SPARKLERS / Identity and culture

Your Fonofale wall display

Introduce the Fonofale health model to your tamariki with this HUGE collaborative mosaic wall display!
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

Learning outcomes

Tamariki have an understanding of Fonofale model, having collaborated with others to create a classroom wall display.

He aha ai? – Why we love it

The Fonofale model was created by Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann following talanoa (kōrero) with people from a variety of Pacific nations about concepts of wellbeing. We love it because it's all-encompassing of health, and amazingly broad in terms of its far-reaching context. We love too that, like Te Whare Tapa Whā, it places people (in our case fanau (children)) at its centre and highlights the many contributing factors to wellbeing.

Fonefale tile

Tāngia ēnei tohutohu – Print me

First up - print your mosaic

This is the full 35 page mosaic your class can colour and put together collaboratively.

Printing on A3 paper gives you a wall display that's 1.75 metres wide and 1.25 metres high.

We've included numbers on each piece to make things easier!

Second up - print your labels

Again, print size A3, colour and add these labels to your mosaic once it's complete.

You might like to use this worksheet to talanoa about the Fonofale model, it's from the activity My Fale.

Talanoa (talk/explain)

You may like to talanoa with your fanau as they create their fale, or wait until its fully created before moving onto explaining its parts, concept and use. Using this worksheet from the activity My Fale, may be useful.

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The Fonofale model created by Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann is represented by a fale, and is made up of four main parts.

  • Fa’avae (foundation): It’s so cool to see the foundation of health and wellbeing is family. You might talanoa with your fanau about how their family acts as a foundation.
  • Falealuga (roof): Our cultural values and beliefs are sheltering us as part of the Fonofale model. This would be a really interesting talanoa with your fanau - what part of their culture and values act as a shelter?
  • Pou (posts): These pou connect our culture and family, and are seen to be continuous and interactive with each other. They are: 
    • Spiritual - this dimension relates to the sense of wellbeing which stems from belief systems.
    • Physical - this dimension relates to biological or physical wellbeing. 
    • Mental - this dimension relates to the wellbeing or the health of the mind which involves thinking and emotions as well as the behaviors expressed. 
    • Other - which includes our sexuality, gender, age and socio-economic status
  • The Cocoon Surrounding the fale is a cocoon, representing our environment (where we live), time (the specific time in history) and context (the meaning for us), all of which affect and shape us. This might be a much broader talanoa - how does our ‘today’ shape our health and wellbeing?

Fanau may feel familiar with Spiritual, Physical and Mental health as part of Te Whare Tapa Whā, but you may want to talanoa with older fanau about why the fonofale model includes sexuality, gender, age and socio-economic status and how this might impact health and wellbeing.


The Fonofale model was created by Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann as a Pacific Island model of health for use in the New Zealand context. Our mahi in this space has been informed by Fonofale Model of Health by Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann As at September 2001 and The Open Polytechnic.

We'd like to acknowledge Tangata Atumotu Trust for its support with this activity.

What next?

You might like to talanoa about your classroom community with My Fale or Perform It Up - Island Styles! Another way to extend from your Fonofale is to explore and connect with your tamariki names with What's in a Name?

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