« Back to field trip chooser

Summary Page: Wandering Whales - surveying migrating humpbacks in Cook Strait
Term 2 starting 18 June 2013.



Log In | Enrol

Teachers - watch the reaction when you tell your kids they're off chasing whales in Cook Strait! You won't get a better chance to see science in action. This trip fits well with big ideas like environment, mammals, oceans, water, people, communication. Imagine the RAMS forms for this trip! - we'll look after that! Teachers tell us students loved this trip. Don't miss out. Enrol now.

In preparation for this field trip you will learn about

  • whale anatomy, senses, reproduction, diet and behaviour
  • whale population size, location and age structure
  • the fascinating humpback whale song
  • the Cook Strait whale project aiming to find out about the recovery of humpback whales in New Zealand waters since commercial whaling in New Zealand ended
  • the science involved in studying humpback whales, gathering and processing information, analysing observations
  • modern threats to whales and how you can help whales
During the field trip you will
  • meet DOC rangers, scientists and ex-whalers all working to learn about and protect whales
  • gather people's different points of view about whales
  • find a comfortable spot in the look-out and train those binoculars out to sea. Be the first to call 'thar she blows'
  • ride in a mule from the look-out to the wharf
  • go to sea in a research boat to shoot migrating whales (with a small dart) and photograph them
  • get up close to a humpback whale!
  • see real live humpback whale survey data to see what is happening to this southern population

Where you will go

This field trip will take you by car and boat to remote Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds, at the top eastern part of the South Island. From a high point on Arapawa Island you can see out into Cook Strait where migrating humpback whales migrate between their winter and summer habitats. You will join the Cook Strait whale project, an annual science survey that aims to find out about the recovery of humpback whales in New Zealand waters since commercial whaling in New Zealand ended in the 1960s. The research is part of a global effort to better understand humpbacks by photographing their tail flukes and collecting genetic samples, using a specially modified .22 firearm. Note: weather and other factors out of our control may influence activities during the field trip.

Learning Areas/Levels

Science: Living World Levels 1-4, Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 1-4, Nature of Science Levels 1-4, Earth and Space Science Levels 7-8; Social Sciences: Social Studies Levels 2-5, History Levels 6,8; Social Studies: Economic World Level 5

  • 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.

Field trips:

Previous | Next | All

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



PLD about this field trip? Go to Webinar Schedule and Recordings.

New to LEARNZ? Go to Getting Started.

doc Logo

moe Logo

omv Logo

Andrew the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Andrew, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: changing values, genetic variation and change, humpback whales, mammals, migration, oceans, perspectives, population, sustainability, values, viewpoints, Wellington, whales, whaling

View the LEARNZ Events Calendar