Summary of BioBlitz - what`s living in your backyard? | NZ teachers, enrol in this LEARNZ virtual field trip

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Summary Page: BioBlitz - what`s living in your backyard?
Term 1 starting 2 April 2019.



Photo: Backyard caterpillar - Julie North on Unsplash.

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Did you know you're never more than a metre or two from a spider? We spend most of our time in the built environment but the Living World is never far from us. We often take the natural environment for granted but a little bit of searching will reveal the beauty of plants, animals and landscapes.

If you look at any landscape from a distance, on the surface it can look boring. But take a closer look with us, and a whole world of interesting life will open up. During this field trip you will discover what Maureen Keen and students from Mount Somers Springburn School found on their BioBlitz at Lake Clearwater in Ō Tū Wharekai. Learn how to undertake your own bioblitz. Get to know people who are most involved with Living World science on a day-to-day basis and grow your knowledge and interest. Enrol now.

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • biodiversity in New Zealand
  • what is a BioBlitz and why run one?
  • Ō Tū Wharekai, a unique inland wetland containing the 12 Ashburton Lakes
  • finding and collecting living things
  • identifying and classifying living things
  • recording living things e.g. with the iNaturalistNZ app
  • protecting and conserving living things
  • Living World scientists and rangers.

During this field trip you will:

  • follow tweets from Shelley, the LEARNZ field trip teacher
  • travel to locations such as a backyard, a farm, or natural landscape
  • find, collect, identify, classify and record living things with the iNaturalistNZ app
  • work with DOC rangers to find, observe and monitor unique plants and animals living in Ō Tū Wharekai
  • interview and put questions to Living World scientists and rangers
  • evaluate living things for yourself using easy terms like common, rare, native, introduced, threatened, pesky or weird!
  • visit ecological restoration areas in Ō Tū Wharekai and see how to plant native species, control pests, and monitor progress.

After the field trip, challenge yourself to:

  • take a closer look at Living Things in your backyard
  • take part in a bioblitz or citizen science project near you
  • place your own value on biodiversity and New Zealand's native species
  • find out more about Carl Linnaeus, who is famous for his work in Taxonomy, the science of identifying, naming and classifying organisms
  • investigate study options and careers in Living World science.
  • use the iNaturalistNZ app to record your own observations of wildlife
  • Christchurch schools and residents, from 26-29 April, take part in the Christchurch City Nature Challenge or, if your city has also been added, in the global City Nature Challenge.

Teachers, in relation to this field trip find out more about Big data / small data, from CORE Ten Trends 2019.

The LEARNZ Team think that joining NZASE and staying connected through NZ Science Teacher will help you become a better teacher of science.

Where you will go

Your bioblitz journey starts in Mount Somers, the gateway to Ō Tū Wharekai in Canterbury. Ō Tū Wharekai is a unique highcountry wetland area containing the 12 Ashburton Lakes. The landscape has been carved by glaciers, creating stunning scenery which was made famous in the Lord of the Rings. Ō Tū Wharekai has habitat for native fish, trout, salmon, water birds, threatened native plants and aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. The wetland area is one of the three Arawai Kākāriki project sites in New Zealand. This project aims to restore the ecological values of the most precious wetland freshwater sites in New Zealand.

Teacher comments about related field trips

"It was awesome to see students a similar age taking action in their communities. Worked really well with our science focus of protecting and creating habitats". Sarah Hey from Northcote School (from the 2018 Ecological Restoration virtual field trip).

"Great for Participation and Connections, knowing our native flora and fauna are at risk, so students are feeling more compelled to change habits and do something about it". Steven Bodger from Piopio College (from the 2018 Ecological Restoration virtual field trip).

"You bring the outside world to us! Boys especially are absorbed by the videos and discussions with scientists - you help turn them on to learning. The field trip helped us connect and participate with our community and is making science real and meaningful". Jennifer Kitchin from Weston School (from the 2018 Wetland Biodiversity field trip).

Go to more comments from teachers about field trip experiences - Ecological Restoration and Wetland Biodiversity and Freshwater Ecology and Garden Bird Survey and Kererū Count and Kids Restore the Kepler.

Learning Areas/Levels

Mathematics and Statistics: Number and Algebra Levels 2-4, Statistics Levels 2-4; Science: Living World Levels 2-5, Nature of Science Levels 2-5; Social Studies: Continuity and Change Levels 2-5, Place and Environment Levels 2-5; Technology Levels 2-4

  • Vision, Values, Key Competencies, Principles, Literacy and Numeracy

    By their nature, LEARNZ field trips integrate with the higher levels of the NZ Curriculum. Participation encourages development of the Key Competencies around Thinking, Using language, symbols and text, Managing self, Relating to others, and Participating and contributing. Teachers indicate this in testimonials. LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Literacy, with opportunities to develop skills in Listening, Reading and Viewing and in Speaking, Writing and Presenting. More about LEARNZ as a Reading Resource and student writing opportunities with LEARNZ. Select LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Numeracy, encouraging the development of skills in Number and Algebra, in Statistics and in Geometry and Measurement.

  • ESOL

    As well as providing visual and audio material and access to real experiences, LEARNZ links well to ESOL Principles, especially Principle 3 Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes? Principle 4 Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

  • What's in a Field Trip

    Every LEARNZ field trip has its own newly-built, self-contained web site ready for integration into your teaching and learning programme. Teacher Support has curriculum integration, resources, newsletters, support and evaluation. Prepare Students provides opportunities for student inquiry on two sets of image-rich background pages at reading levels 2 years apart, (students can click to have those pages read to them out loud), online interactive and other activities to check students' understanding, and a glossary. During the field trip there are live tweets on twitter, and daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education), a photo gallery, and ambassador (mascot) page updates. Live web conferences via Adobe Connect enable teachers to managed students putting prepared and spontaneous questions to experts (recorded for replay). After the field trip, teachers are encouraged to take further action with their class in the community or to go on a related field trip, or to invite a guest speaker, or to present what they have learned to a wider group. Teachers also fill in an online evaluation (more about reflective practice), the field trip prize winner is drawn, and the final newsletter is sent. Content remains online for continued use.

  • How teachers use LEARNZ

    View teacher comments in testimonials and in the LEARNZ Group on the VLN. There are two main ways teachers use a LEARNZ virtual field trip with their class. Firstly, a LEARNZ field trip is ideally an immersive, engaging, synchronous, online learning experience with real-time components and a myriad of opportunities for teachers and students. Secondly, and less ideal but still effective, a LEARNZ field trip can be used as a retrospective experience where the resources such as photos, text, activities, videos and audioconferences/web conferences comprise a unique collection of authentic, contemporary New Zealand teaching and learning material.

  • What Now

    Not Registered with LEARNZ? Are you a New Zealand Registered or Provisionally-Registered Teacher? Register free with LEARNZ Now.

    Already Registered with LEARNZ and activated your account? Log in to your personal MyLEARNZ Control Panel and then enrol your classes at no cost in field trips. Note: Enrolment is only needed for the current and future year's field trips.

    Registered but need help? Check your email for activation instructions - contact us if the message did not make it to your email inbox. Log on to MyLEARNZ. Go to Getting Started.

    Teachers - Lost your password? Recover it here.

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Introductory video for this field trip: Watch, embed or share on Vimeo or click below to watch here.



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Shelley the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Shelley, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: animals, bioblitz, biodiversity, biological communities, birds, citizen science, citizenship, community involvement, conservation, data, ecology, ecosystems, environment, environmental action, guardianship, habitat, kaitiaki, kaitiakitanga, monitoring change, native birds, native plants, native species, pests, planting, plants, restoration, science, sustainability, threatened species, wetlands

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