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Taku rā whānau - My birthday

Achievement objective

1.4 Communicate about personal information.

Learning intention

Students can:

  • respond appropriately to a question about their age
  • communicate about other people’s ages.


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.


Lesson sequence

Ask the students how old they are. Ask them to stand in groups of the same age, holding a large card with their age on it:

E whitu aku tau
I am 7 years old

 Ask individual students in each group how old they are.

E hia ō tau Jeremy? How old are you Jeremy?
E whitu aku tau. I am 7 years old.

Create a class maramataka, or calendar, along the wall. Have the students write their names on cards and place them on larger cards with the Māori names of their month of birth (see Resource sheet 1G: Ngā marama).

Language to use

E hia ō tau? How old are you?

Kotahi 1 Kotahi taku tau ('my' singular) I am one.
E rua 2 E rua aku tau ('my' plural) I am two.
E toru 3 E toru aku tau I am three.  
E whā 4 E whā aku tau I am four.  
E rima 5      
E ono 6      
E whitu 7      
E waru 8      
E iwa 9      
Tekau 10      


Matariki, the Māori new year, is in Pipiri (June) so begin your maramataka (calendar) in Pipiri.

Further learning

Hold a class party. Discuss plans for the party with the class. Have the party on the first Monday of each month.

Ask the students to discuss what they might bring to a shared morning tea. Learn the words to Happy Birthday in Māori (attached as Resource sheet 1H: Rā Whānau).

Have the students talk about the ages of their classmates or siblings:

E hia ngā tau o Sina? How old is Sina?
E rua ngā tau o Sina. Sina is two.
E waru ngā tau o Sina. Sina is eight.
Kotahi te tau o Sina. Sina is one.

Note the singular form when Sina is one year old.

Talk about special days in the year. They might mention:

April Fool's Day, anniversaries, hui, funerals, Mothers' Day, Waitangi Day, ANZAC Day, Queen's Birthday, New Year, Halloween, Guy Fawkes, tangi, openings, Christmas, Matariki, Easter, Chinese New Year, Ramadan, Hanukkah, St Patrick's Day, White Sunday, christenings, Valentine's Day, Diwali etc.

Other resources

  • Ministry of Education. (2000). Waiata Kōhungahunga.[Audio Cassette. Side 1: Songs 2, 4 & 5.] Wellington: Learning Media.
  • Rasmussen, L. (1995). Birthday party. School Journal Part 2 No 3. This story tells how Boysie and the narrator meet their ninety year old uncle at a large family gathering on a marae.
  • Raerino, K. (1997). Birthday party. School Journal Part 2 No 2.
  • Listen to Māori numbers

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