Friday, June 7

Call it Courage + Pacific Islands Mythology

In the Pacific Ocean, many hundreds of islands make up the region of Polynesia.  This includes places such as Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, and more.  The mythology of Polynesia is very diverse because there are so many ethnic groups spread across these islands, but many of the basic stories are the same.
The mythology often centers around the ocean and seafaring as these were very important to the native people.  Like other mythologies, they have several different gods, including the trickster Maui.  There is also a supernatural power, called mana, which can be good or evil.
Two of the most important gods were Rangi (Father Sky - also known as Ao) and Papa (Mother Earth - also known as Po).  The Maoris believe that all life came from these two gods.  The Hawaiians believe that Ao works with sky, day, and light, while Po works with earth, darkness, and night.
One Maori myth is about the yam, one of the basic food crops of Polynesia. The god Rongo-Maui went to heaven to see his brother Wahnui, the guardian of the yam. Rongo-Maui stole the yam, hid it in his clothing, and returned to earth. Soon after, he wife Pani gave birth to a yam, the first on earth, and Rongo-Maui gave this food to humans.

For this unit, we have two spine reads:

Access the complete unit study in the World Mythology Unit Studies Bundle!

Includes sixteen unit studies covering world mythologies. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning ancient through modern history.
  • Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.
  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.

These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!


  1. Thanks for the great resource. I still have never read this book even though most of my kids have!


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