Telling the Time in Te Reo Māori (with VIDEOS)

Have you ever looked to find out how to teach  the time in te reo Māori only to be confused at the various ways to do this?

Originally I started making this time resource because someone asked for time cards that could be used alongside my timetable resource. It has developed in to a “He aha te tāima?” “What’s the time?” resource. Firstly, teaching time involves number and skip counting in 5’s-an awesome way to integrate te reo into your maths programme. Making it has made me a little bit sharper with telling the time! When you need to learn how to say or do something the best way is to teach it. As  kaiako we can use that to our advantage 😊

To begin with I recap counting from 1-12 in te reo Māori. If I wanted to teach Juniors the time I would  teach counting from 1-12 in te reo , how to say o’clock and then how to say the hours. E.g Rua karaka-two o’clock,

Kaiako: He aha te tāima? (Show a digital and analogue clock)

Akonga: Rua karaka

They would love to wear these watches (ngā wati) around and ask “He aha te tāima?”

So what is a clock? Well it’s just a circular number line. This will help when thinking about or learning to skip count in “5”s.
There are heaps of ways to consolidate counting in 5’s with abacus, stringing beads, fingers and hands etc. Here are some other parts of the learning sequence.

Two phrases you will need to know are-

“mai i te” past and “ki te” to

Mai means from  and ki means to  

There are variations on how to ask what the time is. I know how frustrating it can be when you are teaching a phrase or word only to be told it’s incorrect.

What I have learnt from my MANY tutors, institutions, friends, books, iwi and online is that there ARE variations for many phrases. If you have a strong hapū / iwi to advise you for your area, or your local kaumātua they are your first people to ask. The cool thing is to listen to the stories or explanations around these words/phrases and how the meaning has come about.

“Ko te aha te wā/tāima?” “Kua aha te wā/taima?” Kei te aha te wā?” are some of the ways to ask “What’s the time?”. The cool thing with te reo is that the clue to answering the question is in the beginning of the question. E.g “Kua aha te wā? “ Kua….” “Ko te aha te wā?” “Ko te…….”

Of course tāima is a “modern” word for time and wā is another word for time (space of time).

This resource gives you the “body” of the answer that can be added to. E.g tekau karaka (i te ata)

10 0’clock ( in the morning.) Expressions of time are included in the resource.

There are cards included that have some of these variations on them.

There are some worksheets to support writing the time as well, and the ākonga can practice telling the time with their own clocks and flash cards.

I am sure your learners will have a blast with this resource. I know for me it has quickened up my response to telling the time 🙂
The resource is available HERE:
Payhip ($NZ)
TpT ($US)

If you are learning with your ākonga I can guarantee you will be empowered when those times just roll off your tongue.



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