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Each lesson includes a brief descriptor of the purpose and scope of the lesson. Most lessons are supported with many digital resources indicated by:

Websites           Videos

Please Note: Videos open up in the starters pages to eliminate inappropriate comments often found on YouTube videos. 

The first few lessons in each category are available for immediate FREE download.To access the entire lesson library go to our Subscriptions Section where you can purchase a yearly school subscription or individual teacher supscriptions to the full 3000+ lessons library.

Subcriptions for both overseas teachers and overseas schools are also available. Please email us at: and we will send you full details.


Environment Units

(01)SustainabilityCalendar2016.pdf : [2 MB]

Our ever popular Sustainability Calendar of green dates for 2016


An introductory unit where students consider environmental concepts and learn that our environment is a place to enjoy and respect. Major unit.

Websites and links to videos/images/lesson ideas supporting this unit.

Meet the Locals (DOC) Environmental Video Series Links

Why Care About the Environment (Ideas for Teachers)

Greenpages (NZ) Links to 65 NZ Environmental Groups

Why We Need 1080 and Advances in Pest Control (25 Video Link Playlist)

Predator Control in New Zealand – 63 Links, stories, lessons,videos and student activities.

Videos supporting this unit.

Saving the Whio

(03) Conservation Week 2012.pdf : [499 KB]

Conservation Week 2012 – Learning Outcomes

Understanding how all living things respond to and are affected by natural and human induced, and natural environmental changes.

Learning to value our natural environment as a place to love and explore and why it is so important to take positive action to protect, preserve and enhance the natural environment.

Exploring the extent and nature of our environmental diversity, and through understanding our inter-connectedness with the natural world, accord it great respect.

(04) CONSERVATION WEEK 2013.pdf : [124 KB]

Activities/lesson ideas for Conservation Week 2013– What’s your whanau doing?

(05) CONSERVATION WEEK 2014.pdf : [319 KB]

Conservation Week 2014 Lesson Ideas and Activities.

Conservation Week 1–9 November, 2014

Theme: Discover the world where you live.

Websites supporting this unit.

Conducting Five Minute Bird Counts




NZ Native Plant Guide (Select New Zealand's native forests)

NZ Native Bush and Plants ID

Nature Space

DOC Getting Involved 

(06) Conservation Week 2015.pdf : [633 KB]

Conservation Week 2015 Major Teaching includes: Explore Your Local Green Space; Explore Your Local Stream; Explore Your Local Marine Environment. PLUS Information, resources and activities from Regional Councils and Conservation Organisations throughout the country.

Links supporting this unit and Conservation Week activities.

Conservation Week Events Link

Conservation Week 'Find a Whio' Competition Link

Conservation Week National Geocoaching Challenge

About Conservation Week Link

Conservation Week Habitat Heroes and Curriculum-linked Teaching Resources

Conservation Week Daily Conservation Quiz Link


10 starter environmental challenges for students to complete over a period of weeks/months in a science, social science and English context. Additional activities include evaluation of challenges and student goal setting for further environmental investigations and promotions.

1080 THE FACTS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [1 MB]

Scientists and conservationists are all united in their view that if we had a better alternative we would not use 1080. The problem is so great that we have to choose between having our native flora and fauna eaten and destroyed by introduced pests or killing the pests so our native species can survive.

Trapping and other methods are widely used but we have such a large area of often inaccessible bush and back country that put simply – without the carefully controlled aerial application of 1080 we will just lose the battle. In light of this, it will come as no surprise that highly regarded conservation organisations such as Forest & Bird and DOC support controlled use of 1080.

Opponents of 1080 claim that the indiscriminate use of the poison kills all wildlife, including birds and game animals, and threatens human health. Intensive scientific research, rigorous testing and observable results refute these extravagant, and at times, totally false claims. In this section of the unit we encourage students to explore videos and stories of people who see the very real difference that controlled use of 1080 is having.

Videos supporting this unit.

1080 THE FACTS (Links to 30 informative videos that support this unit)

CELEBRATING THE SEA.pdf : Subscription Only Download [80 KB]

Short and sharp activities where students consider the importance of the sea in our daily lives, identify the seas and oceans that surround New Zealand, keep a media watch on aquatic topics and debate the ethics of hunting wales.

Coastlines of New Zealand

Beaches of New Zealand

Why Many Whales Are Endangered – ecokids


Cross curricula activities where students explore the following key ideas in building an understanding and respect for our aquatic environments.

  • understanding that no matter who we are or where we are, we dependant on water
  • being able to identify the the many ways that we use water every day
  • understanding the importance of water resources in our lives and the consequences of polluting and wasting water
  • identifying New Zealand’s aquatic environment and understanding the close relationship it has with sport and recreational activities.


The website link below is provided for teachers to develop and extend the Celebrating Water theme. It provides experiments, facts, lesson ideas and videos.


CLEAN AIR AND POLLUTION.pdf : Subscription Only Download [195 KB]


Sustainability, Social Science and Health-based explorations to raise awareness of the problem of air pollution, its causes and actions we can take to improve this problem. This unit has a particular emphasis on vehicle emissions. 

Websites supporting this unit.




CLEAN UP THE WORLD.pdf : Subscription Only Download [103 KB]

These activities are language/social science related activities suitable for all class levels. They demonstrate that being environmentally friendly is simple, enjoyable and should be part of our everyday lives.


Teacher Lesson Plan

Science, Technology and Social Sciences – based explorations to enable students to: understand the concept and causes of climate change and global warming; identify the dangers it poses to our planet; the actions we must all take to lessen the impact of global warming and the major part that renewable energy can play in mitigating the impact of climate change. Use in conjunction with the Student Fact Sheet.


Student Fact Sheet

In this fact sheet students explore climate change and renewable energy solutions. They also look at New Zealand’s emission levels, how we can reduce these levels, and what we can all do in our daily lives to help reduce greenhouse gas levels.

CONSERVATION ISSUES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [75 KB]

A short unit featuring 4 environmental/sustainability issues for class discussion, research and action.

DEEP SEA.pdf : Subscription Only Download [107 KB]

Cross curricula activities and research topics all about the deep sea – includes fish types, quotas, ocean depths, deep sea diving.


Take a dive 300 metres below the surface in a submersible – very exciting.

DESIGN A CITY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [93 KB]

Students explore all the considerations that are taken into account when designing a city or a local community. Health and Social Sciences context.


The High Line park is an innovative park built on an old railway that cuts through the middle of Manhattan Island in New York City. This is an interesting new take on city design that will interest students. They may want to incorporate a similar concept into their city design.




ENJOYING THE NATIVE BUSH.pdf : Subscription Only Download [92 KB]


A low cost and educationally stimulating experience is to plan and implement a trip through our native bush. Many students have never experienced the sights, sounds, smells, peace and atmosphere of native bush. The bush offers wonderful opportunities for life-long recreation and there is still unspoilt bush close to most schools in New Zealand. The unit provides ideas for teachers to plan stimulating native bush experiences.

Websites supporting this unit.

NZ Native Bush – Story, Images, Videos (Te Ara)

New Zealand Bird Songs and Calls – Select and Listen

Radio New Zealand Bird Calls

New Zealand Nature and Bird Sounds

ENVIRO CHOICES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [154 KB]

Science based cross-curricular unit where students investigate the effects of car exhaust pollution on the local environment. Students are then challenged to take action in many ways to reduce the amount of pollution in the local area by involving the community in many ways to reduce the use of cars – especially the trips made to the school.

Website supporting this unit.


ENVIRONMENTAL APPRECIATION.pdf : Subscription Only Download [107 KB]

Social Science, Health and English based activities where students focus on the very real problem that we have with litter in our communities. Students conduct investigations into the problem and then look at solutions for this problem including raising community awareness. The unit concludes with 'creative' uses for litter.

Be a Tidy Kiwi

ENVIRONMENTAL CHOICES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [126 KB]

Cross curricula investigations into the problem of air pollution, the causes, harmful affects and solutions to lessen the problem and create healthier communities.

Websites supporting this unit.

Air Pollution Facts for Students

Clean Air Resource





ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [75 KB]

Two environmental issues for discussion and action – water and natural resources.

ENVIRONMENTAL MATHS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [101 KB]

Lots of fun and practical statistics, number and measurement activities on a mathematical theme.

ENVIRONMENTAL WOF.pdf : Subscription Only Download [374 KB]

A major unit where students take part in environmental awareness activities with the aim of awarding your classroom, school, and local district an environmental warrant of fitness – ewof. Along the way they discover and list the criteria that each area needs to conform with to to be awarded its ewof. They may be in for some (nasty) surprises about the state of these areas.

Focus on Smoke.pdf : Subscription Only Download [122 KB]

Environmental and social science & health-based exploration to raise student awareness of the problem of air pollution, its causes and actions we can take to solve this problem. This unit has a particular emphasis on open fires and wood burners. Curriculum levels 2–4

Enjoy the Heat Not the Smoke pdf. Download this pdf for student research.

Foodwaste.pdf : [736 KB]

GREEN CLASSROOM IDEAS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [242 KB]

A potpourri of ideas for establishing a 'green classroom'.

The Think Green Classroom

INVESTIGATIONS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [99 KB]

Dozens of investigations for students on scientific and environmental themes. Use as an on-going project. Makes extensive use of 'Google'.

KERERU.pdf : Subscription Only Download [183 KB]


The kereru (NZ wood pigeons) are very important for keeping our forests healthy as they are the only birds that can spread the seeds of native trees. Unfortunately kereru are in decline through predation, habitat loss and damage, competition and illegal hunting. This unit provides ideas and linksfor your students to learn about these wonderful birds, the threats they face and their importance in the wider ecosystem. 

Websites supporting this unit.

DOC Kereru Website Section

Kereru Count Website

Kereru Discovery Website

Kereru Slideshow

Videos supporting this unit.

Kereru on Tree

Kereru and Tui Images and Video

Kereru Feeding and Flying

Close up of Kereru Flying

LANGUAGE OF MOUNTAINS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [142 KB]


Social Science, English and Languages Cross-Curricula unit on an environmental theme. Key ideas include:

• New Zealanders feel connected to their mountains.

• Mountains have spiritual and cultural significance.

• Mountains are enjoyed by people – both visually and for recreation.

• Mountains support unique ecosystems.

• Conservation and protection is needed from the mountains to the sea.

Info/Photos of New Zealand Mountains

Slideshow of New Zealand Mountains

LEARNING ABOUT PARKS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [76 KB]

Activities where students think about the concept of a park, locate local and NZ parks, create an imaginary park, care for a park and then add value to a local park.

Parks, Places, Walks in New Zealand

MagicalWetlands.pdf : [993 KB]

MARINE RESERVES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [94 KB]

Science and social science investigations into the importance and promotion of our marine reserves.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Map and Information on NZ Marine Reserves and Protected Areas 

Benefits of Marine Reserves

Diving in the Rich Waters at the Poor Knights

NewZealandsPredatorProblem.pdf : [1 MB]

New Zealand has a Serious Predator Problem

In this unit, students will research and identify the causes of the destruction of our native flora and fauna, discover the successful work carried out by Goodnature in conjunction with DOC, identify the actions we can take to stem this decline and become involved in practical ways to use the latest Goodnature technology to protect the biodiversity in their local areas.

Cross curriculum unit with links to Science, Technology, Social Sciences and English. Yrs 4-8

Website Links Supporting this Unit

Pest Control Methods

Animal Pests A-Z

Threats to Our Environment

GoodNature Web Page

 Videos Supporting this Unit

Meet the Locals Okiwi Primary School 

Meet the Locals Oakley Creek 

A24 Traps in Action 

A12 Traps in Action

Native Island Rat Control

Wellington School Rat Problem

NoToGraffiti.pdf : [513 KB]

No To Graffiti – Yes to Community Art

Social Sciences: Students will gain an understanding that the relationship between people and the environment they live in can be badly harmed by the vandalism of graffiti tagging. They will also learn that communities can band together and take positive actions to overcome these problems and restore community pride. 

Health & PhysEd: In the context of removal and prevention of graffiti, students will gain an understanding of how participating in communal events enhances the well-being of a community. Students will also understand how planning and implementing a programme of community art will enhance their school and local environment. 

Visual Arts: By exploring the process of making a mural, supported by the study of other artists’ works, students will take an appropriate, artistic imaginative, and creative response to creating community art.






OPEN OUR EYES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [128 KB]

Part one of a litter awareness series. In this unit, students observe and assess the state of the school and local environment. Do we have a problem?

Litter Education

OPEN OUR EYES2.pdf : Subscription Only Download [133 KB]

Part two of a litter awareness series. In this unit we consider visual pollution, green areas and their uses, built areas and roads and beauty spots. We also consider the very real problem of gum litter and how to prevent it.

Litter Awareness Video and Rap

OPEN OUR EYES3.pdf : Subscription Only Download [135 KB]

The series concludes with students finding out about the importance of tourism to New Zealand and their local district plus our 'clean, green image'. Does our area measure up? How clean and green would they find our town? How can we get this message out to our local community?

OURS TO PROTECT.pdf : Subscription Only Download [95 KB]

Using local rivers as a context, students will explore how our we interact with and enjoy these natural features, why we must protect and respect them by identifying measures we can take to ensure their health and quality – both now and for the future. A social sciences Place and Environment based unit.

Scroll Down for River Problems Video

Outdoor Safety.pdf : [2 MB]


Every year, New Zealand Land Search and Rescue Inc, New Zealand Police and other organisations are called upon to search for and rescue people who have become lost or injured in our great outdoors. Too often these searches end in tragedy.

Many of these tragedies could have been avoided if people had prepared fully and known the Outdoor Safety Code. In this unit we explore the 5 simple rules we must all take to keep safe in the outdoors by developing an understanding the reasons for taking these steps.

PARKS ARE AWESOME.pdf : Subscription Only Download [87 KB]

Environmental investigations in local natural or created areas for recreation and conservation in an English based context. The unit concludes with student investigations into how our local parks are used, how often, and by whom and a promotion of our local parks and/or conservation areas.

POSSUM CONTROL FOR STUDENTS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [6 MB]

POSSUM CONTROL FOR TEACHERS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [1 MB]

Predator Control.pdf : Subscription Only Download [176 KB]

Predator Control in New Zealand – the why, how and where.

Links to websites in the unit (videos, pdfs and websites).

1080 – The Facts Brochure.pdf

1080 – The Facts Video Links

DOC Website – 1080 for Pest Control

GoodNature Possum Traps – Pictures and Video

Forest and Bird Website

What Bird Website – Songs and Pictures of NZ Birds

PURE NEW ZEALAND.pdf : Subscription Only Download [92 KB]

Students learn why tourism is so important to New Zealand and how our country is promoted as 100% pure, clean and green. Students then investigate the local area under these criteria looking at local tourist spots through the eyes of a tourist. How does the district stack up? Can we take steps to improve it?


Practical cross curricula activities to cut down on the amount of materials we throw away and practical steps we can take.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

REDUCING WASTE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [97 KB]

Students explore the concept of waste management in a school-wide context.

Website supporting this unit.

Ecokids – Waste Based Games/Activities


Seaweek is the annual celebration where we encourage students to: increase their knowledge and understanding of our precious marine environment; understand and promote the need for sustainable use of our coastal and marine environments; develop a sense of personal responsibility for the marine environment; and develop an understanding of the relationship between people and the marine environment. Cross curricula opportunities abound!

Websites/Videos Supporting this Unit

                  Seaweek New Zealand

                  Life in the Sea Teaching Approaches and Media

                  NZ Seafood Education Resources

                  Types of Fish ID Chart

                  Marine Conservation – Te ara

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

                  Great Pacific Garbage Patch Awareness

Seaweek2017.pdf : [3 MB]

Lesson ideas and links supporting Seaweek 2017.

(Science Learning Hub resources)

(Oceans for Youth – Videos and further resources)

SPORT AND ENVIRONMENT.pdf : Subscription Only Download [116 KB]

In this unit we challenge our students to consider two ideas: the environment is affected by the way in which sport is conducted; the environment has an effect on those participating in sport.

Through discussion and classroom activities we help our students learn how sport can help or harm the environment and how sport can benefit from or be hurt by environmental conditions. Once armed with this knowledge we challenge our students to take positive environmental action using sport as a vehicle for positive change.

STORMWATER POLLUTION PREVENTION.pdf : Subscription Only Download [109 KB]


Social Sciences and Health based unit where students discover the effects of stormwater pollution on our marine environment and beaches and the steps we can all take to help improve the marine environment.

Auckland City Council Water Cycle

Auckland City Council Stormwater Problems

National Geographic Ed Resources

SUSTAINABILITY IDEAS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [94 KB]

Fifteen practical ideas for promoting and celebrating environmental sustainability.

Teacher Tools for Teaching Sustainability

SustainabilityCalendar2018.pdf : [1 MB]

Sustainability Calendar 2018 – Celebrating and Engaging with the Environment

Download the ever popular Sustainability Calendar for use with your class. Over 100 links to lessons, videos, teaching materials for planning environmental projects with your class.

The Calendar can also be viewed in the Term 4 starters&strategies Magazine and in the Term 4 Teachers Magazine section of this website in flip-book format. Please note all links are 'live linked' in the flip-book.

TEACHER ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [77 KB]

The teacher challenge is to plan a visit to the bush or the beach. Pre, during and post visit activities are provided to help teachers get the most out of these environmental experiences.

TRANSPORT AND TRAFFIC.pdf : Subscription Only Download [79 KB]

Investigations into the problems of traffic in our towns and cities and practical can-do solutions that students can put into action to help with this problem.

WATER USAGE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [104 KB]

English, science, social sciences and mathematics activities based on a water theme.

waterwayhealth.pdf : [420 KB]

Wetlands of New Zealand.pdf : Subscription Only Download [133 KB]


A natural science and sustainability-based cross curriculum units where students investigate the importance of our wetlands, the diversity of plant and bird life they support, the food chains they sustain, the recreational opportunities they provide. It aims to teach students to appreciate, value, protect and help increase the numbers of these precious eco-systems.

Otukaikino Wetland Christchurch


Waituna Wetland Invercargill


Waikanae Estuary Wellington


Sinclair Wetlands 40K South of Dunedin

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [105 KB]

World Environment Day is the 5 June every year – the same day as our Arbor Day. In this unit, students investigate the meaning and importance of the day and develop action plans to implement that will help improve our local environment.


This booklet includes:

  • Some background information about trees for teachers
  •  An information guide on how to plant and care for trees
  • Activities for year levels 1,2,3 and 4 based on the aims of environmental education
  • Identification/information sheets for 6 of New Zealand’s native tree species.
  • A booklist with a selection of readings on trees from picture books suitable for younger students, through to reference books suitable for teachers.

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY ACTIONS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [96 KB]

More actions and ideas for taking part in World Environment Day – or any time!