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Everyday curriculum design example

Extending use of te reo Māori

This is an example of the types of things that could happen at each step of curriculum design when using it every day in the moment.

Get to know our people and place

Get to know our people and place

In an early learning service there were a number of whānau te reo Māori speakers as well as kaiako. This enabled many opportunities for the everyday use of te reo Māori and te ao Māori practices.

Decide on learning priorities

Decide on learning priorities speech bubble

He kōrero ā-waha / understanding te reo Māori and using it for a range of purposes was a priority learning outcome. This learning outcome reflected the aspirations of whānau for their tamariki. Kaiako continually reflected on new learning opportunities for increasing the use of te reo Māori in play, care rituals, and daily routines.

One of the kaiako noticed that tamariki really enjoyed co-creating new rotarota (poems/ditties) in te reo Māori to make daily routines fun. They repeated the kupu/words over and over again and invited others to join in as a chant. The kaiako quickly noted the kupu of the new rotarota on a whiteboard as a prompt to share with the teaching team:

“tai-tai-taitaia ope-ope opeopea!"

Brush, brush, brush, rinse, rinse, rinse!

Plan our response

Plan our response speech bubble

At kai tina / lunch time the kaiako mentioned her observations to other staff and showed them the whiteboard notes of the new rotarota. The teaching team were excited that tamariki were responding to the sounds and rhythms of te reo Māori in physical play and wanted to explore other ways for extending this learning.

Make it happen

Make it happen speech bubble

A group of tamariki started a game of copy me in front of a mirror later in the afternoon. Another kaiako noticed this physical play opportunity developing. She brought the whiteboard as a prompt. She started chanting the new rotarota in time with body actions. Tamariki were quick to recognise the rotarota and repeated te reo Māori kupu/words with enthusiasm!

Find out what and how tamariki are learning

Find out what and how tamariki are learning

The team made frequent observations of what aspects of te reo Māori tamariki were learning through rotarota and word play. They also looked at what adults did to support their language growth. Kaiako notes and videos showed that tamariki were particularly extending their word bank of kupu mahi or action words (tīkina, pākia, hurihia). By repetition, they were gaining fluency in the pronunciation of te reo Māori words.

Review and respond

Review and respond speech bubble

Kaiako used information from observations to identify what was working well. They found that rotarota and word play was an effective oral language strategy in te reo Māori. Kaiako also talked with parents and whānau. They found that adults modelling new words related to a current play activity was a key strategy for engaging tamariki in composing new rotarota.

For more examples of word play see Word play and phonological awareness in the Talking together, Te kōrerorero resource.