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Summary Page: Water - a balancing act
Term 1 starting 19 March 2019.



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Water is one of the most important substances on earth. If there was no water there would be no life on earth. It sustains every living thing and our way of life.

Water is one of New Zealand's most valuable assets. Because we're a small island in a large ocean, high rainfall fills our rivers, lakes and underground lakes (aquifers) to provide many sources of water. Even so, our water supply is limited.

New Zealand is a food producing nation and water is at the heart of every part of the food production cycle. This field trip is a water journey exploring how we manage water sustainably for farming, food and our future: finding the balance between using and conserving. You will follow the journey of water starting where it falls on our mountains: you will see water trapped and conveyed to farmers who apply it to their crops, where it is absorbed into plant material, processed into food and transported to you, the consumer. What a journey!

This trip fits well with big ideas like sustainability, water, communities, environments, land use, rivers and lakes, recreation and special places. This will be a thought provoking and fun science and social science trip. Enrol now.

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

  • the water cycle
  • getting water to where it's needed
  • why irrigate?
  • irrigation schemes
  • plant growth
  • food processing
  • how water supports rural communities
  • how water is managed to balance environmental and economic goals

During this field trip you will:

  • follow Andrew's tweets on twitter
  • travel to the Canterbury mountains and see where our water journey starts
  • visit the intake for the massive Canterbury Central Plains Water scheme
  • track the journey of this water to plants that need it
  • see how water is taken up by plants as they make food
  • explore how water is used in food processing
  • see how water is managed to protect the environment
  • see how irrigation is used in New Zealand

After the field trip, challenge yourself to:

  • find out what sustainable water use means for you in your region
  • assess the health of a local waterway
  • find out about community groups taking action for freshwater
  • investigate study options and careers in
    • Farming
    • Environmental management
    • Food processing
    • Irrigation design and servicing
    • Engineering
    • Water management
    • Conservation
    • Ecology

Where you will go

You're off to Canterbury. Bordered by mountains to the West and the Pacific Ocean to the East, the Canterbury Plains slope gently towards the sea. On this trip you will travel from west to east following the journey of our most valuable asset; water!

Teacher comments about related field trips

"Was fabulous - coincided with us starting a Water topic and we have a NZ focus and are located in Lower Hutt so the material was so relevant. Love the local focus - just opportune you visited Wainuiomata Water Treatment Station (some of our students live in the area) and Moa Point. It brings home the relevance of the topic to the students". Stephanie Lamond, St Oran's College (2017 People and Water virtual field trip)

"It fitted perfectly with all the work we have been doing around the Porirua Catchment, water quality and how we can be kaitiaki of the waterways". Pauline Maclean, St Theresa's School (Plimmerton) (2017 People and Water virtual field trip)

"We particularly enjoy the videos and questions, as they are effective at any time. Followed on from our water study and reinforced our learning around water ecosystems. The field trips have relevance even when they don't exactly fit a planned topic. I am hooked!" Maureen Robertson from Verran Primary School (2014 Freshwater Ecology virtual field trip)

"Real life visuals and information were very specific and had a greater impact on my students and myself then scrolling through unlimited amounts of information via search engines. It supported my students learning with in-depth knowledge on worldwide topics from within New Zealand. Learnz caters for all learning needs. Totally appropriate". Nick Sakaria from Finlayson Park School (2015 Wetland Biodiversity virtual field trip)

Learning Areas/Levels

Mathematics and Statistics: Number and Algebra Levels 3-4, Geometry and Measurement Levels 2-4; Science: Living World Levels 2-4, Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 2-4; Social Studies: Continuity and Change Levels 2-4, Place and Environment Levels 2-4, Economic World Levels 2-4; 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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Andrew the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Andrew, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: adding value, business, Canterbury, catchment, changing values, climate, climate change, consequences of consumption, conservation, dam, dams, drilling, drinking water, earth processes, economy, electricity, electric generation, environment, environmental impacts, extraction, farm, feed crops, fresh water, fresh water environments, future focus, gadgets, human impacts, hydro, infrastructure, innovation, lakes, land management, land use, managing resources, pasture, pasture management, perspectives, plant biology, plants, potable water, productivity, recording, resource management, resource management and use, resource use, rivers, science, scientific research, social and environmental impacts, soil, soils, solar power, Southern Alps, statistics, sustainability, sustainable resource management, technological change, technological innovation, technology

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