When I go to Church: Pe’ā ‘ou alu i le Lotu
by Tolo Pereira
Illustrated beautifully using bright, simple images, this book tells the reader about what it is like when a young Samoan girl goes to church each week. The language is simple and repetitive, making it ideal for children learning to read, as well as pre-schoolers. The text is provided in both English and Samoan.
This book was nominated for its large, glossy presentation and because it promotes the language of Samoa. It was also nominated because it presents Samoan culture in a very accessible way, and because children can easily relate to the ideas in the book.
Please note that these activities are suggestions which have not yet been trialled. We welcome any feedback on how they play out in the classroom (see the feedback section).
Activity: LANGUAGES OF THE PACIFIC (Learning Languages)
|Curriculum Level||1 (and preschool level)(see curriculum links at the end of the activity)|
NZC Key Competencies
|The text in this story is written in both Samoan and English, so provides an excellent resource for use in supporting the learning of a new language. It could also be used very effectively with young bilingual learners.1. Invite older children or adults from the community, who are able to read and speak in Samoan. You may have students in the class who are able to read and speak Samoan – and are willing to do so in front of the class (they may not be!). Ask them to come and read the story (in both English and Samoan) and talk about the ideas presented in it.
Children should be encouraged to make connections between the little girls’ experiences in the book, and any of their own experiences they may have of going to church
2. Look at the Samoan text – it is very repetitive. Notice with the children that the following appears on almost every page:
“ Pe’ā ‘ou alu I le lotu …”
Look then at the sentences in English. What words are the same on almost every page?
“ When I go to church…”
Establish that this must be what these words translate as.
3. Ask students if they can identify which Samoan text might be for
4. Because interaction is an important aspect of language learning, involve children in the following interaction task:
The child in the story is telling about a special thing that they do with their family each week.
Ask children to think of something special they do with their family each week – it may also be going to church, or it may be something else, such as getting the groceries, visiting Grandma, going to the park.
Ask children to draw a picture of this event. With the support of your Samoan-speaking visitor, teach students how to say and write in Samoan some of the things in their picture. They can label these things and practice saying the words in Samoan.
They can then share their pictures with other children in the class, telling them what is in the picture, using the Samoan words.
|Curriculum Links||Learning Languages Proficiency Descriptor
Selecting and using language, symbols and texts to communicate
Participating and contributing in communities
Links to other books in the PPBC
|Watercress Tuna and the Children of Champion Street by Patricia Grace
Ka’akapera Tikai by Lino Nelisi
Tane Steals the Show by Lino Nelisi
Sione’s Talo by Lino Nelisi
My School Bag, My preschool by Tolo Pereira
Upside-down Face by Lemalu Ros Afamasaga
O Le Fa’aipoipoga by Emma Kruse Vaai
The Woven Flax Kete by Angie Belcher
O Le Aso S Pa’eoa’e by Saron Aiono-Iosefa
– all of these books are available in dual or multi language versions, to support bilingual and new language learners.