SPARKLERS / Identity and culture

Te Ara Pū Māori

With Te Ara Pū you can keep learning te reo sounds to help make kōrero easy.
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

Learning outcomes

Tamariki know a waiata-based game they can play with peers.

He aha ai? – Why we love it

Te Ara Pū is a great way to practice the sounds of te reo while needing to stay focussed and part of the group.

Getting started

You may know A Haka Mana which is a fantastic waiata tamariki enjoy, made up purely of the sounds of te reo Māori. This may be a great place to start before moving onto this activity, OR you can just jump right in!

Start by sharing these Te Ara Pū videos which show the activity in action.

Then learn and practice the intro together!

Here are the kupu (words):

Ko tēnei te kēmu
O te ara pū Māori
Ka huri ki a koe

Hei mahi - What to do

Once you have the intro down, ask your tamariki to sit in a circle and try the intro to an easy clapping rhythm, e.g. two claps and two thigh pats.

At the end of the intro, say a single-syllable te reo sound to the beat, e.g. "ka". Tamariki must repeat this sound and add another, e.g. "ka pa!"

Repeat "ka pa" followed by "da da da daaa da" (as in the above video), before trying a new sound.

Keep going until there is a natural laugh or pause.

The first few times you play you may like to write a range of te reo sounds up on the board, so tamariki have lots of options to choose from. Practicing these sounds between games can boost knowledge and be good fun too.

See here for a thorough list of the basic sounds.


If you're up for a challenge, encourage tamariki to always add a new sound to the one you say (e.g. trading "ma-ma" for "ma-na" or "pa-pa" for "pa-ka").

You may also like to try: Listen to the Rain

Koa – enjoy!

Ngā mihi nui

Warmest thanks to Haeata Community Campus for suggesting this Te Ara Pū activity. We so appreciate your mahi and all it brings to Sparklers. Many times, ngā mihi.

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