Using music with a good beat, call out an action in Māori and demonstrate. Students could then repeat and do the action. Once students learn vocabulary and actions they could take turns at leading the exercise.
(Based on Te Reo Kori Volume 1, Ngarangi Naden, Kimihia Resources 1990.)
Read a story or poem to the class e.g. a Māori legend such as How Maui caught the Sun. On the second reading, select two pages for the students to improvise their own poi dance. Students could show their actions to others who could copy their patterns.
Rāpā– forming groups
Students move around a set area. Vary the way they move e.g. moon walking, side stepping. When a number is called in Māori students get into groups of that size.
Te Ngahere – the forest
Divide the class into groups of approximately four to five students. Each group chooses a name of a New Zealand native tree e.g. kauri, rimu, tōtara, nikau, kahikatea, mānuka, ngaio.
The class forms a circle with group members spread randomly throughout the circle. One person in the circle calls the name of a tree that the group have chosen. All group members in that named tree group must change places. The centre person tries to steal a place. Whoever misses out takes the centre and calls another group’s tree, all of whom must change places etc.
(Based on Te Reo Kori Volume 2, Ngarangi Naden, Kimihia Resources 1991.)
Show students kowhaiwhai patterns and drawings. Discuss their significance and meaning. Look for common or distinct features in each drawing. Ask the students to suggest ways of moving that could emphasise the shapes and design.
Split students into groups of four to five. Give each group a copy of a kowhaiwhai pattern. Students look closely at the whole shape of the pattern, space, design, rhythm. Develop a movement pattern to reflect and emphasise the kowhaiwhai.