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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 1

Visual Art Learning Intentions:

We are learning to:

  • think and talk about what we know about siapo/ tapa cloth.

We will know we can do this when we can:

  • share our ideas, knowledge and experiences with other people in our group.

Think pair share

This is an exploratory activity to ascertain language and content knowledge.

Think - each student thinks about any background knowledge or prior experiences that may be relevant. Explain to students that we all need time to recall what we know about a topic. The 'wait' or 'think' time has been demonstrated to be a powerful factor in improving student responses to questions.

Pair/share - gives repeated opportunities for academic talk in authentic contexts

The teacher moves around the groups during step 2 and listens to the student talk closely to get an idea of student expertise, what they know and what language they can use to express their ideas about the topic.


Equipment & Resources Needed:

  • Examples of siapo
  • Siapo brainstorm

Step 1: Think

Give each pair a piece of siapo (or tapa). Mix native speakers and English language learners. Give the students a few minutes to touch and feel the siapo and to think about the guiding questions displayed on the whiteboard.

  • What is it?
  • What is it made from?
  • What is it used for?
  • How is it made?
  • Where does it come from?

Step 2: Pair

Ask the students to share their thoughts with each other and to discuss the guiding questions. The pairs report to another pair. One member of the group records the findings.

Step 3: Share

The groups of four report to the whole class. After the first group has reported ask the other groups to add any new ideas that have not already been shared.

Step 4: Summarise

Record the students’ responses on a brainstorm. The students are able to add to this brainstorm during the unit.

Step 5: Introduce the different names used to describe siapo (or barkcloth):

E.g. Samoa – siapo, Tonga – Ngatu, Tahiti & Cook Islands – tapa, Niue – hiapo, Hawaii – kapa, Fiji – masi, etc.

What to Look For

  • Do the students have any prior knowledge of siapo or similar types of artwork?
  • Are students able to identify what the siapo is made of and where it may come from?

Published on: 09 Jan 2018