Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

You are here:

Strip stories (Nation 1989, 1995)

A story divided into strips is put back together by a group.


  • To build fluency with known language
  • To practise communication and negotiation strategies in Māori



Choose a story or sequenced text that is appropriate for your students, for example, a legend, recipe or instructions for harakeke work. Simplify it if necessary. You need roughly as many sentences as you have students in your class, or in each group you divide the class into. Refer to Te mahi kapu tī – in strips and Te tino pōtae o pāpā in Strip stories (Word, 1 MB)

Place each sentence on a strip of paper or card, and shuffle.

If necessary, pre-teach the phrases in Māori needed to negotiate to get the text into order – refer to Phrases to use for negotiation in a strip story task in Strip stories (Word, 1 MB)

Give each student one sentence (or 2 short ones if you have extra) to read and memorise. They must only read their own sentence.

Collect the sentences after the students have memorised them.

Each student says their sentence and then they work together to work out the correct order of the sentences, without writing anything down.

Check the final decision against the original.

Teacher considerations

Choice of story (or other suitable text):

  • it should be one that students have not heard before (except if you need to make the task easier)
  • it should have words and grammar that the students already know.

Students must only read their own sentence, and not read the sentences distributed to other students.

The teacher does not take part in the activity, but may prompt suitable phrases for the students to use to negotiate with each other.


Let the students keep the written sentences while they put them in order, but with the group discussing the order in Māori. Refer to Phrases to use for negotiation in a strip story task in Strip stories (Word, 1 MB)

Cut the sentences into halves and ask students to put the halves together first, then order the sentences. (Nation, 1989, p. 79 – Join the halves)

Use a sequence of about six pictures that tell a story, dividing the class into groups. Students put the pictures into the order they think is best and work out a story to match. There is no absolute correct outcome of this – the stories may vary naturally from group to group. (If using the “help and rehearse” step below, students can regroup after working out their stories and compare stories). Download Te mahi poi (Word, 418 kB) and Life cycle- Te oranga o te ngarara (Word, 224 kB)

Add a “help and rehearse” step in which students who have the same sentence or picture get together first (either put them together, or provide more practice and challenge by handing them out randomly and asking students to find the others with the same). They practise together to say and memorise the sentence, or to describe the picture. They then regroup so that each member of the group has a different sentence or picture, and they put them in order.

Change this into a listening activity by making it a picture dictation where the teacher reads out or tells the story and the students have to put pictures into the correct order. (Gibbons, 2002, p. 147)

Strip picture – cut a picture into strips. Students must describe their strip without showing it to others and work out how they fit together. (Requires quite a careful choice of picture.) Refer to Strip Stories Picture He Kōrero i Wāwāhia (Word, 1 MB)


Level 1 myths and legends
marae procedure
simple story of an everyday event (AO 3.5)
routine task (AO 3.1)
Level 2 story about shopping (AO 4.5)
Level 3 recipes
food gathering/fishing instructions
story about a sporting activity
story about a holiday
Level 4 more extended story
a formal speech
Level 5 account of a historical event (eg land wars)
Level 6 current news story

Evaluation of the task

See evaluation on main page of Combining tasks.


  • Gibbons, P. (2002). Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning: Teaching Second Language Learners in the Mainstream Classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • Nation, I. S. P. (1989). Language Teaching Techniques. English Language Institute Occasional Publication No. 2 (p. 79).
  • Nation, I. S. P. (1995). Teaching Listening and Speaking. English Language Institute Occasional Publication No. 14 (p. 129).

Site map