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Summary Page: Northern Wetlands - restoring a culturally significant dune lake ecosystem
Term 1 starting 26 February 2013.



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Teachers - take your class to the far North for a wetland experience and celebration that tells a real story. Wetlands have been called the kidneys of our planet and this trip fits perfectly with big ideas like water, land use, plants and animals, threatened species and conservation. Enrolling in this trip (26-28 Feb) AND Wetland Biodiversity (5-7 March) gives your students a chance to compare two very different wetlands. No bus fares, no RAMS forms. A highly motivating and fun learning experience. We'd love you to join us! Enrol Now.

In preparation for this field trip you will learn about

  • wetland ecosystems
  • the importance of wetlands to Māori
  • the benefits of wetlands
  • special features of wetland plants, invertebrates, fish and birds
  • threats to wetlands
  • similarities and differences between dune lakes such as Lake Ngatu and the subalpine wetlands of Ō Tū Wharekai
  • monitoring and looking after your local wetlands

During the field trip you will
  • take part with schools in a community event at Lake Ngatu to celebrate this year's World Wetlands Day
  • get to know conservationists, rangers and community members involved in the restoration of Lake Ngatu
  • gather people's different points of view about this wetland
  • snorkel to get a fish-eye view of Lake Ngatu's plant communities
  • set fish traps and get a sample of different species in the lake
  • discover the methods involved in hoop monitoring when investigating fresh water
  • sit alongside traditional Māori weavers using local kuta (reeds) and create your own piece of art
  • take part in an eco-sourced native tree planting ceremony
  • see how a local school has been contributing to the restoration of Lake Ngatu
  • go on a guided walk around Lake Ngatu with Bushland Trust representatives
  • step back into history and compare how our relationship with wetlands has changed over time
  • go with a local school on a wetland clean-up and get tips from students about how to clean up a site near you
  • find out how to create your very own wetland
  • have the opportunity to take part in an audioconference in full te reo.

Extra: As well as the usual two sets of background pages with reading levels 2 years apart, there is a separate set of 11 pages with 50 captioned photos about wetlands all fully translated into te reo Māori.

Where you will go

Northland has been called the Dune Lake capitol of the world. Lake Ngatu, near Kaitaia, is part of a system of six rare dune lakes that has been managed by its local community for over 20 years. The area has undergone long-term restoration which has increased biodiversity, improved water quality, provided an area for traditional harvesting by Māori that reinforces the cultural ties between people and the land, and fostered recreational use.

Learning Areas/Levels

Learning Languages: Te Reo Maori Levels 8-13; Science: Living World Levels 1-4, Nature of Science Levels 1-4, Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 2-4; Social Studies: Identity, Culture and Organisation Levels 2-4, Continuity and Change Levels 2-4, Place and Environment Levels 2-4

More Curriculum

This field trip has support material for Social Studies AO Level 1 How places in New Zealand are significant for individuals and groups. How the cultures of people in New Zealand are expressed in their daily lives. Level 2 How places influence people and people influence places. Level 3 How people view and use places differently. Level 4 How formal and informal groups make decisions that impact on communities. How people participate individually and collectively in response to community challenges.

  • 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.

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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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Andrew the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Andrew, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: adaptations, community involvement, conservation, environmental action, fish, fresh water, future focus, insects, investigating streams, lakes, land use, Northland, plants, restoration, rivers, tangata whenua, taonga, traditions, water, wetlands

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