Taonga Puoro

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Taonga PuoroTaon

Taonga Puoro

    by Tamahou Temara

    School Journal, Part 2 Number 2, 2009

    Readability (based on noun frequency) 910 years


    The narrator of this article recounts a visit by him and his sister to Te Papa Tongarewa, where their kuia tells them about traditional Māori musical instruments

    and the stories behind them.

    Te reo is used throughout the article for the names of instruments as well as for other related words, and most are explained in the glossary. It may be helpful to enlarge a copy of this glossary to display and discuss before and during reading. [An audio version of this text is also included on School Journal Part 1 and Part 2 CD


    This text includes:

    ; a straightforward text structure;

    ; some compound and complex sentences, which may consist of two or three


    ; some words and phrases that are ambiguous or unfamiliar to the students, the

    meaning of which is supported by the context or clarified by photographs,

    illustrations, diagrams, and/or written explanations;

    ; figurative language, such as metaphors, similes, or personification.

    Reading standard, end of year 4

    Options for curriculum contexts

    The arts (level 2, music, Understanding the Arts in Context)

    ; Explore and share ideas about music from a range of sound environments and

    recognise that music serves a variety of purposes and functions in their lives and

    in their communities.

    English (level 2, processes and strategies)

    ; Select and use sources of information, processes, and strategies with some

    confidence to identify, form, and express ideas.

    Key competencies

    ; Thinking

    ; Participating and contributing.

    For more information refer to The New Zealand Curriculum.

    The following example explores how a teacher could use this text, on the basis of an inquiry process, to develop a lesson or series of lessons that supports students‟

    learning within an arts curriculum context. Depending on the needs of your

    students, another context might be more appropriate.

    Teacher Support Material for “Taonga Puoro” School Journal, Part 2 Number 2, 2009

    Accessed from

    CopyrightNew Zealand Ministry of Education Page 1 of 6

Suggested reading purpose

    To learn about a variety of Māori musical instruments and their uses

    Links to the National Standards and the Literacy Learning Progressions

    Your students are working towards the reading standard for the end of year 4. By the end of year 4, students will read, respond to, and think critically about texts in order to meet the reading demands of the New Zealand Curriculum at level 2. Students will locate and evaluate information and ideas within texts appropriate to this level as they generate and answer questions to meet specific learning purposes across the curriculum.

    Reading standard, end of year 4

    Students can:

    ; meet their purposes for reading by employing specific comprehension strategies,

    such as:

    o identifying and summarising main ideas (using their knowledge of text


    o making and justifying inferences (using information that is close by in the text)

    o making connections between the text and their prior knowledge to interpret

    figurative language;

    ; recognise the features and purposes of some common text types and use this

    knowledge to navigate and understand texts.

    Reading progressions, end of year 4

    Key vocabulary

    ; Words and phrases, including “kuia”, “traditional”, “booming”, “marae”, “kūmara”,

    “awaken”, “approaching”, “pā”, “terrifying”, “dawn”, “chirping”, “sunrise”, “taonga”,

    “conch shells”, “crown jewels”, “mouthpiece”, “controlling”, “pitch”, “cocoon”,

    “gourds”, “goddess”, “kete”

    ; The Māori names – “Te Papa Tongarewa”, “Ngahina”, “Hirini Melbourne”, “Tūhoe”,

    “Aotearoa”, “Tangaroa”, “Hineraukatauri”, “Hinepūtehue”, “Tāne”

    ; The glossary of less common Māori words (common words are not glossed

    because they will be well known to New Zealanders, especially school children). Refer to Sounds and Words ( for more information on phonological awareness and spelling.

    Prior knowledge

    Prior knowledge that will support the use of this text is:

    ; personal experiences:

    o visiting museums, in particular Te Papa Tongarewa, and the hands-on

    experiences they can have there

    o occasions where music plays a part

    Teacher Support Material for “Taonga Puoro” School Journal, Part 2 Number 2, 2009

    Accessed from

    CopyrightNew Zealand Ministry of Education Page 2 of 6

    o learning from elders, passing on of knowledge

    ; topic knowledge: music and musical instruments, especially wind instruments

    like the recorder

    ; knowledge of the world: Māori culture, tikanga, and history

    ; literacy-related knowledge: making connections with a text in order to

    understand it.

    Features of the text

    These features may support or challenge the students, depending on their prior knowledge.

    ; The text structure, which follows a recognisable form (first-person recount) to

    provide factual information

    ; The two-column layout, which may be familiar from newspaper and magazine


    ; The mix of information about the history and current uses of instruments and how

    they are made and/or played

    ; The use of supportive photographs to illustrate instruments and give further


    ; The use of casual language (“She knows heaps”)

    ; The additional explanation of the sound and shape of the pūtōrino

    ; The use of sound images to support connections (“like the birds you can hear

    chirping”, “makes our ears hurt”, “your breath … brings the instrument to life”)

    ; The use of figurative language (similes: “like the crown jewels”, “like the song

    Hineraukatauri sings”, “like a kēhua”; metaphor: “fill your kete of knowledge”)

    ; The use of time comparisons (“Kuia tells us that these days”, “In the past”)

    ; The use of te reo, including the question and response forms “He aha tēnā?”,

    “He … tēnei” used to ask and state the name of an item

    ; The term “kete of knowledge” (this concept may need to be clarified if students

    don‟t know)

    ; The concept of past and present uses of instruments and the spiritual dimension

    of their uses in Māori culture

    ; Time markers, such as “When”, “this time”, “Next”, “The last … ”.

    Suggested learning goal

    To find and summarise information about each musical instrument Success criteria

    To support our understanding of the text, we will:

    ; use time markers to locate changes of topic within the text

    ; identify one or more keywords (instrument names) in each paragraph ; ask questions to help us find information

    Teacher Support Material for “Taonga Puoro” School Journal, Part 2 Number 2, 2009

    Accessed from

    CopyrightNew Zealand Ministry of Education Page 3 of 6

; make connections to our prior knowledge.

    A framework for the lesson

    How will I help my students to achieve the learning goal?

    Preparation for reading

    English language learners

    Remember that English language learners need to encounter new vocabulary: many times; before, during, and after reading a text; and in the different contexts of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. You will need to decide on the specific vocabulary and language structures that are the most appropriate in relation to the purpose for reading and explore these with your students before they read the text. Scaffold the students‟ understanding of the context by providing some background to the text and

    any necessary prior knowledge. Also support the students with some pre-reading experiences, such as jigsaw reading, partner reading, or specific activities to explore and develop vocabulary. For more information and support with English language learners, see ESOL Online at

    Before reading

    ; Build your students‟ knowledge of wind instruments by showing examples you

    may have available, letting students play them, and/or listening to sound

    recordings of Māori wind instruments. Encourage the students to think, pair, and

    share the different ways music is used in their communities: the different kinds of

    music, who plays it, who chooses it, why we have music. “What does music add

    to our lives?” “What kinds of music are used on special occasions? Why is this?”

    Include discussion of some specific purposes and occasions (haka, national

    anthem, hymns, marching/parade music, signalling news and other TV and radio


    ; Share the purpose for reading, the learning goal, and the success criteria with the


    Reading and discussing the text

    Refer to Effective Literacy Practice in Years 1 to 4 for information about deliberate

    acts of teaching.

    Page 10

    Have a copy of the glossary alongside as the students read. You may need to spend some time discussing the glossary with English language learners. The amount of support needed will depend on your students‟ knowledge.

    ; Discuss the title and what it might mean. “I‟ve noticed that the word „taonga‟ is not

    in the glossary. Can anyone tell me what taonga means? (treasure).” “I wonder

    why the Māori word for „musical instrument‟ includes this word?”

    ; Discuss the role of Kuia in passing down traditional knowledge, and of Te Papa

    as a storehouse of knowledge. “How did Kuia learn to play the instruments? Who

    passed on the knowledge to her?” Make connections to the passing on of stories,

    myths, and legends.

    ; Visualise arriving at Te Papa and hearing the sound of the pūkāea. “I wonder how

    the visitors might have felt?”

    Teacher Support Material for “Taonga Puoro” School Journal, Part 2 Number 2, 2009

    Accessed from

    CopyrightNew Zealand Ministry of Education Page 4 of 6

    ; Identify, record, and discuss any questions the students have about each of the

    instruments as they find them in the text.

    Page 11

    ; Have the students read the first column to find information about how the use of

    the pūkāea has changed and discuss this with a partner. “I wonder why use of the

    pūkāea has changed?” “Can you tell from the photo what it is made of?”

    ; Read the second column, comparing the description of the “beautiful” sound of

    the kōauau with the “terrifying” sound of the pūkāea. Prompt students to make the

    connections between the different sounds and different uses of instruments in

    their own lives.

    ; If you and/or the students are familiar with the saying “tihe mauri ora” (the breath

    of life), help them make the connection between “your breath that brings the

    instrument to life” and this saying.

    Page 12

    ; “Have you ever seen a conch shell?” “I wonder what Kuia means when she says

    they are like the crown jewels of Tangaroa?”

    ; “Why do you think these instruments are so hard for the children to play?” “Can

    you think of any other instruments that are used in battle?” (for example, the


    ; Find and compare the present-day and past use of pūtātara, noting the changing

    purposes of music and specific instruments. Have the students think, pair, and

    share how the use of music has changed in their own lives. For example, as very

    young children, they might have heard lullabies to help them sleep, nursery

    rhymes and songs, and songs to learn the alphabet. “What kinds of music do you

    have in your life now?”

    ; Review the questions. Discuss whether they have been answered and what new

    questions the students may have.

    Page 13

    ; Help students who are unfamiliar with te reo to work out the meaning of

    Ngahina‟s question and Kuia‟s response, using the photographs and the context.

    (“What is that?” “It is a pūtōrino.”)

    ; Encourage the students to see the connections Kuia makes between the

    instruments and their origins. Refer back to the title and the discussion you had

    about the reasons why instruments are seen as treasures.

    ; Discuss the statement “I can feel the hair stand up on the back of my neck.” “I

    wonder what this means?” “Are there any instruments or sounds that make this

    happen to you?”

    Page 14

    ; Briefly discuss the change in format on this page, checking that students realise it

    is not part of the recount. Read this separate explanation that tells the

    background story of the pūtōrino. Relate to students‟ knowledge of case moths. “I

    wonder if we can actually hear them or if the sounds they make can only be

    heard by other case moths?” “Why do you think the sound is said to be the voice

    of Hineraukatauri?”

    Teacher Support Material for “Taonga Puoro” School Journal, Part 2 Number 2, 2009

    Accessed from

    CopyrightNew Zealand Ministry of Education Page 5 of 6

After reading

    ; Review the uses of the musical instruments in the past and in the present.

    Summarise the different uses of each instrument. Discuss the connections

    students have been able to make with their own knowledge of the use of music. ; Evaluate the role of music in different cultures: the purposes of music, kinds of

    music, and occasions when music is used. Prompt the students to identify an

    occasion where there is music in their life and what it adds to the occasion.

    Students‟ responses will vary depending on their level of understanding. Some

    possible responses might be:

    o We have music at church on Sundays.

    o Music is a big part of my life, including at home, at school, and in church.

    o Music plays a big part in my life and my community. It brings us closer

    together as a community.

    ; Listen to the audio version of the story (School Journal Part 1 and Part 2 CD


    ; Reflect with the students on how well they have met the learning goal and note

    any teaching points for future sessions. For example, “How did finding information

    about each instrument help you to understand this article?”

    Further learning

    What follow-up tasks will help my students to consolidate their new learning? ; Use keywords and questions to find information when reading another non-fiction


    ; Research and write about the instruments mentioned in the story. See, for

    example, the Te Papa website


    ; Make and learn to play a pūrerehua (SJ 1.1.01) or a kōauau (SJ 4.2.97).

    ; Read other School Journal stories about the importance of musical instruments to

    a particular culture (“Me Too” SJ 1.4.08).

    ; Watch YouTube clips of kōauau and other taonga puoro being played.

    ; Listen to, research, and write about one wind instrument and its history and role

    over time (for example, trumpet, conch, bagpipes, fife, bugle). Teacher Support Material for “Taonga Puoro” School Journal, Part 2 Number 2, 2009

    Accessed from

    CopyrightNew Zealand Ministry of Education Page 6 of 6

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