Lesson 3 

Hawaiian Ahupua'a and Sustainable Development of Mars

  • To think about sustainability and cultural values
  • To reflect on the current environmental challenges facing Hawaii and planet Earth and develop a plan for “planetary protection” of Mars

APPENDIX 1 Current State of Earth

APPENDIX 2 Map of O'ahu

APPENDIX 3 Hawaiian Ahupua'a facts

APPENDIX 4 Nitrogen cycle facts

APPENDIX 5 Hawaiian Vocabulary



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1.    Review Lesson 1 discussion about current state of the world (Appendix 1). 
a.    Pollution
b.    Climate change
c.    Poverty
d.    Health
e.    Warfare
f.    Overpopulation

2.    Discuss the idea that current practices by people on Earth are not sustainable and the culture of ‘No one cares for the land or each other.’  Ask students
for examples of this ‘No one cares’ attitude.  Examples:  Litter, Graffiti, Stray animals, Speeding cars on roads.

3.    Discuss the Hawaiian ahupua’a system of living.  Define an ahupua'a and show a map of the land divisions on O’ahu during the times of the Hawaiians (Appendix 2). Use images of an artistic rendering of a ahupua’a and the graphic of the nitrogen cycle to discuss the following points (Appendices 3 and 4):
a.    Nutrient use- how nitrogen and nutrients were used within the ahupua’a for sustainable living
b.    Land division- how the land was divided from the mountains to the sea in order to utilized the entire island in every region
c.    Entire community responsible for caring for and nurturing the ‘aina for a sustainable lifestyle for all.
4.    Review core Hawaiian cultural values (pvs.hawaii.org):
a.    Malama Hawai'i: to care for/take care of Hawai'i's land, sea, and people
b.    'Ike: to seek knowledge
c.    Lokomaika'i: to share with each other
d.    Malama Pono: to take care of each other
e.    Na'au Pono: to be fair and just

5.    Discuss the Hawaiian vocabulary of these cultural beliefs (Appendix 5):
a.    Aloha: Love, hello, goodby
b.    Ha’aha’a: Humility
c.    Kokua: Help
d.    Kuleana: Responsibility
e.    Laulima: Cooperation, many helping hands
f.    Lokahi: Balance, harmony, togetherness
g.    Mahalo: Respect, thank you
h.    Malama: To take care of
i.    ‘Ohana: Family
j.    Pono: Good, righteous

6.    Discuss what the students just learned:  How does the traditional Hawaiian ahupua'a system compare to modern practices?  Compare both the physical use of land and the cultural beliefs of the people.   Discuss the estimated population of Hawai'i prior to Western contact and compare the population (1 million) of today’s Hawai'i (Appendix 3).  How could the Hawaiians possibly sustain life of 800,000 to 1 million people?  Is there any way that we modern people who live in Hawai’i could sustain life here without any help from airplanes and cargo ships? 

Group work:  Moving to Mars: Setting up a sustainable society
7.    Divide the students into small groups (4-5).  Have the students choose one topic from the list below to work on within their group.   Give each group one piece of poster board.  Have the students discuss the topic they were assigned and draw out their ideas on how they think that Hawaiians dealt with the topic (one side of the poster board) and how to deal with the topic on Mars (other side of the poster board).
Topics for group work (write on dry erase board):
a.    Transportation
b.    Energy use
c.    Food production and distribution
d.    Waste disposal
e.    Recycling
f.    Recreation
g.    Housing

8.    Have each group share their poster with the class and describe how they chose to deal with the assigned topic.  Post artwork around the room.

Assessment/Performance Indicators:
•    Informal assessment:  Discussion with question and answers

•    Formal assessment:  Poster board illustration assessment


Standard 2: The Scientific Process:
NATURE OF SCIENCE: "Understand that science, technology,
 and society are
Benchmark SC.ES.2.1  

Explain how scientific advancements and emerging technology have
 influenced society.

Standard 6: Cultural Anthropology: SYSTEMS, DYNAMICS, AND INQUIRY: "Understand culture as a system of beliefs, knowledge, and practices shared by a group and understand how cultural systems change over time"

General Learner Outcomes:
Community Contributor:  “The understanding that it is essential for human beings to work together
Effective Communicator:  “The ability to communicate effectively”