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He ihumanea - She’s brainy

Achievement objective

7.5 Read about and recount actual or imagined events in the past.

Learning intentions

Students can:

  • gather information about a famous Māori or New Zealander
  • compile a biography (haurongo) using information gathered
  • accurately deliver a biographical account of a famous New Zealander
  • use PowerPoint as an aid to deliver information in a formal setting.


At the end of this lesson, students can:

PānuiPānui – Reading: Understand much of what is written about a range of topics across a range of text types.

TuhituhiTuhituhi – Writing: Use resources to experiment with new language and review writing for accuracy.

KōreroKōrero – Speaking: Give talks on a range of topics in a range of contexts.

WhakaatuWhakaatu – Presenting: Create new visual texts to express their own information and ideas.


Lesson sequence

Ensure the students are aware of vocabulary used to describe people.

Ask the students to read Resource sheet 7A: He tauira and fill in the gaps on Resource sheet 7B: He tauira.

Encourage the students to select and research a Māori or New Zealand identity and complete Resource sheet 7C: Whākao pārongo, using their own words to describe that identity.

Have the students make a poster or computer presentation on their findings. The students should field questions about their subject in Māori.

Language to use

Use biographies from the Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau series as reo Māori exemplars.


In groups, students research their subject with each group member being responsible for one part of their subject's life, for example, childhood, schooling, career, successes, fame, and summary.

Further learning

The students can create a portfolio or wall display about their chosen person.

Other resources

  • Collection of biographies
  • Moorfield, J. C. (1992). Te Whanake 3: Te Māhuri. (Chapter 10, p.166–171). Longman Paul: Auckland. Contains vocabulary, exercises and examples of ways to describe people.

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