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Mēnā - If

Achievement objective

4.4 Give and seek permission/agreement.

Learning intention

Students can:

  • seek permission for different steps in a card game.


At the end of this lesson, students can:

WhakarongoWhakarongo - Listening: Understand specific details in contexts that may contain some unfamiliar language.

KōreroKōrero - Speaking: Engage in short personal conversations.

MātakitakiMātakitaki - Viewing: Understand and respond to combination's of visual and verbal language and their significance in communicating information and ideas to specific audiences.


Lesson sequence

This activity is based on the card game ‘fish’. However in this version one student is appointed as the ‘owner’ of the cards. Other students will need to seek permission from the ‘owner’ as they move through each step of the game.

Hand out copies of Resource sheet 4J: Ngā mahi. This sheet describes, in Māori, the steps taken by players while playing fish.

Have the students work in groups of five or six. Once the ‘owners’ of the cards have been determined in each group, hand a pack of cards to each group to deal.

The dealer (not the owner) gets ready to deal but must first seek permission from the ‘owner’ to do so. The ‘owner’ should be sitting aside the group.

Each player will seek permission for one aspect as they take their turn, for example they may ask if it’s okay to pick up a card, to take a card from another player or even to pick up from the pack.

The owner will role play giving permission and may take time to consider the requests.

Language to use

Kei te pai mēnā…? Is it okay if…?
Kei te pai mehemea…? Is it okay if…?
Kei te pai mēnā ka tohangia e au ngā kāri? Is it okay if I deal the cards?
Kei te pai mēnā ka tango kāri au? Is it okay if I pick up?
Kei te pai mēnā ka pātai atu au ki a ________? Is it okay if I ask _________?
Kei te pai mēnā ka hōmai e ia tana kāri? Is it okay if he gives me his card?
Kei te pai mēnā ka kaute au i aku huinga rua? Is it okay if I count my pairs?

Further learning

Demonstrate the meaning of mēnā/mehemea by explaining the title of the waiataMe (hemea) he manu rere au’ ('If I was a bird flying').

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