Nanny Mihi’s Treasure Hunt

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This is an activity based on the picture book Nanny Mihi’s Treasure Hunt. 
This book may no longer be available for purchase.

Achievement Objectives
GM1-2: Sort objects by their appearance.
Specific Learning Outcomes
  1. Students will be able to describe the characteristics of 3-D shapes found in containers and group containers into categories.
Description of Mathematics
  1. 3-D objects have geometric characteristics that can be described with a mathematical vocabulary.
  2. 3-D objects with similar characteristics can be sorted into categories.
Required Resource Materials

Nanny Mihi’s Treasure Hunt by Melanie Drewery 
This book may no longer be available for purchase.

Containers of various sizes and shapes such as boxes, tins, jars, bottles, cans

Collage materials for decorating


Treasure Boxes
This activity is based on the picture book Nanny Mihi’s Treasure Hunt

Author: Melanie Drewery
Illustrator: Tracy Duncan
Publisher: Reed (2004)
ISBN: 1-86948-681-1

Nanny Mihi enlists the help of her visiting mokopuna to find a misplaced box of treasures. As the children discover different treasure boxes Nanny gradually gives them enough clues so they can narrow their search. The containers of money, shells, jewelry and family mementos come in different shapes, sizes and materials.

Lesson Sequence:

  1. Prior to reading, discuss the meaning of “treasure/taonga” with your students. Ask them to describe a treasure box and sketch examples from their explanations. Highlight any shape words as they emerge from the discussion. Add these to a Shape Word Bank that everyone can see.
  2. Share the book with your students. On the first reading focus on the descriptions of the taonga boxes especially the shapes and sizes but also the materials. Add to the word bank of shape related words as you read.
  3. On the second reading ask students to look for shapes of objects in the illustrations and name them as you share the story. Add any new words to the word bank.
  4. Ask students to bring boxes or containers of different sizes and shapes or share a collection with them. Ask them to select one container and create a treasure box using the decorating materials available. As students are making their boxes record for them or ask them to record on the bottom of their treasure box a description of their container using words from the shape word bank.
  5. When the treasure boxes are finished use them in a sorting exercise where students group the containers with common characteristics. For example: “These are the small cubes” “These are the long boxes called cuboids” “These are the cylinders”
  6. In a further follow up activity students can collect “treasures” of different shapes to put into their boxes, such as marbles, shells, stones, leaves etc. Challenge them to try and find a treasure for each shape listed in the shape word bank.
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Level One