Topic Explorer is a great resource for learners

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Topic Explorer helps you find sets of quality, curated resources on a range of topics that inspire and support inquiry.

Topic Explorer (prototype)

Send us your feedback on our prototype Topic Explorer

  • Topic Explorer — what it includes

    Our topic sets are designed to inspire curiosity and inquiry. They serve as a ‘starter’ for your students to develop a point of view or follow a line of inquiry on a particular topic.

    Topic sets in the Explorer contain a wide range of resources suitable for primary through to secondary level students. Each topic set covers a range of different learning areas within the New Zealand Curriculum.

    Resources in sets include images, articles, websites, videos and books from trustworthy, reputable national and international sources (e.g. Alexander Turnbull Library, Te Papa, Te Ara, National Geographic, BBC and the Smithsonian).

  • Topic Explorer — what it includes

    Our topic sets are designed to inspire curiosity and inquiry. They serve as a ‘starter’ for your students to develop a point of view or follow a line of inquiry on a particular topic.

    Topic sets in the Explorer contain a wide range of resources suitable for primary through to secondary level students. Each topic set covers a range of different learning areas within the New Zealand Curriculum.

    Resources in sets include images, articles, websites, videos and books from trustworthy, reputable national and international sources (e.g. Alexander Turnbull Library, Te Papa, Te Ara, National Geographic, BBC and the Smithsonian).

  • How we choose the topics

    Topics are carefully selected by our skilled librarians to meet teachers' needs, and reflect:

    • high demand — topics that teachers often use in the classroom as we monitor what you're asking us for through loans
    • relevance — we watch what is going on in the world and make sure we have topical sets ready for when you need them (e.g. Olympics, elections or Anzac day)
    • the New Zealand Curriculum — we choose topics relevant to learning areas and their associated subjects (e.g. Social Sciences and History or Media Studies)
    • a wide range of audiences — topic sets are more general than specific so they are relevant to students at different educational levels and for wide purposes, for example, we would include ‘space’ as a topic as opposed to ‘Mars’.
  • How we choose the topics

    Topics are carefully selected by our skilled librarians to meet teachers' needs, and reflect:

    • high demand — topics that teachers often use in the classroom as we monitor what you're asking us for through loans
    • relevance — we watch what is going on in the world and make sure we have topical sets ready for when you need them (e.g. Olympics, elections or Anzac day)
    • the New Zealand Curriculum — we choose topics relevant to learning areas and their associated subjects (e.g. Social Sciences and History or Media Studies)
    • a wide range of audiences — topic sets are more general than specific so they are relevant to students at different educational levels and for wide purposes, for example, we would include ‘space’ as a topic as opposed to ‘Mars’.
  • How we select resources for topic sets

    Our curated sets have the following features:

    • Quality content: We select non-commercial content from reputable organisations. We focus on quality not quantity. Resources must be easy to read or view, accurate, well-organised and balanced.
    • Unique NZ resources: Many of the resources come from the National and Alexander Turnbull Libraries, Archives New Zealand and other national cultural organisations. These NZ, Pasifika and Māori resources give an essential national or cultural context to a topic. Many are unique primary sources.
    • Multiple views, meaningful sets: We aim to curate topic sets that are meaningful. Resources may give multiple viewpoints on a topic or inspire a range of inquiry options.
  • How we select resources for topic sets

    Our curated sets have the following features:

    • Quality content: We select non-commercial content from reputable organisations. We focus on quality not quantity. Resources must be easy to read or view, accurate, well-organised and balanced.
    • Unique NZ resources: Many of the resources come from the National and Alexander Turnbull Libraries, Archives New Zealand and other national cultural organisations. These NZ, Pasifika and Māori resources give an essential national or cultural context to a topic. Many are unique primary sources.
    • Multiple views, meaningful sets: We aim to curate topic sets that are meaningful. Resources may give multiple viewpoints on a topic or inspire a range of inquiry options.
  • Resource formats and what they include

    Resources in Topic Explorer sets come in a range of formats.

    Resource This means...
    Article A page (or pages) on a website that contains relevant information about the topic.
    Book Digital book or a title available from your school or public library, or from the National Library schools lending collections.
    Exemplar

    Inquiry Exemplars model how to use resources in inquiry learning.

    Image Photograph or gallery sets of images on Pinterest or Flickr (Archives NZ). It could also be an animation, painting, map, infographic, poster or anything else that is visual.
    Primary source

    An original, first-hand account by someone who experienced an event. It can be a letter, diary extract, photograph, video or audio recording, painting or other type of record.
    Primary sources guide

    Set

    A curated set of digital items from National Library content partners through DigitalNZ.
    Current DigitalNZ content contributors

    Video Non-commercial, reputable resources mainly from YouTube and NZ On Screen.
    Website A website about the topic.
  • Resource formats and what they include

    Resources in Topic Explorer sets come in a range of formats.

    Resource This means...
    Article A page (or pages) on a website that contains relevant information about the topic.
    Book Digital book or a title available from your school or public library, or from the National Library schools lending collections.
    Exemplar

    Inquiry Exemplars model how to use resources in inquiry learning.

    Image Photograph or gallery sets of images on Pinterest or Flickr (Archives NZ). It could also be an animation, painting, map, infographic, poster or anything else that is visual.
    Primary source

    An original, first-hand account by someone who experienced an event. It can be a letter, diary extract, photograph, video or audio recording, painting or other type of record.
    Primary sources guide

    Set

    A curated set of digital items from National Library content partners through DigitalNZ.
    Current DigitalNZ content contributors

    Video Non-commercial, reputable resources mainly from YouTube and NZ On Screen.
    Website A website about the topic.
  • Using Topic Explorer — search and filter functions

    The Topic Explorer has a range of search and filter functions by:

    • topic — enter a topic (e.g. Ancient Egypt)
    • learning area — covering: all topics, arts, English, health, history, māori, maths, science, social sciences, technology
    • type of topic set — all, featured (high-interest, newsworthy, or current topics), exemplars.

    If you can't find a topic you need, try searching through our other digital resources.

    Topic Explorer

    Digital resources and guides — explore the range of digital resources available from the National Library and other places.

  • Using Topic Explorer — search and filter functions

    The Topic Explorer has a range of search and filter functions by:

    • topic — enter a topic (e.g. Ancient Egypt)
    • learning area — covering: all topics, arts, English, health, history, māori, maths, science, social sciences, technology
    • type of topic set — all, featured (high-interest, newsworthy, or current topics), exemplars.

    If you can't find a topic you need, try searching through our other digital resources.

    Topic Explorer

    Digital resources and guides — explore the range of digital resources available from the National Library and other places.

  • Responsible use — copyright and attribution

    When you use any of the digital resources included in Topic Explorer sets, be aware of their copyright requirements and usage restrictions. These are usually made clear on each site.

    If you use resources from Topic Explorer, it's important that you acknowledge or attribute them in your work. Check if your school has guidelines for responsible use of other people's work

    If you're unsure about how to use these digital resources responsibly, ask your librarian or refer to:

    Copyright guidelines for schools — as set out by the Ministry of Education.

    Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand — a non-profit organisation that helps people share their copyright works for reuse by others. They provide information about how to share, remix, reuse — legally.

    National Library copyright and privacy — statements on the use of National Library web content and information

  • Responsible use — copyright and attribution

    When you use any of the digital resources included in Topic Explorer sets, be aware of their copyright requirements and usage restrictions. These are usually made clear on each site.

    If you use resources from Topic Explorer, it's important that you acknowledge or attribute them in your work. Check if your school has guidelines for responsible use of other people's work

    If you're unsure about how to use these digital resources responsibly, ask your librarian or refer to:

    Copyright guidelines for schools — as set out by the Ministry of Education.

    Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand — a non-profit organisation that helps people share their copyright works for reuse by others. They provide information about how to share, remix, reuse — legally.

    National Library copyright and privacy — statements on the use of National Library web content and information

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