The island chain has more links than you might think. Come to Waimānalo, Oʻahu, to learn about Papahānaumokuākea, the northwest Hawaiian Islands.

Unit lesson


Video Questions

1) Where is Papahānaumokuākea located? How many islands are there? How far away is the farthest one?

2) What does ʻAnakala Kekuewa mean when he says Papahānaumokuākea is “a place where nature rules”? Why do you think there are no people living on those islands?

3) If someone were to ask how many islands are in Hawaiʻi, how would you answer?

4) What are some differences between the main Hawaiian Islands and the islands of Papahānaumokuākea? Why is Papahānaumokuākea called “kupuna islands”?

5) Garbage dumped into the ocean travels by currents until it reaches the reefs in Papahānaumokuākea. Does this have an effect on the main Hawaiian Islands? Is it okay if reefs are endangered if they are far away from where most people live?

6) If you could sail to Papahānaumokuākea, would you want to visit the closer islands like Nihoa and Mokumanamana, or the ones at the end of the chain? Why?


Video Vocabulary

1) moku
an island

2) archipelago
a group or chain of islands

3) Wākea
Native Hawaiian diety; sky father; father of many of the Hawaiian Islands

4) Papahānaumoku
Native Hawaiian diety; earth mother; mother of many of the Hawaiian Islands

5) erosion
slow wearing away of land

6) subsistence
to provide and take care of oneself

7) ceremony
a ritual or act performed according to tradition

8) endangered
at serious risk of becoming extinct

9) rare
few in number, not seen everywhere

10) current
water moving in the same direction

11) NOAA
National Oceanic and a federal agency focused on the condition of oceans and the atmosphere; co-trustee of Papahānaumokuākea

12) fragile
easily damaged or destroyed


Guiding Questions