“Learn Te Reo Māori the easy way with these innovative picture song books”
Te Reo Singalong Books are easy to use Māori resources for young children that easily teach them the language in an exciting way. I have used them within an early childhood education setting as well as with my 19-month old son. I believe that they are a great resource for all ages. Tamariki get so excited about these books through the powerful illustrations and catchy music. Whether you play the CDs or follow the guitar chords, waiata is an easy way to learn and reinforce Te Reo Māori.
What sets these books apart is the gap they fill as useful Māori resources. As a teacher, I know how hard it can be to find resources that get used on a daily basis. I love the language and would include it within my practice as much as possible, but in mainstream settings it can sometimes be a challenge to move forward and find resources to help support your knowledge. There are often resources that attempt to teach children words, but Te Reo Singalong books help promote the use of sentences and making relevant connections. Not long after introducing them to the centre where I worked, I remember hearing a child later on in the day sing “Kei te Peke Ahau.” It was amazing to hear how tamariki were responding and using the language that they were learning through these new books.
As a Mum, I can provide my son, Zaedyn, with easy tools to learn Te Reo Māori and be able to support him. These books have helped me feel even more comfortable with my use of Te Reo and learn practical words that I normally do not use. They have also helped me continue to use words that I know and make me more conscious in using them more with Zaedyn. He has even taught my family overseas some of the words that he knows in Te Reo Māori. I can see the excitement on his face when we play these songs, and he looks through his books. Pakipaki was one of the first words and actions that he learned.
The CDs are a huge asset to these books if you are unfamiliar or not confident with the language. Instead of getting left on the bookshelf, you can play the CD alongside each book. However, I am sure that you will quickly pick up on the language and find yourself singing along to these catchy tunes. I find myself randomly singing along throughout the day. The repetition and actions link together to help children remember their learning. We also use the CDs in a variety of ways as we have the songs recorded in our car and on our iPad so that they are always accessible. Born in California, I began to learn Māori through waiata and developed a passion to learn more where I decided to complete my Te Ara Reo Māori Level 2 from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. I am still continuing to learn and share my knowledge with my son, but I do not believe that I would have gained as much knowledge as I have without waiata, and these books continue to further support my learning. If you are from overseas or have not grown up knowing the language, these books are very useful tools.
All of the books include an English translation, Ngā kupu hou – New words section, guitar chords, a CD, and ideas on how to use the books. There are so many possibilities to keep everyone interested and using them on an ongoing basis.
Now for the books that have been published so far…
Most children I know love learning about animals and hearing animal noises. Maranga Mai brings together animal illustrations that will capture your little one’s attention along with Te Reo Māori and the noises that each animal make. These work together to help your children remember and make these connections that they can relate to real life.
This book is very interactive and fun through animal actions. Even if you or your children know words such as peke for jumping or oma for running, you can make these connections to animals as you jump like a rabbit and run like a pūkeko. There are even some animals that you may not have heard in Te Reo Māori before.
The sound effects help bring this book to life and support meaningful connections to real life. As you go through the seasons, you can learn how to ask where your hat is when the sun is out for summer or ask where your gumboots are when it is raining.
What I love about these books is that they are extremely relevant to children’s lives and allow you to learn words and phrases that can and will be used. If you want to hear what others have to say about these books, check out the Testimonials on the website. There is so much positive feedback about these amazing books that I am so happy to be able to share with you. You can even view sample pages from each book and listen to the songs through the website.
Besides learning Te Reo Māori, these books support many learning aspects embedded within Te Whāriki, the Early Childhood Curriculum. I can think of many ways while using this book where tamariki will become more confident, develop communication which can be expressed through language and dance, gain control of their bodies, learn alongside others, and where their own culture is supported or they are learning about their friend’s culture. My friend that first introduced me to these books used them while on practicum teaching a new entrants class. The children responded very quickly. Now the older classes are even using these books. Although I found them useful within early childhood, they seem to be a great asset to older tamariki as well. Even as an adult, I think that they are a fantastic learning resource. No wonder they were a Māori Language Awards 2012 Finalist!
Thank you for reading, and thank you to Sharon Holt for providing a copy of one of her books to a lucky reader. Make sure to enter this awesome giveaway. I can’t wait until Book 4 about vehicles is published!
Did you already know about these books? Please share your feedback and what you, your children, or children you are working with think of them.
*Disclaimer: This post is completely my honest opinion about these books and is not sponsored. We just love them and want everyone else to know about these amazing Māori resources which we have been using since they were first released. The author, Sharon Holt, is kindly donating a book of your choice that will be sent to one of our readers who enters the giveaway.
Your choice of Te Reo Singalong Book 1, 2, OR 3
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