By Teachers, For Teachers

Hawaiian Creation Stories: Occupation and Resistance


Hawaiian Creation Stories: Occupation and Resistance

In this lesson, students will explore Hawaiian creation stories through multiple sources and interrogate the perspectives that influence a Western interpretation of the story.

Time: 2 hours

Grades: 6th-8th

Lesson Author: César Cázares (Teacher Advisory Panel)

Resources Needed

  • Internet access
  • Student Material
  • Collections in Context

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Discuss key features of the Kumulipo.
  • Discuss the role of the Kumulipo as a tool for preserving identity and culture for Indigenous Hawaiians.
  • Identify ways in which Western interpretations change Hawaiian myths.

By the end of this lesson, students will know:

  • The Kumulipo is a genealogical chant connecting back to the origins of everything and describing the interconnectedness of all things.
  • After the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian government, Hawaiians continued to recite the Kumulipo, keeping their powerful cultural heritage alive in the face of military occupation.
  • Hawai‘i has a long history of interacting with Western nations, including as a sovereign nation, a United States territory, and a U.S. state.

Supported Standards

History–Social Science Content Standards

  • HSS.9–12. Historical Research, Evidence, and Point of View. 2. Students identify bias and prejudice in historical interpretations.

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1. Reading. Key Ideas and Details. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7. Reading. Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Social Justice Standards

  • Diversity 8. Students will respectfully express curiosity about the history and lived experiences of others and will exchange ideas and beliefs in an open-minded way.