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Exhibition Program


A Voyage to Health presents these educational resources for K-12 educators and college/university faculty. The resources present selected themes or visual items from the online exhibition as a part of instructional materials or self-directed learning. Students examine the rich content and primary sources in the exhibition in developing content knowledge and higher order thinking skills. Educators are welcome to adapt these resources in whole or in part as they deem most appropriate for students’ interests and academic goals.

Lesson Plans

Activism and Healing: Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe, a Hawaiian Island

grade level: 5–8 | subject–history and social studies

The lesson plan engages students in exploring A Voyage to Health. Students demonstrate their comprehension of the online exhibition by creating a class timeline that chronicles key events related to Kanaloa Kaho‘olawe, one of the Hawaiian Islands. They then use the timeline as a case study in identifying causes and consequences of each event, as well as consider how the perspectives may differ among different groups. This timeline case study allows students to examine a wide range of issues, such as how interpretation of events is influenced by cultural perspectives, how historical events influence physical and human geography, how belief systems and government policies can conflict, and how citizen actions can influence public policy. The activities in this lesson plan can be used in a variety of social study areas, such as United States history, the regions and cultures of the United States, world geography and cultures, global and environmental issues, government, and civil rights.

Hawaiian Archipelago and Star Compass

grade level: 4–6 | subject–history and social studies, science and technology

This lesson plan uses the history and location of the Hawaiian Islands as a case study for students to extend their knowledge about the geography and geology, as well as learn about the ancient Polynesian tradition of navigating the open ocean without instruments. Students use online and video materials from multiple sources during class activities. The A Voyage to Health online exhibition provides information about traditional voyaging as well as offers an online activity that introduces the Hawaiian Star Compass developed by C. Nainoa Thompson, a Hawaiian master navigator, in order to train a new generation of traditional navigators. The lesson is multidisciplinary and incorporates topics related to geography, geology, history, and mathematics.

Higher Education

Healing Elements: A Native Hawaiian Perspective is a module developed for undergraduate courses by Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor, PhD, professor and founding member of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawai‘i, Māno. The module offers to college and university students, and their professors a way to explore the holistic nature of Native Hawaiian concepts and practices of health and well-being.

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Online Activities

Hawaiian PerspectiveS ON HEALTH

How do you define health and what do you do to stay well? Listen to Hawaiian physicians, traditional healers, and health practitioners who share Hawaiian concepts of health and well-being that continue to offer effective ways to promote and improve health among Hawaiians.

The videos of these Hawaiians are selected from the “Interviews” section of Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness, an online exhibition by National Library of Medicine.

Hawaiian StaR COMPASS

Imagine you're navigating across the open ocean with no instruments to guide you. That’s how ancient Polynesians traversed the Pacific Ocean, using their knowledge of stars, winds, waves, and seabirds to explore the world beyond their islands. The Hawaiian Star Compass records part of that knowledge that Charles Nainoa Thompson, a Hawaiian, learned from Mau Piailug of Satawal Island, Micronesian traditional navigator. The compass, developed by Thompson, shows a basic “mental” map that a traditional navigator without instruments uses to travel the ocean. It is one of the tools that teach a new generation of voyagers and restore Hawaiian traditions of exploration, environmental sustainability, and well-being.

The Hawaiian Star Compass activity draws from the websites, Hawaiian Voyaging Tradition: Holding a Course and the Hawaiian Dictionaries by ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library.

Other Resources

Continue to explore Hawaiian people, history, and traditions, using this list of online resources and K-12 suggested readings as a starting point of your knowledge quest.

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