Using Whakataukī in the Classroom

Enjoy this freebie te reo Māori printable in your school, home or office.  Whakatauki are such a rich part of te ao Māori. Te Ao Māori is founded on a deep tradition of oral history.

What are whakataukī?

Whakataukī are proverbs or sayings. In addition they hold a wealth of knowledge. They can be long on meaning but short enough to learn, say and pass on. Furthermore, they help make sense of the world. getting on with others, respecting and living harmoniously with the environment, and are a way for conveying a values system.

Whakataukī are proverbs that the person who first said it first, is not known.

Whakatauākī are proverbs where the person who said it first is known.

Whakataukī are used to guide the way. Often they go beyond the individual to a connection with others, the environment and the spiritual world.

Used at the Marae and at hui they are clever explanations, or wise kupu. In the akomanga they can be an essential part of every curriculum topic.  They are an under-used resource. Any google search will pull up dozens of whakataukī.

Whakataukī in the classroom.


These can easily woven into the reading and language programmes. You can find a whakataukī to support  just about every topic and this is a perfect way of presenting a Māori perspective to that topic.
The values of ako, manaakitanga, kotahitanga, mahi ngātahi, kaitiakitangi can be emphasised through these clever proverbs. Age is not a barrier for understanding these. I have seen them  used with Year One learners.

This new resource is a collection of 15 fantastic whakataukī. The freebie is one of my favourites to do with Ako-learning and Mātauranga-knowledge.

Whakataukī Task Cards

Included in this bundle of Whakataukī are task cards which focus on multiple intelligences.Our ākonga have individual differences. True enough, these differences can sometimes create challenges for us unless forearmed with activities.
When we  acknowledge that our learners have different gifts and talents some tasks become easier all around.  Howard Gardner is a Developmental Psychologist. He believes that intelligence, the way it has traditionally been understood (logically, as with I.Q. tests), does not explain the wide variety of human abilities.

He says that children can be inclined to one (or several) intelligences. These intelligences are  an array of talents. These are verbal, logical, musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, visual, and natural. Taking this into consideration in managing a class can be a lot of work, but when having your classroom setup for this  efficiently, it can really benefit both you and your students!

Take the Multiple Intelligence test for yourself.

These Whakataukī lend themselves perfectly to a range of activities.

What benefits can we get when we utilise our students differences?

You can unleash your learners potential. So called “low-performing” learners can excel and get excited in what they’re doing.
Also, it can break the “normal”  classroom activities. Additionally, you can open up opportunities for newer  exciting tasks which learners will surely enjoy.

Lastly, you can provide an atmosphere similar to how adults work in the real-world: a diverse community working in collaboration using their unique gifts and talents.

Furthermore, what a good and early start to prepare learners for the world out there!

Download the freebie here to see if this poster and some of the te reo word focussed activities.

The 15 posters are such a beautiful addition to any space.

In addition these will be great to start conversations. Above all, they can encourage more reo from the Māori world. I am sure you will really enjoy the whakataukī. Also, there is a template that you can use for other tasks that you, or your learners may come up with.
Finally, as another awesome activity try a jigsaw. Furthermore, this online site is such fun and making a jigsaw is a very interactive way of using whakataukī.
Firstly have a good look at the whakataukī.
Use the left circular arrows to begin the game.
Have fun!

The Romans have a saying: repetitio est mater studiorum. (Repetition is the mother of all learning).




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