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He pango aku makawe - My hair is black

Achievement objective

2.5 Communicate about physical characteristics, personality, and feelings.

Learning intentions

Students can:

  • describe the colour of their own, and other people’s hair
  • describe the colour of clothing items.


At the end of this lesson, students can:

MātakitakiMātakitaki – viewing:

  • Respond appropriately to meanings conveyed through selected visual texts.
  • Understand and respond to combinations of visual and verbal language in selected texts.

KōreroKōrero – speaking: Ask simple questions and give simple information.


Flash cards with names of colours on them.

Lesson sequence

This lesson will introduce the students to vocabulary for a range of colours, based on a discussion about hair colour.

Make copies of Resource sheet 2D: Ngā makawe and show them to the students, asking them to select the hair style most like their own.

Have the students draw self-portraits. Alternatively, the students could draw portraits of their favorite famous person.

Move around the room as the students are drawing, observing and commenting on each other’s hair colour:

He parauri ō makawe. Your hair is brown.
He pango ō makawe. Your hair is black.
He kakaho ō makawe. Your hair is blonde.

When the self-portraits are complete, ask the students to group themselves with others of the same hair colour. Give each group a flash card with the colour of their hair written in Māori.

Ask one or two students from each group what colour their hair is.

E Tere, he aha te tae o ō makawe? What colour is your hair, Tere?
He parauri. He parauri aku makawe. Brown. My hair is brown.
He pango. He pango aku makawe. Black. My hair is black.
He whero aku makawe. My hair is red.

Ask the students to complete the sentence on their self-portraits. In pairs, have the students read their sentences to one another as they do this. Display the self-portraits on the wall.

Language to use

pango black
whero red
parauri brown
karaka ginger
kakaho blonde

He aha te tae o ō makawe? He ______ aku makawe.


Note the shorter response to the question about hair colour – ‘He parauri’. (Brown).

Further learning

Discuss the colours of items that belong to students. For example, ask the students:

He aha te tae o ō hū? What colour are your shoes?
He pango aku hū. My shoes are black.
He aha te tae o tō hāte? What colour is your shirt?
He whero taku hāte. My shirt is red.

Note the use of the singular form in the second question for example:

tō hāte your shirt

Other resources

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