My Marae Visit {A booklet of activities about the Marae, Powhiri & Wharenui}

Green Grubs
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Green Grubs


“Nau mai, haere mai…… Ki tō tātou marae e…… Haere mā rā…..”

The welcoming karanga performed during the powhiri ceremony sends a chill down my spine every time! Share this unique and powerful Māori tradition with your class as you head down to your local marae to discover some of the rich traditions and protocols surrounding a marae visit.

This ‘My Marae’ resource is packed full of fun facts and a wide variety of activities. It includes a 42 page student booklet designed to support your teaching and learning around the topics of powhiri (pohiri) and marae. Learn about the parts of the wharenui by using the template included to construct little 3D models of this iconic building.

Please check out the preview for a closer look at the resources in this pack! Included in this resource are:

Learn the parts of the wharenui:

• A4 cut and paste sheet (use the labels to name the parts of the wharenui (plus answer sheet)

• 3D wharenui model template. choose from either a blank template (to allow the children to share their own designs) or a pre-patterned version that just requires colouring in and assembling

You can find the 3D Wharenui portion of this resource available as a separate resource - click here to find out more!.

42 page My Marae booklet ~ topics covered include:

• Tūrangawaewae are places where we feel strong, empowered & connected. Where’s yours?

• The basics – what is a marae? What happens there?

• Add an arrow to show the location of your marae on the map

• What is a powhiri? What was it like in the past? What happens now?

• What are some of the kawa & tikanga (protocols & rules) surrounding powhiri?

• What are some of the kawa & tikanga (protocols & rules) surrounding entering a wharenui?

• A wharenui can/has/is graphic organiser template

• Did you know that most wharenui are named after an important ancestor belonging to the marae’s iwi? What is your wharenui’s name? Who is it named after?

• Read and match! The Wharenui is normally one of the most decorated buildings on the Marae. Did you know that its shape is symbolic of the human body?

• Marae themed word find (plus answers)

• The jobs of Kaikaranga (the women who call visitors onto the marae) and Kaikōrero (speakers/orators) are highly valued. In a quiet moment after the pōwhiri, ask your Kaikaranga or Kaikorero if they will share the story of their special jobs with you.

• Many wharenui contain detailed carvings and panels that share the whakapapa (genealogy), stories and legends of that tribe. Find out the story behind of one of the marae’s carvings or ancestors. Use the space provided to illustrate the best part of the story.

• What are some of the kawa & tikanga (protocols & rules) surrounding entering a wharekai?

• Marae eye-spy! How many of these things can you see? (shoes outside the wharenui, people sharing a hongi, a carving doing a pukana etc.)

• Use the space provided to sketch some of the tukutuku patterns you can see

• Add the vowels to complete these marae themed words (plus answers)

• Marae themed words shapes. Can you match the words to their shape?

• Use the space provided to draw a ‘birds eye view’ map of the marae complex.

• Where was your kai cooked? Does your marae have a hangi pit?

• Did you know that Papatūānuku (the earth mother), Ranginui (the sky father) and their children are all symbolised in the layout of the marae and during the pōwhiri process? Learn more about the creation traditions…

• Who’s who? Complete the fact file to show who the manuhiri (visitors) and tangata whenua (hosts) are.

• Marae themed whakatauki (proverb)

• Marae themed true or false questions (plus answers)

• Did you know that our cousins in the pacific also share our tradition of marae? Information about our similarities...

• Facts about some of NZ’s most well-known wharenui

• Things to think about… Why do men sit in one place during a powhiri and women in another etc.? Who could you ask to find out?

• Use a Māori dictionary to complete the glossary

• A selection of marae themed colouring pages and writing recording sheets

• Sketch some kowhaiwhai patterns you can see

• What was life like around the time your marae was built?

• 10 marae themed challenges: e.g. Find and read some books about visiting the marae. Can you find both fiction and non fiction? Watch some episodes of ‘Marae DIY’ or ‘Marae Kai Masters’ (on Māori Television); use your body to explain the parts of a wharenui to a friend.

• Marae themed acrostic poem template

• A space to sketch some of the marae’s carvings

Looking for other resources to support your Marae visit? You might want to have a peek at:

Marae & Pepeha Clip Art

My body (links to Wharenui labeling)

3D Wharenui


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Product Format:

• This download is a PDF and is formatted in A4 size.

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Total Pages
38 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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