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“Whakarongo” by Iwa Toia

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Learning Contexts:
Composition, perceptive listening; notation (Music literacies); Te Reo Māori
Learning Contexts:
Composition, perceptive listening; notation (Music literacies); Te Reo Māori
YEAR/S: 1-3 DURATION: 4 - 8 sessions
Values highlighted in this unit How will these values be encouraged?
Excellence Children will be challenged to enhance their creative work through reflective questioning.
Innovation, inquiry and curiosity Children motivated to think creatively and ask meaningful questions.
Diversity The use of te reo Māori and the importance of using new vocabulary and pronouncing the words correctly.
Equity All children able to work to the best of their ability and apply their individual skills and knowledge.
Community and participation Full participation in all activities, contributing actively to discussions
Care for the environment Understanding the protocol for gathering natural resources
Integrity Willingness to listen to others and respect their views.
Key Competencies highlighted in this unit How will these competencies be encouraged?
Managing self Showing good self control in managing creative activities.
Relating to others Sharing ideas, listening to others. Working well in a group.
Participating and contributing Active participation in all activities. Tolerance and understanding of individual differences.
Thinking Drawing on previous learning to ensure correct pronunciation of te reo Māori. Expanding ideas creatively.
Using language, symbols and texts Using sound to communicate ideas.
Achievement Objectives highlighted in this unit
  • Understanding Music – Sound Arts in Context (UC)
  • Developing Practical Knowledge in Music - Sound Arts (PK)
  • Communicating and Interpreting in Music - Sound Arts (CI)
  • Developing Ideas in Music - Sound Arts (DI)
Learning Outcomes

In this unit the children will develop the ability to:

  • Pronounce Māori words accurately and understand their meaning. (UC, PK)
  • Explore sounds and improvise with them to create an effect. (PK, DI)
  • Interpret graphic symbols in an imaginative way. (PK, DI, CI)
  • Create a soundscape in response to a simple poem as the source of motivation. (UC, PK, DI)
This example provides an opportunity for children to use vocal and instrumental sounds to enhance a short poem in te reo Māori. It’s a simple poem, which is fun to perform and will provide the children with a good introduction to associating sounds with symbols and an opportunity to practise some basic Māori language.
  •   “Whakarongo” by Iwa Toia (MP3 1.6MB)
    Whakarongo ki te hau            Listen to the wind
    Whakarongo ki te ua             Listen to the rain
    Whakarongo ki te Ngahere     Listen to the forest
    Āta whakarongo ki tō kuia     Listen carefully to your Nana
  • A range of found sounds .
Games and Starters

Whakarongo - listen

Sit the children in a circle. Put a selection of instruments and other sound sources in the middle of the circle. A chosen child says, “Whakarongo ki a (child’s name)”. The named child then makes an interesting sound or sequence of sounds with their voice or an instrument and then names another child to have a turn.

Newspaper music

Give each child a sheet of newspaper. The children see how many different sounds they can make with newspaper, for example, flicking, tearing or waving. They create the sound of a rainstorm using only newspaper sounds. Then they put the sounds into a sequence to create a rainstorm soundscape.

Sound cards

Provide some graphic notation cards, with each card showing a symbol. The children each choose a card and explore the sound-making possibilities of their card, using voice and/or instruments. The cards can be used in a variety of ways, such as to make interesting combinations or sequences of sounds, to create a soundscape or to work in groups to interpret the symbol.

Environmental symphony

Send the children outside on a sound search. Encourage them to find leaves, twigs, harakeke, stones, pine cones, shells. View information on protocol for gathering natural resources . Spread all the resources on a large piece of material in the centre of the room and talk about all the different sounds that could be made. Encourage them to combine sound makers, for example, a twig scraping on a pine-cone. Decide together on favourite sounds and how they could be combined to create an environmental symphony

Learning experiences
  •  Listen to and learn the waiata “Whakarongo Ake Au” to understand the significance of whakarongo, to listen.
  • Listen to the poem, and say it through with correct pronunciation.
  • As a class, experiment with, and agree on, some vocal, body percussion, or instrumental sounds to represent rain, wind and the sounds of the forest.
  • Agree on some symbols to represent these sounds.
  • Practise some phrases that Nana might say in the morning to her mokopuna , for example: “E oho, e kare” (Wake up, darling); “Kihi mai” (Give me a kiss); “Kia tere” (Hurry up); ”Maranga mai” (Get up); “Kua tae ki te wā mo te kura” (It’s time for school); “Kua reri te parakuihi” (Breakfast’s ready); “Haere mai ki te kai” (Come and eat); “E aroha ana au ki a koe” (I love you).
  • Say the poem, using accompanying sounds and finishing with a chorus of Nanas talking to their grandchildren.
  • As a class, make the poem into a shared book with additional lines and ideas that the children have developed, for example, “Whakarongo ki te moana” (Listen to the sea.)
  • Link the poem to the song “Ka Tangi te Kuri e” . from Hei Waiata, Hei Whakakoakoa . This song can be extended to include other sounds.

Conversations with children about their sound explorations and creative decision making will provide valuable information about their ability to select, combine and sequence sounds to create an effect.

Pronounce Māori words accurately and understand their meaning (PK)

  • Are the children taking care to pronounce the Māori words correctly?
  • Can they recognise some basic vocabulary and reflect on the meaning of the words?

Explore sounds and improvise with them to create an effect (PK, DI)

  • Can the children show you different ways to create sounds using voices, classroom instruments, and found sounds from the classroom and the environment?
  • How well can they improvise sounds to help the telling of a story or poem or to express a mood or idea?

Interpret graphic symbols in an imaginative way (DI)

  • How well can the children use their imagination to interpret a graphic symbol?
  • How well does their interpretation reflect the symbol?

Create a soundscape in response to a simple poem as the source of motivation (DI, UC)

  • Can the children select, organise and combine sounds to create a meaningful sequence of sounds?
  • Does their soundscape reflect the meaning of the words and the mood of the poem?


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