He Waʻa He Moku, He Moku He Waʻa

A canoe is an Island, an Island is a canoe.

This particular ʻōlelo noʻeau or Hawaiian proverb highlights the finite resources found on a voyaging canoe as well as on an island. Having students imagine sailing thousands of miles with limited drinking water and essential supplies help facilitate student contemplation of our island resources and the necessity of being good environmental stewards. Likewise, they are prompted to think of ways we need to work together as a community to best steer our canoe in a pono or right direction. They then are challenged to envision their role in their everyday canoes, most specifically their families, and how they are helping to ensure that their voyage together goes well and is successful.

Standards-based lessons have been created for teachers rich in place-based moʻolelo, history, geography and science that can be adapted to any grade level.