"Ko wai to ingoa?"
"What is your name?"
"Ko Rochelle toku ingoa"
"My name is Rochelle"
My beautiful and linguistic sister - Bella, is a teacher of Te Reo Maori and Kapa Haka at a Rudolph Steiner School. She is full of courage and passion. Passion for learning te reo - while our family are of Maori descent we did not speak Maori, yet she is driven to learn and share the reo. Courage to take her passion for learning into a role where she is not a fluent speaker but a wonderful connector and learner herself. Courage to step into a different school environment one which at times is in contrast to what she has trained for.
Steiner share stories to learn with and from. So Bella wrote the story of Matai the Moa, an orphan in search of friendship. The story is sprinkled with te reo with a focus on asking another's name and giving your name in response.
I loved her story so much that I set about illustrating it with Steiner style crafts, with knitting and felt.
Matai lives alone in a tomo (cave).
He ventures outside (ki waho) into the forest one morning. Matai comes across a small bird, with a long beak snuffling among the leaves under a ponga tree.
"Ko wai to ingoa" asks Matai,
"Ko Kiwi toku ingoa" replies the bird before retreating into his burrow to sleep.
Matai Moa reaches a glade filled with beautiful music. He peers into a Kowhai tree to see a bird singing happily.
"Ko wai to ingoa?"
The bird replies "Ko Tui toku ingoa",
"Kia Ora Tui, ko Matai Moa toku ingoa, could you teach me to sing as beautifully as you do?"
Tui says she will, but not until she has finished her morning song.
Matai Moa makes his way onward meeting many more native birds.... and the story continues to a very fulfilling conclusion. The above is an abridged version of her writing, but hopefully will give you some idea of it.
Story telling without expectation is a powerful learning tool and story tables allow our little ones to revisit and retell the story they have heard when they choose.
I love this story too as it relates to the elements of Matariki including the whenua (land), Papatuanuku's gifts, connections with others and knowing who we are and how we relate to others. Ka pai mahi!
While K and I have enjoyed the story at home, she likes to recreate her own version with the props and characters we will also share it at Playcentre as a point from which our session children and parents can learn some reo. I am very nervous about leading this!
However, if Bella can be so courageous I am sure I can be too!