Coastal gems for Seaweek and World Wildlife Day

Pearls of knowledge from Services to Schools can help our young kaitiaki look after marine taonga as we celebrate Seaweek in New Zealand from 2 to 10 March and World Wildlife Day on 3 March. These teaching and learning resources and local events are great opportunities to support the science curriculum and raise awareness in your school of environmental issues and sustainability.

Shell on beach with pearl inside

Photo by moritz320. Pixabay. License to use.

Tiakina o tātou mōana — Care for our seas

Because we are never more than 120 km from the sea, it's little wonder the ocean plays an important role in New Zealand culture. From our childhood fascination with the rocky shore to kai moana, coastal baches, and Māori legends and proverbs, the surrounding ocean is an integral part of our environment and society.

He moana pukepuke e ekengia e te waka. A choppy sea can be navigated by canoe.

This quote on perseverance also reminds us that as an island nation, it is essential to respect and protect our moana, which is exactly the theme of this year's Seaweek:

Tiakina o tātou mōana — Care for our seas.

Seaweek represents a fantastic opportunity for all New Zealanders to connect to the ocean. For schools wanting to take an active and exploratory role in Seaweek, some options include:

  • snorkel days
  • guided coastline tours and tours
  • free educational presentations
  • coastal clean-up events for schools.

Visit Seaweek's What's on page for more about these activities and other events throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

World Wildlife Day 2019

'Life below water: For people and planet' is the theme for this year's World Wildlife Day, held annually on 3 March.

The United Nations have put together some suggestions for how you can get involved in the event this year.

Teaching and learning resources

Services to Schools and other institutions provide a range of resources to support Seaweek and World Wildlife Day activities and related inquiry learning.

The 'Rocky shore' in Topic Explorer

Explore this topic before you set off to discover New Zealand’s unique coastal ecosystems.

The Rocky shore topic has been curated keeping in mind the science strands 'The living world' and 'Nature of science'.

There are links to reliable and reputable New Zealand sources such as Te Ara, DigitalNZ, Alexander Turnbull Library, Science Learning Hub, and other government websites.

Highlights in this topic include:

  • Inquiry exemplar (pdf, 1.1MB) — download this years-1-to-3 exemplar on the rocky shore. It has a resources map, focuses on different learning areas, includes fertile questions, and is organised according to inquiry behaviours and approaches — all linked to the The New Zealand Curriculum learning areas.
  • Image — this classic seameal dessert by Greggs was made from a seaweed extract.
  • Article (pdf, 1.9MB) — the Department of Conservation looks at the marine life of Cape Rodney-Okakari Point Marine Reserve and how to preserve it.
  • Video — the Portobello Marine Reserve Unit of Otago takes a closer look at sea lettuce, spiny worms, cats eye snails, and oyster shells.
  • Primary source — take a picture of an Auckland beach and compare it to this historic photograph of Auckland's Shelly Beach taken in the late 1890s.
  • Website — build the ideal marine habitat for a crab with this Science Learning Hub interactive.

Other topic sets

Ocean pollution — oil spills, plastic, and effluents from land pollute the ocean every day. Find out about the conservation and sustainability efforts being undertaken to protect our marine environment.

Environmental issues — deforestation, pollution, overpopulation, hazardous waste, and oil spills are huge environmental concerns. Learn how the Department of Conservation, NGOs, volunteers, and reserves like Kapiti Island are helping to save the planet.

Global warming — rising sea levels and temperatures, melting ice, wildfires, climate refugees, and bigger hurricanes are impacts of global warming. Examine the causes and evidence of climate change and solutions to saving the planet.

Water — this extensive topic covers uses and forms of water, sources, conservation, sustainability, ecosystems, transport, and sport. You will also find art, activities, stories, poems, and experiments associated with the properties of water.

Outdoor education — surfing, snorkeling, camping, orienteering, and diving are challenging and adventurous activities. Learn about outdoor safety, first aid, maps, cooking outdoors, sustainable coastlines, and education centres offering outdoor activities.

Summer — this is the season for enjoying long lazy days of sun and sand at the beach. Explore summer activities like barbecuing and fishing and the impressive work of Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

Summer safety — slip, slop, and slap on sunscreen to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays while being mindful of safety measures while fishing, boating, or lighting up a fire outdoors.

Many Answers

Many Answers entries have been put together with the intention of guiding students to the best resources to help them find answers to questions.

Rocky shore — this entry covers selected websites on shore life, ecology, human impact, and conservation of the New Zealand's rocky shore.

Bring the sea to school

Get inspired by some of these great resources and make sure to bring the sea to school this Seaweek 2019!

Take part in local events near you organised by community groups, local or regional council, the Department of Conservation, or other groups.

Organise a trip to your local marine reserve and see what effect human activities have on our marine life inside and outside protected areas. Have a look at this A-Z list of marine reserves to find the one closest to you.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to establish no-take marine reserves. Our first was created in 1977 — Cape Rodney–Okakari Point (Goat Island) Marine Reserve.

Project Jonah has made the World of Whales Kit available free to educators and is a great tool to use during Seaweek.

The Department of Conservation has a huge range of education resources, searchable by learning level, learning area, or topic. Search for 'marine and coastal' to get a list of the most relevant resources for Seaweek 2019, including a great Protecting our marine world inquiry unit education resource.

Developing future kaitiaki

Both Seaweek and World Wildlife Day present opportunities to engage with young people on conservation issues and to assist them to prepare to be future caretakers of our planet.

The resources mentioned in this blog represent some of the many quality resources available to help teach these topics and raise awareness about the richness of the earth's life on land and in the sea.

By Janice Rodrigues

Janice is a Librarian (Online Services) with Services to Schools.

Post a Comment

(will not be published) * indicates required field

Be the first to comment.