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Unit 7: What are you wearing to the dance?

Learning intentions

In this unit students will:

  • learn the names of colours in Māori
  • learn the names for some articles of clothing in Māori
  • express likes and dislikes in Māori, linked to colours and articles of clothing
  • learn the story of Uenuku and Hine-Pūkohu-rangi.

Success criteria

Before commencing the unit the teacher will discuss the learning intentions with the students and together agree on appropriate success criteria.



Unit 7 transcripts (PDF, 283 kB)

Unit 7 Teacher Sheet A (PDF, 285 kB)


Activity 1

The students will learn the names of the colours in Māori.

In preparation for learning the names of colours in Māori, ask the students to use classroom charts, books and the Internet to research where the names for the colours may have come from. By researching the colour names students should be able to make links with flowers, birds etc. For instance, kōwhai comes from the yellow colour of the flower from the kōwhai tree. The word kākāriki for green is linked to the small green parrot or parakeet. This should help lessen the learning burden for students as they are introduced to so many colours within this unit.

Ask the students to show their findings in a poster.

Watch Unit 7 Scene 1 where the students leave the classroom to go to the library.

Show the students Unit 7 Scene 2 where Hana and Jo are looking through magazines.

Ask the students for the colour names mentioned in the DVD (pango – black and whero – red).

Introduce each colour to the students, and ask them to draw each colour matched with the name in Māori in their Wehi books.

whero red
kōwhai yellow
kahurangi blue
kākāriki green
pango black
pākākā brown
māwhero pink
karaka orange
tawa purple

Dictated drawing

Place the students in groups of five or six, and give each group a large piece of paper and a set of crayons, coloured pencils or felt-tip pens. Tell the students to use their coloured pencils or felt tips to draw what you describe. Start off with simple shapes and colours: e.g. “Draw a circle in kahurangi. On top of that draw a triangle in kākāriki.”

When you have finished, ask them to swap papers and check another group’s work.

Call out sentences in Māori and ask the students to draw simple pictures of what you describe: e.g. he pene whero – a red pen.

Play the song Mā is White to the students. The song can also be found on the waiata section of the DVD and on the Audio CD track 4.

Activity 2

The students will learn names of articles of clothing in Māori.

Watch Unit 7 Scene 2 and Scene 3 where the girls and boys talk about what they are going to wear to the dance.

Have the students work in pairs to create a fashion poster using colours and clothing. Each pair should choose four different clothing and colour combinations: e.g. hāte kākāriki – green shirt, with tarau kahurangi – blue trousers; or panekoti whero – red skirt with hū pango – black shoes; or pōtae mā – white hat with hāte kōwhai – yellow shirt.

tarau trousers
hāte shirt
panekoti skirt
pōtae cap, hat
koti jacket, coat
tōkena socks
hingareti singlet

When each pair has completed their poster then they should swap with another pair. Each pair makes up a commentary about the posters and then presents the commentary to the pair who created the poster.


He pai te hāte kākāriki ki au. I like the green shirt.
He pai ngā hū whero ki au. I like the red shoes.
He pai ēnei kākahu ki au. I like these clothes.

When the students are familiar with the names of many pieces of clothing, have them draw in their Wehi books two characters dressed in a variety of clothes (shorts, trousers, shirt, skirt, shoes, hat etc.) and label the clothing.

Activity 3

The students will hear a traditional Māori story about the origin of the rainbow.

Teach the students the waiata Te Kōpere which is on the waiata section of the DVD, on the Audio CD track 5.

The students can follow the song using the OHT of the lyrics.

Ask students to draw a rainbow in their Wehi books and colour it correctly. Then ask them to listen to the song again and label each part of the rainbow with the correct colour in Māori.

Read the story of Uenuku and Hine-pūkohu-rangi. Ask the students to discuss in small groups what lessons could be learnt from this story. Ask them who they think was to blame for the sad ending? Why did Hine-pūkohu-rangi choose to turn Uenuku into a rainbow instead of something else?

Colour dancing

Prepare coloured squares, two of each of the colours mā, whero, kākāriki, pango, kahurangi and kōwhai. These squares need to be durable enough for children to stand on and approximately 35cm x 35cm square. (They could be cut from painted pieces of old carpet or sheets of vinyl or plastic. Alternatively, they could be painted on the asphalt in the playground, or you could visit a local flooring specialist for offcuts.)

When the class know the song Mā is White well enough to sing it without looking at the words, place the coloured squares to form a grid on the ground. Two students can play at a time. The students have to sing the song and dance to the music by standing on the right colour square as they say the name of a colour. The challenge is to step on the right squares and keep dancing in time to the music without pushing another dancer off the grid. This calls for planning and co-operation as well as dance technique!

The audience’s job will be to watch carefully to see that the students step on the right colours.

Card game – Whānau

In this game, each of the colours learnt in Activity One – whero, kōwhai, kahurangi, kākāriki, pango, mā, pākākā, māwhero, karaka, tawa – will be a whānau name: e.g. te whānau kōwhai. Each whānau set consists of four family members Māmā, Pāpā, Tuakana and Teina. (Some families will have two girls and others two boys.)

The template on Teacher Sheet A can be copied on to coloured card using felt pens to represent each of the whānau colours. The cards can then be guillotined to provide packs of cards, one for each group of three or four learners.

Divide students into groups of three or four. The aim of this game is to collect complete whānau sets. The player who collects the most whānau sets is the winner. Seven cards are dealt to each player and the remainder are placed face down in the centre. The first player asks for a specific card (e.g. Kei a koe a Pāpā Kōwhai? Do you have Pāpā Kōwhai?) and names the player who must reply.

If the player named has the card requested, they must say āe – yes, and give it to the player who asked for it. If they haven’t got the card, they say: Kāo. Tangohia he kāri. – No. Take a card. The player who asked for the card takes one from the centre pile. If the request is successful, the player who asked has another turn. If not, play passes on to the next player, who asks a specific person for a specific card, and so on. If a player runs out of cards, they take one from the centre pile so they can stay in the game.

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