Summary Page: Wetland Biodiversity: journey to a rare inland high country ecosystem
Term 1 starting 15 March 2016.
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A 2016 LEARNZ virtual field trip.
Grab your camera for a helicopter ride down the braided Rangitata River from the base of the Southern Alps to the river mouth. Explore the river ecosystem and the very special high country wetland called Ō Tū Wharekai. With local iwi, explore people in the past and the way they lived in this area, the way they used its resources and what the future holds.
Technology twists - visit a permeable rock weir for young salmon, go electric fishing, trap pests using motion-sensor cameras and take water quality measurements. Note: weather and other factors out of our control may influence activities during this field trip.
Wetlands play a vital role on planet earth so this trip will fit perfectly with big ideas like sustainability, indigenous people, landscapes, water, plants and animals, migration, threatened species and conservation. This trip is a 3-day journey from the mountains to the sea, so be prepared for the unexpected! Enrol.
To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:
- the special place Ō Tū Wharekai, high up in the South Island's Rangitata River valley
the special nature and importance of wetlands
the significance of water and wetlands to Māori, particularly Ngāi Tahu
use by iwi of traditional resources like raupō (bulrush) and harakeke (flax)
threatened native fish, birds, lizards and plants
life cycles of selected species like salmon
ecosystems and the interconnectedness of wetland life
During the field trip you will:
- see Andrew's tweets on twitter
ride a helicopter down the spectacular Rangitata River
see how rivers connect places and people: how the surrounding land affects the river and how the river affects fish, birds and people
meet iwi and make a mōkihi to help sustain the local bird population
get to know DOC rangers
climb into your waders to search for freshwater fish and invertebrates in the braided rivers
investigate wetland recreation such as sport fishing
discover the secret world of salmon
explore inter-montane basins of inland South Canterbury
discover the plants and animals that threaten our wetlands
trap pests using a motion-sensor camera
gather people's different points of view about this wetland
see how special plants and animals within this ecosystem are interconnected and how they have adapted to survive in this harsh alpine environment
catch skinks and geckos in a fall trap
monitor the black fronted tern population that lives on Canterbury's braided rivers and discover what is being done to counter threats to these species and their surroundings
get your feet wet to learn how wetland plants affect water quality
document living things specific to this area using the NatureWatch/iNaturalist smartphone app. More about using NatureWatch to build 21st capabilities in students
gain an appreciation of the special value of Ō Tū Wharekai to Māori
After the field trip challenge yourself to:
- ask what people remember about a wetland near you and what they think about it now
- use your ideas, and those of others such as iwi, to help restore a wetland ecosystem near your place
- restore native plant species at your school or home
- use the NatureWatch/iNaturalist smartphone app to photograph and identify living things near you
Where you will go
Your main destination is a wetland, Ō Tū Wharekai, way up in the heart of the South Island high country. Ō Tū Wharekai includes the Ashburton Lakes and upper Rangitata River that have been crafted through the ages by glaciation (creating a stunning landscape used for filming Lord of the Rings). The Hakatere Conservation Park, centred on the Ashburton Lakes, was opened in October 2007. It has habitat for native fish, trout, salmon, water birds, threatened native plants and aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. It is one of the three national Arawai Kākāriki project sites focusing on the ecological restoration of the most precious wetland freshwater sites in New Zealand. In many parts of the world, wetlands have important roles but they are under threat at the same time as awareness of their importance is growing. Ō Tū Wharekai is also important to Māori in the past, present and future.
Teacher comments about previous Wetland Biodiversity field trips
"Great engagement in our inquiry topic. Great content in differentiated forms. Connected to the environment and groups involved in community. Experts' content was put into language the students could understand". Stuart Cooke from Methven School.
"Set at the perfect level for My Class of year 7/8 students. They took in so much information! There are lots of different ways the students are engaged through text, video, listening, and interacting. It was good to have the Māori aspects included in the Wetlands study". Amy Clode from Grantlea Downs School.
Go to more teacher comments about Wetland Biodiversity field trips.
Science: Living World Levels 1-4, Nature of Science Levels 1-4, Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 2-4; Social Studies: Place and Environment Levels 2-4, Identity, Culture and Organisation Levels 2-4, Continuity and Change Levels 2-4
This field trip has support material for Social Studies AO Level 1 How places in New Zealand are significant for individuals and groups. Level 2 How places influence people and people influence places. Level 3 How people view and use places differently. Biology 91155 Demonstrate understanding of adaptation of plants or animals to their way of life. Earth and Space Science 91190 Investigate how organisms survive in an extreme environment.
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.
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 daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education),
a photo gallery, live tweets on twitter, and ambassador (mascot) page updates.
Live web conferences on our enterprise-level Zoom platform scales to enable multiple teachers to manage 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 school assembly or 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 some of over 1,000 teacher comments in testimonials. 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.
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your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher
aquatic insects, biodiversity, birds, Canterbury, conservation, environmental action, fresh water, lakes, land use, life cycle, native species, pests, plants, rivers, sustainability, threatened species, wetlands