Manaakitanga what does this mean and what does it look like for children.  Mannakitanga is a Māori value that is deeply entwined in the Māori culture.  It is about looking after people and enhancing their mana/wellbeing.  It is about looking after your visitors and being a good host.  It is about sharing and caring for others in your community.

Manaakitanga in the classroom is similar.   Children can show manaakitanga by:

  • Showing respect to each other.
  • Sharing resources with others.
  • Encouraging others in their mahi and helping them to finish their work.
  • Helping others if they see they need a hand with something.
  • Developing friendships by being kind to each other.
  • Sharing food and drink together.
  • Talking with each other nicely and clearly.
  • Showing empathy towards others.  Sharing a hug.
  • Understanding others feelings.
  • Encouraging manaakitanga.
  • Caring for the environment.
  • To nurture and love.

Children will learn by watching you the teacher so ensure that you are doing these things too.  Teach Whānau/families about manaakitanga too.

Maybe make a wall display so Whānau can read and see what manaakitanga is.  Take photos of manaakitanga e.g. sharing kai(food), playing and smiling together etc.  Put children;s artwork on the display too.  Ask Whānau to contribute to the display they may have a photo or knowledge about the Māori value they can share with you and the class.

Another activity could be gardening and sharing the kai from the garden with others.  Maybe having a shared lunch and make soup with the vegetables the children have grown.

Going into the community and sharing some happiness with others. Maybe a trip to the old peoples home to sing some songs or take some baking to them.  I am sure that would bring a smile to their faces.

This is my Moko making a cake to share with the family, nice manaakitanga Moko.

What ways do you show manaakitanga in your classroom/school?  Please share by leaving a comment.






What is aroha and why is it important to teach children about aroha.

Today I want to talk about the word Aroha.  Aroha has many definitions to it and today I want to explore that and look at why it is important to teach children about aroha for they themselves are aroha too.

Aroha is a very rich word and has many meanings within the Māori world.  So I will create a list of meanings that I can think of.

Aroha  means:

to love

to show empathy

to cry

to be compassionate

to support

to care

to be kind

to show affection

to be peaceful

to nurture

to help

to be respectful

And the list can continue, maybe ask what aroha means to yourself and others and add to the list yourself.

Every day we must teach children aroha,  Why?  Well lets look at that now.

Aroha comes form a feeling within you.  It is a beautiful feeling that makes you feel good about yourself.  Children need to feel good about themselves.  They need to have confidence to go about their day and lives.  They need aroha to support themselves and others through the journey of life. Aroha helps to develop the brain.

An example of aroha.  A child comes to  your centre and cries when their Mum leaves.  You as a teacher will go see the child and comfort him/her and ensure that they feel good and support that child.  This is aroha.  The child is expressing their aroha for their mum through crying and you are expressing aroha through helping the child through this tough time.  Aroha is a two way system a means of communicating with others.

Aroha can be seen through actions words and facial expressions.  A smile is a great way to show aroha.  Laughing and enjoying the company of others expresses aroha.  Crying expresses aroha.

Suggestions for activities re: Aroha.

Why don’t you look at the word aroha with you colleagues, families and the children and see how much the word really means to people in your community.  You could create a giant poster for your wall and add to it daily.

You could ask the children to create pictures of aroha, kindness, how we share etc. and display on the wall.

You can learn songs about aroha in te reo Māori and other languages.  Te Aroha, Love is like a penny, I love you. you are my sunshine, me he manu rere etc.

You can make aroha/friendship bracelets.

There are many books that talk about aroha that you can read and learn more about aroha.  Here are some suggestions:

My Happy Place: A Book of Joy, Aroha and Generosity          Aroha's Way: A children's guide through emotions   Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain

Here are some Maori proverbs about aroha.

E iti noa ana, na te aroha.  A small ordinary thing, begotten by love.  Although the present is small, it is all love has to give.

Aroha mai aroha atu.  Love toward us, love going out from us.

The Raupo Book of Maori ProverbsI got these proverbs from this book ‘The Reed Book of Maori Proverbs’ that you may be interested in getting for yourself.

I hope that you have learnt something about aroha within my post.  Thank you and have a nice day.