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Summary Page: Ruapehu - living, working and playing on a volcano
Term 1 starting 22 February 2012.



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In preparation for this field trip you will learn about the special character of the central North Island volcanoes, the science of volcanoes, Ruapehu as a modern tourist destination and how risks from its summit Crater Lake and lahars are managed. We will be accompanied at times by members of local iwi to learn about the special relationship that Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Rangi and other iwi and hapu have with the Tongariro Volcanoes. During the field trip you will see how people live, work and play on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu coping with the risk of volcanic activity. Scientist Dr Harry Keys has a leading role in managing that risk and with a volcanologist from GNS Science will take you to remote places where you will take measurements and use instruments to listen to the rumbling volcano. You will experience and learn about the eruption and lahar warning systems and find out how organisations work together to make the volcano a safe place to visit and work, including an important river draining the Crater Lake. You will meet people with different viewpoints about Ruapehu but who all believe it is a special place. You will discover the reasons why Ruapehu exists and explore why there is, or is not, a volcano in your back yard! Extra: As well as the usual two sets of background pages with reading levels 2 years apart, there is a separate set of 10 pages for Ruapehu fully translated into te reo Māori. In addition, as well as the usual 5-6 live audioconferences, there is an opportunity to participate in one that will be in full te reo Māori.

Where you will go

Ruapehu is the highest point in the North Island and New Zealand's most active volcano. It is a central feature of Tongariro National Park. This park is a World Heritage area because of important Māori cultural and spiritual associations as well as its outstanding volcanic and scenic features. Over three days you will travel around and about Mount Ruapehu while based at Whakapapa village. If the weather is OK you will climb to near the summit, explore the famous Crater Lake, visit the scene of the 1953 rail tragedy at Tangiwai, and investigate lahar flows that have shaped the volcano over the centuries.

Learning Areas/Levels

Learning Languages: Te Reo Maori Levels 8-13; Science: Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 2-4, Nature of Science Levels 2-4, Earth and Space Science Levels 7-8; Social Studies: Place and Environment Levels 2-4, Identity, Culture and Organisation Levels 2-4, Continuity and Change Levels 2-4

More Curriculum

Also covers content for Achievement Standards from Earth and Space Science (ESS) within the Planet Earth and Beyond Strand such as ESS 2.3: Investigate geological processes in a New Zealand locality; ESS 2.5: Demonstrate understanding of extreme Earth events; ESS 2.7: Demonstrate understanding of physical principles related to the Earth System; ESS 3.3: Demonstrate understanding of the evidence relating to geological events.

  • 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

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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: Bay of Plenty, crater lake, disasters, emergency management, eruptions, geohazards, hazards, lahars, national park, planning for volcanic events, plate tectonics, seismic monitoring, skiing, Tangiwai, technology, tourism, volcanoes, World Heritage area

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