Art and place

Rainbow Falls, Piihonua, Hilo

Rainbow Falls, Piihonua, Hilo

Rainbow Falls

Students were first exposed to folklore from the ‘ahupua’a of Punahoa and Pi’ihonua in Hilo.  Then, experienced the setting of their story of Hina, Kuna and Maui at Rainbow Falls using their senses – especially their na’au (intuition, feeling).  Lastly, students learned portrait work and were asked to put themselves in the setting of their story.  The overall purpose of this unit was to help build knowledge of their place through story, fieldtrips and art.  The hope is that students will cultivate their connections to Hilo and build or rebuild their relationship with nature.  Mahalo also to Aunty Meleanna Meyer, with an Artist in the Schools (AITS) grant worked with our students to create these beautiful interpretations of na meawaiwai o Hilo (treasured things and places of Hilo).

Sisters of Pu'u Hala'i,  Hilo

Sisters of Pu'u Hala'i, Hilo

Hala’i Hill

The students learned about the hills adjacent to the Hilo Intermediate campus.  The story is of two sisters Hinakeahi and Hinakulu’ua.  The students read the story, fleshed out themes, visited the hills and created both storyboards and mix media artwork of a particular scene or their interpretation how the sisters became the clouds/rain of and fire of Hala’i Hills. 


Students were exposed to ecology terms and rain forest in their science classes.   Students were then asked to connect their prior knowledge of the rain forest with our poetry unit in English-Language arts.  Students then visited an example of a forest near campus to take notes with sensory details of the plants, animals and place.  We then had a discussion creating clear imagery using simple literary devices like simile, personification and metaphor.  The students also created art work to draw a native plants.  Again, the hope is that these students start to see their kuleana and connections to the rain forests of Hilo.

Thang Art 2John Art 1Daniel Art 1Tim Art 1



  1. I just love this page, thanks. It was such a great opportunity at Hilo Intermediate… A great time.

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