Home-Tiniroto through the looking glass

Research process

We began our journey with a huge brainstorm. Everyone bounced ideas off each other and we came up with so many different questions - see our question wall...One of the younger children asked "Did dinosaurs ever live in Tiniroto?" and most of us laughed - we didn't realise how wrong our assumptions were! There were lots of questions though - we hadn't really thought about what has always seemed to be a quiet little country place in the hills.

We made up inquiry teams and sorted the questions into topics, then each team grabbed a topic and then got stuck into the researching.

This was the hard part and there was lots of time wasted going around in circles. It was a hard lesson to learn that you can't find all the answers on Google! We actually had to talk to people, so we got reading all of the old books and Tiniroto School Centenary information to find out who we needed to talk to and what we needed to be asking to answer our burning questions!

There were hundreds of old photos and luckily Mrs Law the office administrator has lived in Tiniroto a long time and she could help us because lots of the labels were missing. We were lucky to meet many of the people in person but most of our interviews had to be via phone conferences. Our teachers helped us a lot by pointing us in the right direction - there were so many interesting stories about the olden days.There was some information online when we knew where to look though and we communicated with some people by email.

As we went along our journey we did achieve many of the intended outcomes but also realised that investigating the history of an area is extremely complex. Much of our information was best found directly from people who had grown up here, or their relations had and that there can be different versions of events that occurred. We learnt a lot about checking the facts and really wanted this to be a resource that people would refer to in the future and the unique stories of Tiniroto's history wouldn't be lost.

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