Te Reo Māori is a critical part of New Zealand culture and increasingly the education setting. And rightly so. September 9th to the 15th is Māori language week in NZ. It is a beautiful language and one of three offical languages in New Zealand. The other two are English and NZ sign language. The aim of this week is to promote Te Reo Māori in as many forms as we can.
Why Te Reo Māori in Special School?
Why not is more the question. It is what is expected as part of the curriculum for a start. Therefore why should our tamariki (children) not be at least exposed to their language! This week is a celebration, promotion of the language and for encouragement for all to incorporate Te Reo Māori.
Kia Kaha (Be Strong)
Kia Kaha is the theme for Te Wiki o Te Māori 2019. It is our chance to help strengthen the language in everyday opportunities. We don’t have to be experts, far from it. I certainly am not but, the more we use and teach Māori, the more at ease in it’s use we will become. It is an opportunity to use what we know and keep improving from our peers and friends, who speak Māori beautifully. And to pass it on to the tamariki (children) in our classes. It is simply a chance to get involved, to learn and to have fun.
How to incorporate Te Reo
Waita (songs), art and cooking, are great ways to get everyone involved. For more background and resources pop over to this site. In our class we will be singing, dancing and completing art projects all week.
Some of the ways we incorporate Te Reo Māori routinely are with counting, colours, days of the week and greetings. And of course Kapa Haka weekly. At the end of Kapa Haka we finish with a waiata called Te Aroha. This beautiful song was written by Simon Corvill. It is the reason I took the name Aroha for my website and social media handles. I have included the words of the waita for you as a free download.
I also included a heart for your students to colour and collage. Great resource for this week in NZ or for if you study NZ culture at any time. Enjoy some of our favourite You Tube Clips then download the free resource here.
Favourite You tube clips
Model the use of Te Reo Māori Language for all just as we expect all to model alternative communication systems (read more here). Because it matters.