Home Who We Are Maori Language Game Other Resource
Have you say Order Contact us Links
Maori language education resources

Kei a Wai? has been designed with careful consideration for all the principles of elementary language learning. It exposes players to a variety of useful words, linguistic rules and sentence structures, all of which are consolidated by repetition throughout the game.

Kei a Wai? incorporates a range of themes to provide a variety of language experiences. It is aimed at cultivating skills in viewing, listening, speaking and, in an extended application, reading.

The fun value and simplicity of the game are significant features. Enjoyment creates an atmosphere where learners feel encouraged to participate and use Māori. The simplicity of the game allows teachers with very basic levels of proficiency in the language to quickly become very competent in its classroom level delivery.

The target group of Kei a Wai? ranges from students with little or no experience of the Māori language, to those with a passive knowledge, through to those able to communicate effectively in informal situations but who may not have well-developed literacy skills.

Kei a Wai? can be a powerful resource wherever any of the following are learning objectives:
a. Vocabulary extension.
b. Introduction of grammar.
c. Introduction of simple sentence structures.
d. Introduction of stress, intonation and rhythm.
e. Consolidation of word pronunciation.
f. Construction of dialogue.
g. Development of social skills in co-ordinated group activities.
h. Development of visual discrimination or ‘matching’ skills.

For teachers/parents with a more substantial understanding of the Māori language, exercise extensions are unlimited. The following are some examples of how the game can quickly be made more demanding for more able students. The extensions are shown in italics.

Actions & Activities
Roimata is writing to Mere/her mother.   Kei te tuhituhi a Roimata ki a Mere/ki tōna whaea.
Roimata is standing to speak.   Kei te tū a Roimata ki te kōrero.
Positions & Situations
The children are in the sea.   Kei roto i te moana ngā tamariki.
The children are swimming in the sea.   Kei te kaukau ngā tamariki i roto i te moana.
The people are on the bus.   Kei runga i te pahi ngā tāngata.
The people are going to town on the bus.   Kei te haere ngā tāngata i runga i te pahi ki te taone.
Colours & Shapes
A white oval.   He porotītaha mā.
This is a white oval.   He porotītaha mā tēnei.
A green diamond.   He taimana kākāriki.
The colour of this diamond is green.   He kākāriki te tae o tēnei taimana.
Numbers & Numerals
The number one.   Te nama kotahi.
This is the number one.   Te nama kotahi tēnei.
The word eight.   Te kupu waru.
Here is the word eight.   Anei te kupu waru.

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division can be incorporated. The student would be expected to solve the problem and place a token on the relevant square.

Extra vocabulary: minus tango(hia)
  plus tāpiri
  equals kua/ka
  multiply whakarau(a)
  divide (whaka)wehe(a)


  1. Kei a Wai? can also have a reading application. To achieve this, the caller simply holds the card up with the text visible on the back so that players can read the question.
  2. Students with established reading skills (or the ability to make up their own description of a card) will be able to play the role of the caller.
  3. Kei a Wai? makes an excellent one-on-one teaching aid for special students or remedial training.
  4. While the game is fun, it is potentially competitive. The importance of winning can be de-emphasised by continuing the game until all players have succeeded, rather than stopping after the first has completed her/his board.
  5. The ability of students to see each other’s boards can be a useful aid to individuals and to the progress of the game. Where a more competitive application of the game is preferred, however, the covering from view of individual boards (or the timely placement of tokens to obscure the player’s choice) is recommended.
  6. The difficulty and/or competitive level of the game can also be raised by an increase in the pace of the caller.