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Learning te reo Māori as a teacher with hands-on resources (just like children).

Updated: May 26, 2023

For me Māori language week and learning is every week BUT I do use the week leading up it to reflect on how much more I am using (also needed for my practicing certificate / teacher registration) and create or source new resources to grow my use or kupu more.

This year I bought Where’s Spot? In te reo Māori, Kei Hea a Spot? And this has really helped using sentences with positional language and spatial concepts. I used the words for :

Behind - muri

Inside - roto

In - roto

Under -raro

Now I can now confidently ask more questions and use sentences with positional language from reading the book to the children.

BUT I think what really cemented the learning was using the story stones with the Spot characters and the felt flaps I made (and you can too with my e-pattern). This hands-on play (I did write the kupu or words for the positional language on the stones as support to start with) saw a light bulb go on and I was able to remember consistently. This led to me using the phrases more in daily life and play.

I have begun to add the language of Tukutuku patterns in invitations and storytelling.

Tukutuku has always interested me and this year I wanted to learn more and share this learning with the children. I did some research and found a fabulous 1985 resource that explained the meaning of 5 tukutuku patterns, I found images of them that I printed them on A4 paper and put them out to talk about.

After talking about the tukutuku I invited the children to make their own. I added crayons and coloured pencils with craft sticks, the children then drew the symbols we talked about on them and created a story. We then place them in art frames. I will offer this again and will put out paints as they may be better to work with in creating and seeing the tukutuku symbols.

I also found 1 pūrākau for Romata toroa tukutuku (in the FREE resource) and shared this with the children. I am now searching for others. Oral storytelling is a sacred tool for indigenous cultures as it shares the past, present and future in them. This is a skill I will focus on in the coming year.

I will also make use of my story stones (and e-pattern) for Rata and the waka and Atua stones from Peter Gossage book In the beginning (I shared to my group Exploring why I email list) I made earlier in the year.

I bought the book for Rata and the waka but I wanted to tell it orally also. I have added the pūrākau of Rata and the waka in my pattern for oral storytelling and was written after telling and retelling it many times with children. It has repetition and actions to support oral storytelling if this is something you want to develop.

While visiting an early childhood setting I saw a rhyme In the kete being used and created some variations with images and hands on materials. I started with ika, using kahawai images on a magnetic board. This led to me collecting my pipi and pāua shells and kete. I will add my harakeke ika too next week.

I shared this rhyme as a printable pdf with my group Exploring why I teach. ec and look forward to seeing and hearing how the teachers go using it. After sharing the magnetic rhyme in a group time I put it out for the children to use and soon saw them in the dramatic play area being cooked and eaten as kai after the rhyme was said. Delightful!!

Lastly, I took time to replenish my ribbon, raffia and washi tape peg dolls and washi craft sticks. I am now adding a bit of mod podge on the ends for durability.

I used these in an invitation to ‘tell me a story’. Supporting children to develop their own oral storytelling.

Just like tamariki (children) I have discovered that I learn best with hands on learning and practice. I think that is why I LOVE making resources, e-patterns and sharing my knowledge through mini-courses.

What resources will you be adding to your kete?

Until next time


P.S. Check out my other blogs on increasing te reo Māori in story baskets, taonga and making te reo Māori visible in the early childhood setting.

N.B. there are affliate links and if used i may get some moolah

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