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Before reading

Prior knowledge

If it is some time since you completed Matā‘upu 6, revise the question ‘O ā au mea nā e fai? and ways of answering (‘O lea ‘ou te _______ and ‘O lea e ______).

You may also want to review cultural practices around the role of the children in a Samoan family (with regard to chores and following instructions). Then share students’ knowledge of their own chores.

Students could write the chores they have to do at home and other ways they help out at home. Then have them work in pairs to compare their household chores and to write them in gagana Sāmoa (consulting each other, their notes from previous lessons, and a bilingual dictionary). Ask the pairs to share their lists (in gagana Sāmoa) so that you can write a class list of household chores on the whiteboard.

Discuss who does the chores in their households, revising the gagana Sāmoa terms for family members as you facilitate the discussion.

Pronunciation of new language

If possible, ask a native speaker of gagana Sāmoa to model the correct pronunciation of any unfamiliar words for you and the students. This person could read the story to you and the class as the first reading, or you could record them reading it and play the recording to the class.

Introducing the book

Show the students the cover and read the title together. Ask them to predict what they think the story will be about. Record their predictions so they can check them later.

Give pairs of students one of the illustrations from pages 2–7 without the words. Have them write in gagana Sāmoa what the person or people are doing (just the action, not the whole sentence). Again, tell them to consult each other, their notes from previous lessons, and a bilingual dictionary if necessary. Then have the pairs share their illustrations and their actions. Write the words for the actions on the whiteboard, adding to your household chores list where appropriate and listing the others separately. Have the students make their own lists, copying all of the words for household chores and other actions.

Revisit the predictions they made about the story and ask them if they want to revise any of them after seeing the illustrations.

Learning intentions

Share the learning intentions, or co-construct these with your students. Some examples of possible learning intentions for reading this story are given below.

After reading the text, I will be able to:

  • identify what the story is about
  • discuss cultural values about doing household chores
  • ask what someone is doing
  • say what I am doing.

Reading the text

Read the story aloud to the students. Show the pictures and, if you are reading, read with lots of expression to help the students get the gist of the story. Tell them to listen and tick any words on their lists that they hear in the story.

Have them check their words with a partner and discuss the actions they did and did not hear. “What’s happening in the story?” “What is Tōmasi saying?” “What is he doing?”

Give each pair a copy of the book. Tell them to read it together and fill in a table like the one below, using the words and phrases from the book and from the lists on the whiteboard. The third column could be in English.

What Tōmasi is asked to do

What he says he’s doing

What he’s doing

tipitipiina o talo faitautusi drawing
fa‘apuna le vai mo le saka talo fai a‘u meaā‘oga talanoa i le telephone / talking on his cellphone

When the students have finished, go through each page together, reading it aloud and prompting the students to use familiar words, the class vocabulary list, the glossary, and the illustrations to help them understand the language. Fill in a class version of the table together. As well as the actions, note particular phrases or sentences such as ‘O ā au mea nā e fai?, ‘O lea ‘ou te _______, and ‘O lea e ______  that you want to focus on later.

Invite the students to read the story aloud in groups, with each student taking a different part. Their goal is to read fluently, with correct pronunciation and expression. Each can give the others in their group feedback on this.

After reading

Ask the students to share what they liked about the story or about the reading by members of their group.

Discuss the predictions the students made before reading and ask how they were the same as or different from the story.

Have the students, in groups, talk about Tōmasi’s behaviour. “What do you think of Tōmasi’s behaviour?” “What would your family say if you did that?” “How do you think it would be viewed according to what you know of fa‘asāmoa?”

Tōmasi, ‘O ā au mea nā e fai?

Have the students play a memory game in groups of three or four. To play the game, one student begins by asking the person to their left ‘O ā au mea nā e fai? The person answers as Tōmasi, saying ‘O lea ‘ou te _______ or ‘O lea e ______ (and adding an activity from their list). The others have to say whether the answer is true or false according to the story.

Mālō sole/suga. ‘O ā au mea nā e fai?

Revisit your discussion about household chores. Ask the students to see if they can remember any other chores and activities they do at home. Have them work individually to write a list of activities they do at home and to find the gagana Sāmoa words for these chores and activities.

Tell them to work in pairs and take turns pretending to phone each other at home at a specific time. For each phone call, you hold up a day of the week (in gagana Sāmoa) and a time of day. One student pretends to phone the other and says, Mālō sole/suga. ‘O ā au mea nā e fai? The other student answers Mālō sole/suga.‘O lea ‘ou te _______ or ‘O lea e ______, adding an activity from their list that they think they would be doing at that time. Before asking the pairs to work together, model how to do this role play a few times (with the students using Tālofa, faiā‘oga and you using Tālofa, _______).

When you think the students have had enough of this activity, ask the pairs to join into groups of four and compare their routines, using English and gagana Sāmoa and sharing any new gagana Sāmoa words. Each group could identify the values that underlie the chores they do and discuss any differences in values or in emphasis.

Reflecting on the learning

Have the students refer to their learning intentions and reflect individually or discuss in pairs whether they have fulfilled the intentions. Ask the students questions such as:

  • What helped you understand the story?
  • How can you use the new language and remember it?
  • Is there some other language from the story that you want to learn and remember?
  • What do you think are the next steps in your learning?

Click here for the English version of the story.