thumbnail TRM lesson plans levels 3 and 4
He aha māhau? - What would you like?

He aha māhau? - What would you like?

Te Reo Māori in English-medium schools

Achievement objective

3.3 Give and follow directions.

Learning intentions

Students can:

  • ask about likes
  • issue appropriate instructions
  • follow instructions correctly
  • thank someone.


At the end of this lesson, students can:

Kōrero – Speaking: Initiate and sustain short conversations. Use generally appropriate pronunciation, stress, rhythm and intonation. 

Whakarongo – Listening: Understand specific detail and overall meaning in familiar contexts and some unfamiliar contexts.


  • Objects (as substitutes for cards) – optional.
Word list Ngā mea

Te Reo Māori in English-medium schools

  • Word-list-Nga-mea.doc
  • 22 KB
Resource sheet 3M Ngā mea

Te Reo Māori in English-medium schools

  • Resource-sheet-3M-Nga-mea.doc
  • 314 KB

Lesson sequence

Before the lesson, cut Resource sheet 3M: Ngā mea into cards. Alternatively, you could substitute the items on the cards with real objects.

Go through the new vocabulary with the students using the Word list. Divide the students into groups of three, then give a set of cards to each group.

Have the students lay the cards out in front of two students, with the third student (Student C) sitting a slight distance away.

Student A asks Student B what they would like:
He aha māhau? - What would you like?
Student B chooses one of the objects and tells student A: 
Homai he ________ māku. - Please give me a __________.

Student A then asks student C to get that card or object:
E (name of student C), tīkina he mā (name of student B).
(Name of student C), get a/an __________ for (name of student B).

For example,
E Rangi, tīkina he inu mā Jo - Rangi, get a drink for Jo.

Student C gets the card and gives it to student B, saying:
Jo, anei he inu māhau. Jo - here is a drink for you.

Student B says:
Tēnā koe - Thanks.

Language to use

Particle ‘mā’:

  • mā Rangi, mā Huia for Rangi, for Huia
  • ku, hau/u, na for me, for you, for him/her
  • mā te kōtiro, mā te tama for the girl, for the boy
  • mā taku hoa, mā te kaiako for my friend, for the teacher

Use ‘e’ before Māori names of two or less syllables. Do not use ‘e’ before non–Maōri names or with names of more than two syllables.
For example: E Hone, haere mai ki konei - Hone, come here.
Wīremu, horoai ngā kākahu - Wiremu, wash the clothes.


Consider using ‘māu’ for ‘māhau’. ‘Māu’ is used in Western and Northern areas of the North Island.

Use ‘tīkina’ to ask the students to fetch items.

This exercise uses the ‘a’ category, not the ‘o’ category. These categories are sourced in tikanga Māori (and can be explored more in Māori grammar books). You may encounter these at a later stage.

Laminate the cards before use.


Use other cards, or objects, to increase vocabulary and to reinforce the sentence structure, for example, animals, school stationery.

Further learning

Student C asks student B what an item is for:

Hei aha te ________? - What is the _________ for?
Hei ________ te ______ - The ______ is for _______.

For example:
Hei aha te pene? - What is the pen for?
Hei tuhi te pene - The pen is for writing.

Other resources

Read about ‘a’ and ‘o’ categories.