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Te pato waea - Text messaging

Achievement objective

4.2 Communicate about plans for the immediate future.

Learning intention

Students can:

  • write short text messages on familiar topics.


At the end of this lesson, students can:

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

WhakaatuWhakaatu - Presenting: Communicate information, ideas, or narrative through texts in which visual and verbal features interact to produce particular meaning and effects.

TuhituhiTuhituhi - Writing: Write short texts on familiar topics.


Lesson sequence

In this task, students will need to write a note and text message to a parent to let them know where they are and what they are doing.

Discuss with students the type of information that might be included in a text message. ‘Where will you be? What time will you be home? Who will you be with? How will you get home? When should someone contact you?’

Messages may begin with a short greeting, for example ‘Kia ora Māmā’.

Information is written out using appropriate sentence constructions (listed below).

Messages should end with a short farewell, for example ‘Arohanui, (name)’.

The written notes will sequence the activities of the students.

Students then ‘translate’ their notes into phone text language, based on the mobile phone provided on Resource sheet 4I: Te pato waea. Brainstorm possible Māori text language, adding items from the list provided.

The text messages in Māori should follow texting conventions; such as, words being shortened and abbreviated where possible. Messages can include numbers or letters of the alphabet that correspond with the sounds of te reo Māori. For instance; ‘k’ for ‘kei’, ‘Roto2’ for ‘Rotorua’.

It will be useful to brainstorm Māori used by students when texting.

Language to use

Write these sentences on the board as a model for the written note:

Tēnā koe Māmā. Hi Mum.
Kei te haere au ki te tāone mā runga pahi. I’m going to town on the bus.
Kei taku taha a Mereana. Mereana is with me.
Ka hoki atu māua ā te waru karaka. We will come back at 8:00.
Waea mai ki a au. Ring me.
Hei konā. Bye

Text message version of the note:

10a koe mama. K te hyre au ki te taone ma rnga pahi. K taku taha a Mereana. Ka hoki a2 māua hei te 8 krka. Wya my ki a au. Hei kna.

Māori text language

Text word Māori English
4karongo whakarongo listen
hyre haere go
4re whare house
2taki tūtaki meet
pori2 Porirua Porirua
my mai (this way)
10a tēnā that
py pai good
2puna tupuna ancestor
pofiri pōwhiri welcome
a2 atu away from texter
rnga runga/ringa above/hand
k kei at, on, in
t te the
roto2 Rotorua Rotorua
h6 hono join
krka karaka o’clock
wya waea call
kna konā that place


This task can be either an individual, pair or small group task. Working in pairs or small groups is preferable as students will be able to process their ideas through interaction.

Text messages will not need macrons.

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