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Kai Kaulukukui


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Art, Social-Emotional Learning

Resource Type

  • Artwork

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, Oceania

"A Hui Hou"


  • This environmental mural by Hawaiian artist Kai Kaulukukui depicts a green sea turtle tangled in fishing lines and plastic, while a child swims beside attempting to help it. 
  • The mural brings attention to the massive worldwide problem of plastic usage and how oceanic tides connect the earth while also conveying hope for the power of positive change. 


  • The artist's statement helps shed light on the deeper symbolism of the images within the mural including the red sun representing Japan, the full moon, and the subdued color palette. 
  • Students may enjoy seeing photographs of the artist creating this mural in the gallery. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • It may help students to see on a map where Hawaii is located as they explore the interconnectedness of the oceanic tides and how worldwide plastic usage impacts this island. 
  • Teachers should ensure that students have an understanding of the Hawai'ian vocabulary used in the artist's statement, such as keiki and hona. 


  • After viewing the artwork, have students watch this video outlining the environmental injustice of the global plastic recycling system and then work to make determinations about the best methods for addressing plastic usage problems across the world. 
  • Students could research local recycling programs to see what can actually be recycled in their own communities and make signage to help people recycle better. 
  • Students can work in groups to compare "A Hui Hou" with The Popo's mural in Bali addressing plastic culture and analyze the artistic methods each artist chose to address this issue. 
  • In art classes, students could create their own work exploring ways that people can take action for the environment, including ways to avoid lifestyle choices with a high carbon impact. 
  • Other resources related to this topic include this mural addressing coral bleaching, this article about the impacts of climate change on another Hawaiian island, and this TED-Ed video resource outlining how ocean currents work.
The art piece displays how plastic pollution, garbage, and waste are disposed indiscriminately into water bodies. Hence the need to keep our environment and marine habitat pollution-free. The resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Visual & Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpreting intent and meaning.
      • 1.5.2.Re8a: Categorize and describe works of art, by identifying subject matter, details, mood, and formal characteristics.
      • 1.5.8.Re8a: Interpret art by analyzing how the interaction of subject matter, characteristics of form and structure, use of media, art making approaches, and relevant contextual information contributes to understanding messages or ideas and mood conveyed.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceiving and analyzing products.
      • 1.5.12prof.Re7b: Analyze how one's understanding of the world is affected by experiencing visual arts.
      • 1.5.12acc.Re7b: Evaluate the effectiveness of visual artworks to influence ideas, feelings, and behaviors of specific audiences.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • K-ESS3-3. Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
      • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
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