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Titiro, whakarongo, kauhoe!

Nā Peti Nohotima

'Titiro, whakarongo, kauhoe!' story by Peti Nohotima, with page numbers from He Kohikohinga 36.

This story features a child and her whānau who is being taught some simple swimming lessons. At the beginning of lessons however, the children are much more interested in jumping and playing in the water rather than listening to Pāpā Asa, who is attempting to show the children how to swim. After the excitement dies down and Pāpā Asa has taught them as much as he can, he allows the children to try out their new skills in the pool.

Features to consider from the text:



  • Photographs
  • Repetition of key phrases for teaching freestyle


  • Words and ideas that some students may find challenging, rika, taki tūpapa, whātoro whāroa, ringa hema (left hand), ringa katau (right hand)

Language features

  • kīwaha; hei aha atu hoki… Kei te tino rika mātau
  • puta mai ana ōna karu me te ruru o tōna māhunga,
  • simple phrases for teaching freestyle whātoro, whakakapu, pana, whanawhana

Introducing students to the text

  • Read rotarota kauhoe. This rotarota may be used as a warm up activity before students go swimming. Children in groups make up actions for each of the verses.
  • Discuss with students swimming lessons.
  • Introduce the terms and words introduced in this text. Kau tāwhai, whātoro, whakakapu, pana, whanawhana. Say the words whilst showing what the appropriate actions are. These words should be prepared before the reading session. Either on cards or written on the wordboard.

During the reading

  • Encourage students to identify phrases and words that they are not familiar with. Before reading you should identify what these may be, and prepare brief explanations, (see language features).
  • Ask students to recall a similar situation whereby they just wanted to jump in without instructions and discuss the consequences of such actions.
  • Students may read the text independently or in pairs.
  • Ask students to look out for the phrases that describe the action of swimming.

After the reading: Responding to the text

Possible focuses for discussion

  • Discuss the need for knowing how to swim.
  • Pool rules, why is there a need for them, what rules presently exist at your local pool and how reasonable are they.
  • Discuss other swimming strokes.

Suggested activities

Ngā pūkenga

Learning outcomes

Learning experiences

  Students will be able to: Students could:
Ko te whakawhitiwhiti mōhio pono e māmā ana te āhua (p.67) respond to meaning in text describe a swimming lesson
Ko te tīpako i te momo tuhituhi e hāngai ana ki te kaupapa me te pūtake o te kōrero (p.86) describe an event in the written form write a story about a trip to the pool with friends or whānau
Ko te whakamahi i te whānuitanga o te kupu kia taea ai ngā momo tuhinga huhua noa (p.86) respond to meaning in text and use within their own writing. select specific language features and use in writing.

Cross curricular links

Language: Written language.
Health and physical education: Swimming and safety in the water.

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