thumbnail TRM lesson plans levels 5 and 6
Nō Amerika au? – Am I from America?

Nō Amerika au? – Am I from America?

Te reo Māori in English-medium schools

Achievement objective

5.4  Describe, compare and contrast people, places and things.

Learning intention

Students can:

  • use context clues to work out identities or names of objects.


At the end of this lesson, students can:

Kōrero - Speaking: Use appropriate pronunciation, stress, rhythm, and intonation and discuss topics of mutual interest.

Whakarongo Whakarongo - Listening: Understand specific details in contexts that may contain some unfamiliar language.


  • A5 paper and Sellotape

Lesson sequence

In this task, the teacher writes a mystery word, or the name of a person, on A5 paper and affixes it to a student's back – one for each student. 

To identify who or what their mystery word is, students ask each other one question at a time. They can only answer questions with yes or no answers. If the answer to their question is yes, they may ask another question. If it is no, they must wait until all other students have had a turn. 

Possible categories for this activity:
Things People Iwi
things outside the room (kōhatu, rau, paoro, motokā, hau, papa) iwi leaders (Nō Ngā Puhi au? He kaitōrangapū au? He tāne au? Kei te ora tonu au?) can be nominated by teacher or students (sample questions listed below)
things in the room (tēpū, tūru, whāriki, papa tuhituhi, pukapuka, pouaka whakaata) famous people (Nō Amerika au? He wahine au? He kaiwaiata au?)  
sports (Tokohia ngā tāngata? Ka tākaro i waho? Ka whanaia te paoro?) student names (He kōtiro au? He tāroa au? E tākaro poitarawhiti ana au?)  
TV shows (He reo Māori tēnei whakaaturanga? Nō Amerika? He mea whakakata tēnei?)    

For an ‘iwi’ category, encourage the students to ask a set number of questions before they may guess who their iwi is:

Pātai Whakautu
Kei te Ika a Māui au? Āe.
Kei te Tai Hauāuru au? Kāore.
Kei te Tai Rāwhiti au? Āe.
Ko Mātaatua taku waka? Āe.
Ko Pūtauaki taku maunga? Kāore.
Ko Maungapōhatu taku maunga? Āe.
Ko Ngāi Tūhoe taku iwi? Āe!

Language to use

Ngā kupu pātai Sample questions
Kei te Ika a-Māui au? Am I in the North Island?
Kei te Tai Rāwhiti au? Am I on the East Coast?
Ko Tākitimu taka waka? Is my canoe Tākitimu?
Ko Taranaki taku maunga? Is my mountain Taranaki?
Ko Whanganui taku awa? Is my river Whanganui?


It will be useful for the teacher to facilitate a session on pepeha and iwi histories as a pre-task for the iwi category. Short iwi histories are available on the Te Ara website. 

Make sure that the students follow the rules by not looking at the labels on their backs.

Other resources

  • Walker, R. (2006). Māori peoples of New Zealand: ngā iwi o Aotearoa. Wellington: David Bateman Ltd
  • Iwi histories
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