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EnhanceTV :: Study Guides :: Whale Rider

Whale Rider
Whale Rider 
In the small New Zealand coastal village of Whangara, the local Maoris claim descent from Paikea, the Whale Rider. The legend tells how their ancient ancestor was saved by a whale when his canoe overturned. He arrived in Aotearoa on the whale's back. In every generation since, a male heir has succeeded to the title of chief, but now it seems that the bloodline will be broken.

The current chief, Koro, has a son, Porourangi, who is expecting twins. But when Porourangi's wife and son die in childbirth, he is overcome with grief and flees the town, abandoning the surviving twin, a girl. Before he leaves, he names the infant Paikea, in honour of the family legacy. She is raised by her grandparents, but Koro is unable to accept his granddaughter as a future leader. Believing that the tribe's misfortunes began at Pai's birth, he calls for his people to bring their first-born sons to him, hoping that a new leader will be revealed. Pai loves Koro deeply, but she feels compelled to challenge him and the generations of tradition that stand between her and her destiny.

Whale Rider is rated PG (adult themes, low level coarse language) and is 102 minutes long. Many of the themes relate to family life, and would be appropriate for students from upper primary right through to VCE. The activities and discussion points that follow are largely aimed at middle to senior secondary levels, but could be adapted fairly easily to other years. Relevant key learning areas include: English, Media Studies, Gender and Indigenous Issues.

Learning Areas English, Indigenous Studies, K - 6, Media Studies, Society & Culture,
Level Secondary, Tertiary
Price: Free

Quantity 1 (this product is downloadable)

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