achievement Objective:
Students will demonstrate knowledge and understandings of;

  • How the past is recorded and remembered in different ways.

Students could demonstrate such knowledge and understandings when they:

  • Identify ways people can find out about their past;

  • Explain how people’s experiences and activities have been recorded in different time and place settings

  • Explain what people in the present can learn about people in the past though records.

Learning Outcome Statement:

Students will be able to discuss the poem ‘A Scene from the past’ by Sir Apirana Ngata. Students will understand that this poem written and recorded in 1892 is one way of finding out about one past. In fact it’s title implies nothing less.

Teacher and Student Instructions:

Copy resource 1 (poem) for students.


Resource 1

A scene from the past

A description of the Māori haka, by Sir Apirana Ngata

We reck not that the day has past;

That Death and Time, the cruel Fates,

Have torn us from the scenes we loved,

And brought us to this unknown world.

In mem’ry ling’ring, all too hazy,

Blurred uncertain, still they charm us.

Ah we love them! Language doth but

Clothe in artifice our passion,

Doth to the world proclaim

We are traitors to the past.

Traitors? When our hearts are beating,

Thrilling stirred by recollections?

Present, Future? Them we know not;

For us no memories they hold.

Traitors when our ears are ringing,

Filled with echoes from the dead?

Deaf to all those chords alone

Make heavenly music, penetrating

Souls by strangeness long since deadened,

Now in sympathy vibrating.

Traitors? Nay, we scorn the name!

Bigots, blind fanatic worshippers,

Idolaters serving things of clay!

Call us, and that name were dear!

On life’s rough stream you launched us forth;

You thought to bouy us, gave us hope.

Your sturdy oak, our flaxen bark,

Your iron clad, our humble reed,

Made sorry company, and you glided,

Well equipped, the whilst we trembled.

Ah, no! your hope but kills all hope;

You crush the life you wish to save.

Nay, rather leave us with the past;

In memr’y let us wander back

Amid the scenes we loved of yore.

There let us roam, untrammelled, free!

For mem’ry, like that herb, embalms,

Preserves, endears our recollections.

Resource 2 Photograph of Apirana Ngata

Apirana Ngata
Activity Tasks in Sequence:

(1) Discuss Aotearoa society generally before the arrival of the Pakeha .ie; Māori Mana Motuhake

(2) Discuss the poem as perhaps how Apirana felt with the two cultures colliding.

(3) Teacher organises class into groups

(4) Give poem to each group

(5) Group practices saying poem

(6) Each group reports back with their redition of poem.
Assessment Tasks:

Students contribute to group rendition of poem

Marking Schedule:

Use poem to ensure that script is followed

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