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Storybook 2 Te Ika Fuaefa


These teacher support materials accompany the six storybooks developed especially to support the Learning Languages Series resource Muakiga! An Introduction to Gagana Tokelau. Each story gives students opportunities to extend their language and cultural knowledge and to practise reading the target language of specific units in Muakiga!

These teacher support materials suggest how teachers can use the six storybooks to foster gagana Tokelau learning at levels 1 and 2, particularly in the context of the Muakiga! programme.

The teaching-as-inquiry cycle and the Newton et al. research [1] on intercultural communicative language teaching underpin these teacher support materials. See:

Muakiga! An Introduction to Gagana Tokelau

Muakiga! is a resource in the Learning Languages Series. It provides a language-teaching programme that can be used by teachers, including those who do not speak gagana Tokelau or know how to teach languages. Muakiga! includes:

  • twenty units of three lessons each
  • a range of language suitable for years 7–10 at levels 1 and 2 of the curriculum
  • video and audio support to engage learners and demonstrate how fluent speakers use the language
  • lesson plans that could be linked to opportunities for learners to enjoy reading gagana Tokelau texts.

You can find Muakiga! online here.

Engaging students with texts

The teacher’s role is to mediate the interactions between the student and the learning materials and enable the student to meet their learning outcomes.

Te Ika Fuaefa

by Oli Heve

This story supports Unit 8: Meakai ma te Meainu (Food and Drink) in Muakiga!

Learning goals

Encourage your students to set one or more of the following learning goals for their work with this storybook. The learning activities support these goals.

I will use gagana Tokelau to:

  • read the story and understand it
  • read the story aloud with clear pronunciation and reasonable fluency
  • recognise and use some words and expressions in different contexts
  • write texts with macrons and correct spelling
  • talk or write about the story.

I will use English to:

  • understand the story when it is read aloud
  • talk about the content of the written and visual texts
  • give examples of how Tokelau language and culture are organised in particular ways
  • make connections with the language(s) and culture(s) I know
  • research and present information about Tokelau culture and values in the story
  • make connections to my learning in Unit 8 of Muakiga!

Language and Cultural Knowledge strands

The Language and Cultural Knowledge strands at levels 1 and 2 of Learning Languages in The New Zealand Curriculum require students to:

  • recognise that the target language and culture are organised in particular ways
  • make connections with known languages and cultures.

The language and cultural features of the written and visual texts in the storybook are described here.

(a) Language Knowledge

The language features of the written texts include:

  • formulaic expressions used in everyday conversation, for example, Oka lā! / Wow!; Te gali! / Good one!; Io, te manaia kō! / Yeah, it was so cool!
  • words transliterated from English, for example, maho / mussel; telefoni / telephone; alaiha / rice; Iēhū / Jesus; paelo / pail (barrel, container)
  • relationship terms, for example, afafine / daughter (of a man) ; ataliki / son (of a man); tupuna / grandparents; faimātua / aunt
  • numbers and quantities, for example, kua fā hefulu ono / we have forty-six; te lahi o a mā ika na hī / we caught heaps of fish; te vāega / the share
  • different forms of the verb, for example, kata / laugh (singular) and faikakata / laugh (plural); faitatala / talk, chat (plural)
  • markers which make the meaning more precise, for example, nā tupuna o koulua / grandparents of you both; Kua faikakata uma te tokatolu tēnei. / They all (three of them) laughed.; taku / my (singular) and aku / my (plural)
  • onomatopoeia, revealing how languages express sounds differently, for example,  PATATŪ! / SPLASH!
  • natural or idiomatic use of gagana Tokelau, for example, I taku kikila e lahi atu aku ika. / I probably caught the most fish. The literal English translation reads: In my view is big – indicator of direction from speaker to hearer (aku) – my (plural) fish.

(b) Cultural Knowledge

The cultural features of the written and visual texts include:

  • use of words that have cognates in other languages, although the meanings may differ, for example, fānau / children. In te reo Māori, the word whānau is more commonly used to refer to an extended family.
  • reference to particular shellfish gathered, for example, mussels (maho), pāua (pāua), and fish caught, for example, kahawai (kauai) and spotty (hipoti). Recreational gathering of shellfish and fishing in New Zealand waters is subject to quotas and measurements set by the New Zealand Government and advertised online by Fisheries New Zealand. At the time of writing, the numbers of shellfish and fish caught in the storybook complied with these regulations.
  • use of specialist gear when fishing from a boat in New Zealand waters, for example, wetsuit, goggles, safety jackets, rods, lines, and containers to hold the catch.
  • distribution of the catch to family members through an inati process, where the mother divides up the catch and the young people take the shares to their relatives. This action emphasises the fact that, for Tokelau people, fishing is not a recreational activity. It is a purposeful activity for gathering food to feed their families.
  • the value of fakaaloalo (respect) expressed through the practice of giving thanks for the food and refreshments by saying a lotu fakafetai (grace) before the meal. Saying this grace also marks the beginning of the meal. Then the sharing of food can begin.
  • the values of māopoopo (inclusion) and fakahoa lelei (equity). The young people help catch the food. They help put away the fishing gear and take the catch to the house. They distribute the food to their extended family.
  • reference to relatives by their first names, for example, ki a Peato ma Mele / to Peato and Mele. This is a reference to Laki’s grandparents. Meliha addresses her mother as Kia (as on page 10).
  • a reference to tautai (expert fishermen). Although Laki is joking, the tautai in Tokelau culture leads the expedition because he is the expert fisherman and has the skills and knowledge to make the fishing expedition successful.

Communication strand

Students learn to apply their language and cultural knowledge in different contexts and situations to communicate effectively for a range of purposes. As they become more effective communicators, students develop the receptive skills of listening, reading, and viewing and the productive skills of speaking, writing, and presenting or performing. These are summarised on the Learning Languages wall chart.

(a) The New Zealand Curriculum

The achievement objectives in learning languages, levels 1 and 2 are generic.

In selected linguistic and socio-cultural contexts students will:

  • receive and produce information
  • produce and respond to questions and requests
  • show social awareness when interacting with others.

(b) Gagana Tokelau: The Tokelau Language Guidelines

These guidelines offer achievement objectives that are more specific. You could use any of the following level 1 achievement objectives to narrow the focus for your students to help them achieve particular competencies.

In selected linguistic and socio-cultural contexts students will:

  • recognise and express number, time, and location (1.4)
  • express and respond to desires, needs, and preferences (1.7)
  • use language, positioning, and movement to show respect (1.8).

(c) Muakiga! An Introduction to Gagana Tokelau

The Unit 8 learning outcomes for students are sharply focused. The following outcomes are relevant to this story. Students will:

  • identify some food and drinks
  • show social awareness when interacting with others
  • communicate interest, enjoyment, and need.

Cross-curricular links

Learners who are working at levels 1 and 2 in gagana Tokelau will be working at higher curriculum levels in other learning areas. Here are two examples of cross-curricular achievement objectives that could be linked to this story when you are planning links across curriculum learning areas.

Social Sciences, Level 3

Students will gain knowledge, skills and experience to:

  • understand how people make decisions about access to and use of resources.

Technology, Level 3 (Nature of Technology)

Students will:

  • understand how society and environments impact on and are influenced by technology in historical and contemporary contexts and that technological knowledge is validated by successful function.


The story illustrates the values of:

  • community and participation for the common good
  • respect for themselves and others.

See page 10 in The New Zealand Curriculum.

In addition, students will come to appreciate how the story reflects core Tokelau values of fakaaloalo (respect), māopoopo (inclusion), and vā feāloaki (relating to others). See pages 8–9 in Gagana Tokelau: The Tokelau Language Guidelines.

[1] Newton, J., Yates, E., Shearn, S., and Nowitzki, W. (2009). Intercultural Communicative Language Teaching: Implications for Effective Teaching and Learning. Wellington: Ministry of Education.