Year 8 Easter Island

Recently I presented at an HTAV conference the ten sorts of searches and resources I look at before I do an open topic Google search. The following research guide is an example of how the ten steps work and as such is not set up in the same way as other guides. It is still a collection of resources but it is not presented in a student friendly way. You need to work out what you like and how you are going to use it.

The ten steps are as follows (I am not saying don’t use Google, rather use Google in a targeted way)

BEFORE you start you need to key words etc. For Easter Island use The Australian Curriculum (including the elaborations) or a Yr. 8 textbook written for the AC.

Australian Curriculum – The Polynesian expansion across the Pacific (c.700 – 1756)

1. Theories about the origin and spread of Polynesian settlers throughout the Pacific (ACDSEH013)

2. The way of life in ONE Polynesian society, including social, cultural, economic and political features, such as the role of the ariki in Maori and in Rapa Nui society (Easter Island) (ACDSEH066)

3. The cultural achievements of ONE Polynesian society, such as the Ta moko and hangi in Maori society OR the moai constructed on Easter Island (ACDSEH067)

4. The way Polynesian societies used environmental resources (sustainably and unsustainably), including the extinction of the moa in New Zealand, the use of religious/supernatural threats to conserve resources, and the exploitation of Easter Island’s palm trees (ACDSEH068)

Now to each step – you can read the power point for the reasoning behind the steps.

1. Databases and Encyclopaedias

You don’t need personal access, use your local or school library. Britannica, World Book, EBSCO and Student Resources in Context (or World History in Context) have good introductory articles on Easter Island and more importantly links to other useful web resources. (I can’t reproduce these owing to copyright). Just search for “Easter Island”

You should also look at the “hidden web” of databases for example type into Google “Easter Island databases” and you will get this

2. Museums, Libraries and Art Galleries

If you don’t have knowledge of which museums etc. hold what sort of collections then just do a Google search of your topic and museum (or art gallery). That is, Google “Easter Island Museum”. However, if you know of a museum that covers your topic start there. I started with Te Papa in Wellington NZ and The Smithsonian (remember Night at the Museum and Dum Dum).

In the process I found links to these——-10–1—-0easter+island–&x=33&y=4

There are also these other museum sources



3. FUSE, SCOOTLE and state govt. education portals are useful. You can check these out yourself.

4. Media Sites

BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, History Channel, National Geographic, ABC, SBS

There are videos, articles and sometimes games at these sites (e.g. the PBS nova site)


5. Other (Film) Media

YouTube (and its variants), Clickview exchange, Khan Academy, Documentarystorm, Annenberg learner,,, Ted Ed. Learn Out (podcasts)

6. Social Bookmarking – not so useful for Easter Island

7. Images –

I love tag galaxy if you start with Easter Island and then add Rapanui, Moai and Statue you get a pretty cool picture

Also pictures like this in LIFE (via Google cultural institute)!

8. Games/Interactive Sites

I haven’t been able to find many in the normal places but there is one at NOVA

and a few picture resources in SMART Exchange

9. Libguides and pathfinders

Type into Google” Libguides Easter Island” or “Pathfinders Easter Island” and I found sites within guides like these

10. Other sites

• Subject associations e.g. HTAV

• The Hidden Web (such as Finding Dulcinea or MagPortal

Now you can Google and do other searches – I would start with Easter Island and Australian Curriculum because you will pick up text extracts like this

and a Google Books Search for Easter Island and get books which have lots of preview pages!

and  Google Earth

Finally, how would I start a unit on Easter Island?

  1. With a Jamie McKenzie style activity where the students get a picture of a Moai or of a tree-less Easter Island (Google Earth)and get them to come up with lots of questions and
  2. With three videos

• The Dum Dum scene from Night at The Museum

• Part of Total Drama World Tour (a kids’ satiric animation). There is an episode that satirises Easter Island and the swim to the outlying island for the birds’ eggs.!

• The National Geographic animation about the statues walking theories


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