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Te Ika a Māui - Māui’s fish

Achievement objective

1.5 Communicate about location.

Learning intention

Students can:

  • ask and answer questions about where things are.


At the end of this lesson, students can:

WhakarongoWhakarongo - Listening: Recognise and understand simple, familiar spoken words, phrases, and sentences.

KōreroKōrero- Speaking: Respond appropriately to simple, familiar instructions and simple questions.

PānuiPānui - Reading: Recognise and understand simple, familiar written words, phrases, and sentences.

TuhituhiTuhituhi - Writing: Write simple, familiar words, phrases, and sentences using the conventions of written language, such as appropriate spelling and punctuation.


Lesson sequence

Tell the students the story of Māui fishing up Te Ika-a-Māui, the North Island.

Create a class mural of the North and South Islands, drawing them as a fish and a canoe. See Resource sheet 1I: Te Waka me Te Ika-a-Māui for ideas.

Have the students label the parts of the fish.

te upoko o te ika the head of the fish
te hiku o te ika the tail of the fish
te parirau o te ika the wing of the fish (x 2)
te puku o te ika the stomach of the fish

Ask the students questions, and provide answers, relating to locations:

Kei hea a Taranaki? Where is Taranaki?
Kei te parirau o te ika. At the wing of the fish.
Kei hea a Kaitaia? Kei te hiku o te ika.
Kei hea a Taupō? Kei te puku o te ika.
Kei hea a Te Whanganui-a-Tara? Kei te upoko o te ika.

The students should attach labels of the parts of the fish as they answer the questions.

Language to use

hiku tail
ika fish
Kei (w)hea? Where is?
Māui Māui
moana ocean
parirau wing
puku stomach
roto inside
Taranaki Taranaki
tauihu bow
Taupō Taupō
taurapa sternpost
Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington
waho outside
wai water


Some Māori say that the head of the fish is above the tail. This means we travel up to Wellington from Auckland.

Te Upoko-o-te-ika and Te Hiku-o-te-ika are place names for the Wellington and Northland regions.


Discuss locations in Te Waka-a-Māui, the South Island:

Kei hea a Waihopai? Where is Invercargill?
Kei te taurapa o te waka. At the sternpost of the canoe.
Kei hea a Whakatū? Where is Nelson?
Kei te tauihu o te waka. At the bow of the canoe.
Kei hea a Waikawa? Where is Blenheim?
Kei te tauihu o te waka. At the bow of the canoe.

Further learning

Ask the students where other people are, using the same question:

Kei hea a Anna? Where is Anna?
Kei waho. Outside.
Kei hea a Mrs Tribblebank? Where is Mrs Tribblebank?
Kei waho. Outside.
Kei hea a Nita? Where is Nita?
Kei roto. Inside.
Kei hea a Tina? Where is Tina?
Kei roto. Inside.

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