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He rahi ake

Nā Tipene Watson

From the smallest insect to the tallest father, the difference in the heights of the creatures of our world is quite phenomenal.

'He rahi ake' story by Tangihōro Fitzgerald, with page numbers from He Kohikohinga 35.


He nui ake te pōpokorua i te puruhi. He nui ake te ngata i te pōpokorua. He nui ake te tuatete i te ngata.

An ant is bigger than a flea. A snail is bigger than an ant. A hedgehog is bigger than a snail.


He nui ake te ngeru i te tuatete. He nui ake te kurī i te ngeru. He nui ake au i te kurī.

A cat is bigger than a hedgehog. A dog is bigger than a cat. I am bigger than a dog.


He nui ake tōku pāpā i a au. Engari kia noho au ki runga i ōna pakihiwi, ka nui ake au i a ia.

My Dad is bigger than me. But, when I sit on his shoulders, I am bigger than he.

Possible achievement objectives:

Maths in the curriculum

Strand: Measurement: Estimating/Measuring
Level: 1

Achievement objectives:

Within a range of meaningful contexts, students should be able to:

  • order and compare length and area, and describe the comparisons, using measurement language
  • measure by counting non-standard units.

Essential skills for assessment

Students will consistently:

  • process information confidently using a range of measuring tools (Numeracy)
  • analyse information to redefine the problem (Problem solving)
  • develop communication skills to enhance group work (Social and co-operative).

Activities to support the achievement objectives

1. Teacher directed

Resources: pictures of animals from the story.

Pre-reading session: Using chalk, draw outlines of shoes of various sizes at each corner of the classroom floor.

Place a group at each corner area. They will match their shoes to the outlines and compare their shoe sizes using words like big/small, long/short, same/different e.g. Hiki's shoe is too big.

First read the poem to the class, then all read it aloud together.


  • Hold up each picture but cover the names. Ask students to name the pictures.
  • Ask what things are different between each pair. (Write on the blackboard the measurement words students will use during the discussions.)

2. Teacher directed

Activity: Students are to choose six items of different sizes from within the classroom. In their books, they are to draw two items per page, using an arrow to join:

  1. the bigger item to the smaller item
  2. the smaller item to the bigger item.

Then they are to write a sentence describing the difference.

  1. The chair is bigger than the block.
  2. The block is smaller than the chair.

Read the poem again.


  • What is the distance between this wall and that wall?

Students estimate how many paces it will take to cover the distance, write their estimate, and test it. They do this three times and compare their results. (Tell students that when there were no rulers. People used their body limbs such as legs, arms, hand spans and elbows to measure things. Not only Māori did this, people around the world did this).

Ki runga ^

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