Teaching material for years 1–8

This section highlights ready made teaching materials that will assist in the implementation of Te Takanga o te Wā, Guidelines for Teachers Years 1–8.



Level 1-2


A study of your local area, Wāhi is about exploring, sharing and connecting and enhancing the place where your students live. The ideas in this section, especially those around social action, will work with all primary level students.

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Photographs give us a window into other people’s lives and histories. Through a number of different learning experiences, students of any level can use visual images to see into the past. They can then use the images to make comparisons with their own lives.

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Help your students with interesting activities:

  • Create a movie in your head
  • Hot seat an historical character
  • Become a building inspector by examining the architecture of your area
  • Meet the leader that is going to inspire your learning about history
  • Drama is motivating and these learning experiences will hook in students, especially those in lower and middle primary.

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Mahi Toi

Use music and visual arts to teach Māori history at any level. This includes:

  • Where are you from? – a project that links self-portrait to landscape and location
  • Making a community connections by creating art for a public space
  • Exploring, performing and composing waiata and haka

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Using timelines

Thinking historically not only requires students to interpret an historical event but also means that they need to be able to place that event in time and context. Aimed at younger students, this section covers the skills of chronological thinking and using timelines.

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Level 3-4 

Te Takanga o te Wā (English)

Te Takanga o te Wā is not designed as a list of lessons or learning experiences. Rather it provides a framework to support teachers to teach Māori history with their students. The content and context that you choose for your class could focus on building quality and collaborative engagement with your local iwi and hapū. The stories and histories relating to your school’s geographic location will assist you to instill a deeper sense of personal identity and belonging for every student. This resource provides connections to frame that context:

  • Whakapapa (connections to the past, present and future)
  • Mana Whenua and Pepeha (connection to the local area)
  • Mātauranga (connection to knowledge, views and opinions)
  • Te Hekenga Nui (connection to history through migration stories).

Each one has a list of possible conceptual understandings and a key message linked to the levels 1 and 2 achievement objectives of The New Zealand Curriculum

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What do parents think?

A summary of thoughts from parents of children in English medium schools.

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