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Friday, 3 February 2017

Learn, Create, Share - Te Reo Māori

Today we started our formal Māori language lessons.  We focussed on the sentence structure:  He ___ tēnei.  Although I am not formally trained in the Atarangi (rakau) way of teaching, I bought four sets of cuisenaire rods off trade-me (pro-tip, they were the cheapest I could find!) and got into it.  Bonus tip:  you don't neeeeed four sets straight off.  We managed with one set today, but as they begin learning more complex sentences or adding detail, they may need more rākau.

I was interested only in students using their listening and viewing skills.  I repeated sentences numerous times:  He rākau tēnei.  He rākau tēnei.  He rākau tēnei...etc.

We progressed to our tēnei/tēnā/tērā prepositions and students worked in table groups asking and answering about what object someone was holding and where they were holding it.

After that, we progressed to ēnei, ēnā, ērā, but this was kind of brief - just for exposure - we will return to it again.

Before the end of that session we came together as a class and I had written the sentences on the board - just so they could get a sense of the spelling of words and the visual aide if they were still struggling with the listening.

The second session, I gave out my kupu list.  This was a list of words adapted from my course last year.  It was a list of adjectives in Te Reo Māori and English.  Words such as 'momona = fat', 'kaha = strong', 'hūmarie = humble' etc.  We talked about each word and then I gave them the challenge to describe a friend.  This was our structure for our very first kōrero:

Kia Ora koutou katoa.  (Greetings to everyone)
Ko __________ tēnei.  (This is ____)
He tama/kotiro _____ ia.  (He/She is ___)
He tama/kotiro _____ ia. (He/She is ___)
He tama/kotiro _____ ia. (He/She is ___)
Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.  (Thank you all).

Students had 5 minutes to choose their words from the list and practice their kōrero.  In pairs, students then presented back to the class, their descriptions of their friends.  That means we heard those structures over 90 times.  Repetition without boring!

This afternoon - Friday - hot - we are describing our whānau members, using the same sentence structures and the same word list to support us.  Students are completing these by hand for a display.

If I had netbooks operating today, I would have asked students to make a Google Presentation with one family member on each slide.  I would also love to record students describing one another.  I think I would like to do that to put on our class blog as an introduction to us!  Yep.  Just added that one to the planning.

This series of lessons covered many literacy modes: listening, viewing, reading, speaking and writing.  Students were not bored with learning one sentence for the day as they were offered a variety of ways to present their learning.  They were offered a variety of people who they knew well and loved.  I got to know more about their families, which we know is important at this time of the year.

I am really excited to continue this teaching and learning journey.  I can already see the benefits of learning Te Reo with their English as we talked about adjectives and what they are and where they go in different languages.  Through the kupu list I had discussions about what 'giving cheek' means.

I used the senior story card template from Sheena Cameron's 'The Publishing and Display Handbook.'  Which I thoroughly recommend you have in your resource kete!

Are you a languages teacher in a digital space?  Or are you focusing on a new learning area this year as an experience digital immersion teacher?  How are you raising cultural visibility in your class or school?  Also, sorry for lack of photos - still getting back into remember a million things at one time!

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