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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

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.


Science Units

(0001)FOOD SAFETY MATTERS.pdf : [1 MB]


Social Sciences, Science and Health & Safety-based teaching unit for Years 4-10.

This unit focuses on safe food gathering, safe storage and safe food preparation not only from local and traditional wild food sources but through to foods we purchase at our local supermarket. The main message is safe food gathering and safe food handling – no matter what the food or the source of the food. 

(02)Discovering Native Bats–Pekapeka.pdf : [1 MB]

Discovering New Zealand's Native Bats – Pekapeka

A Science and Social Sciences major teaching unit where we focus on New Zealand's only native mammals – long tailed and short tailed bats – Pekapeka. We focus on why our bats are so special and what actions we cn take and are taking to prevent their decline and extinction. The unit is based on the work of the Allan Wilson Centre supported by Pete Handford of Groundtruth. Many thanks to Gillian Dennis (previous PhD student at Massey University, now Bat Recovery Project Manager for Forest and Bird) for assistance with providing lesson ideas and activities for this unit. 

ALL ABOUT FISH.pdf : [120 KB]

Fish facts and research as the students enter the wonderful world of fish and learn all about these amazing creatures.



ALLIGATORS.pdf : [124 KB]


• Discovering how alligators interact with other creatures and how they interact with their environment.

• Discovering the special adaptive features of alligators, where they live, what they eat, how they move …

• Discovering the differences and similarities between alligators and crocodiles.



ALUMINIUM.pdf : [226 KB]


What is aluminium? What are its properties? How was it discovered? How is it obtained? What are its uses? Investigations in to the wonder-metal ; aluminium.

Additional Resources for this Unit


ANTARCTIC WEATHER.pdf : Subscription Only Download [101 KB]

A unit where students go online to discover weather conditions in Antarctica, compare them with their local conditions and then share results with other schools throughout NZ.

Antarctic Weather Information

Antarctica the Place.pdf : Subscription Only Download [206 KB]


Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest place on earth. It holds an endless fascination for students. In this social sciences IT based unit, your students will discover the wonders of Antarctica and complete a virtual tour of this frozen continent.

                 Antarctica in 5 Minutes

                 Students Visit Antarctica with National Geographic


Aquaculture is a young and vibrant industry in New Zealand. In this unit, students conduct research into the divisions that make up our industry and identify its importance to our economic activity. The unit has strong links to health and nutrition and students will identify the nutritional benefits that aquaculture has. The four student research sheet copymasters below are part of this unit.

Aquaculture: New Zealand

Aquaculture NZ Educational Resources

Working on a Mussel Farm


Mussell Facts Student Research Sheet.


Oyster Facts Student Research Sheet.


Aquaculture Salmon Facts Student Research Sheet


The facts about Aquaculture in New Zealand



The search engine Google has radically changed the way we can locate information quickly and accurately. One of its great features is we can ask it questions. Simply type in a question in plain English and it is answered instantly.

in this multi-level unit, the following questions and topics are on science and natural science themes and are cross-curricular in nature – lots of discussion, related arts and social science activities.



Multi-level science, social science, environmental and English based classroom activities. Students explore just what weedbusting is all about, identify weeds to bust and plan and carry out their own weedbusting programme. The unit concludes with spreading the weedbusting message to the local community.



September is when we celebrate Bee Aware Month in New Zealand – a month fully dedicated to celebrating bees! Not that we don’t do this all year round but we have an excuse to do so even more during Bee Aware Month. But why wait till September!!!!

 Websites and Videos to Celebrate BEES

NZ Bee Aware Month (Website)

How to Teach About Bees (Website)

Great Kiwi Bee Count (Stuff Article)

National Geographic Bee Resources

BIODIVERSITY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [96 KB]

In this introductory unit, students learn about biodiversity – what it is and why it is important to protect out biodiversity in New Zealand. The unit concludes with students researching the causes of extinction and finding out about biodiversity protection programmes existing in their local district and making their own plans to 'turn the tide'.



BiosecurityMonthWeek.pdf : [7 MB]


A major English, Health, Social Sciences, Technology, Science and Conservation-based unit to celebrate Biosecurity Week (23-28 July) 2018. Because it is such a major subject, many schools make the month of July their Biosecurity Month. In this unit we explore the mistakes we have made in the past and the effects they have had on our biodiversity. But more optimistically we look forward to a future where there is a heightened awareness of this problem. Many thousands of Kiwis now take positive actions to become involved in controlling, managing and eradicating these threats. 

BloodDonors.pdf : Subscription Only Download [589 KB]


New Zealand Blood Service celebrates World Blood Donor Day on 14 June every year. As the need for blood and blood donors is constant and increasing, this unit explores the major contribution that young students, including those not old enough to give blood, can make in recruiting new donors and the importance of saying ‘a huge’ thank you to present donors – the heroes who are helping save lives.

Mutiple NZ Blood Teaching Resources

NZ Blood Teaching Resources

CATCHING ONLY FISH.pdf : Subscription Only Download [125 KB]

Students conduct research and find out about measures taken by our fishing industry to minimise the by-catch problem and help prevent the un-intended deaths of sea birds and other sea creatures. Strong links to social sciences and English.

History of Fishing in New Zealand


A science and social science based unit where students will gaining an understanding of the important function that forests and trees play in the local and world ecosystem and the habitats that they provide. They will also understand the major contribution that forests – both native and plantation – make to our economy. SO lets plan a happening to celebrate our wonderful forests!



CELEBRATING SEAWEEK.pdf : Subscription Only Download [86 KB]

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. Practical science and a wealth of cross curricula ideas and activities.

Videos and Websites Supporting this Unit

Swimming With Dolphins

Pacific Ocean Animals

Sea Life in New Zealand


In the context of Darwin’s theory of evolution, students will gain an understanding of how science is a way of gathering knowledge explaining the world, and how this knowledge can change over time. Students will explore how and why Darwin formulated his theory of evolution and natural selection both in a scientific and historical context and its effect on our understanding of our world.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Who Was Charles Darwin? Video

Charles Darwin Video – Science for Kids



(0001) CLIMATE CHANGE (Teacher Lesson)

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.


(0002) Climate Change Student Fact Sheet



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.

CRIMES AGAINST NATURE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [112 KB]

In this science based unit we focus on the extinction of birds in New Zealand, prior to and after the arrival of people in New Zealand. Students will discover what has caused these 'crimes against nature' and the threats to our present bird population. Students will then focus on the plight of our most endangered bird - the brown teal, and the heroic efforts that are being made to save it from extinction. Students will also discover the importance of the relationship between habitat and a bird species.



DAY AND NIGHT.pdf : [87 KB]

Videos that explain the concept of day and night. Totally hands-on and practical.

What Causes Day and Night

Day and Night

DIDYMO – SLOWING THE SPREAD.pdf : Subscription Only Download [103 KB]


A major science, social science and English based unit where students will discover the very real environmental threat posed by didymo in our waterways 

Check, Clean, Dry

Don't Spread Didymo

Don't Spread These Diseases


DOLPHINS AND WHALES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [77 KB]

In this unit students gain an understanding of both the similarities and differences between sea mammals (whales and dolphins) and other creatures that share the marine environment; discover how dolphins and whales are adapted to and exploit the marine environment to their best advantage and identify and suggest measures that can be taken to help protect these often endangered mammals.

WHALE WORLD (Includes Videos)

DOLPHIN WORLD (Includes Videos)

earthquake.pdf : [299 KB]


New Zealand experiences thousands of earthquakes every year. Most are either very deep or centred well offshore, causing little damage or injury. However, a severe earthquake can occur at any time with devastating effects. The Kaikoura 7.8M earthquake is yet another reminder of our need to be prepared.

Use this single page live-linked pdf of essential resources at school with students; school leaders; boards of trustees and for your local community and parents.

Make it available by downloading the pdf and placing it on your school/class website and/or facebook pages. It can also be printed out and sent home with school newsletters. More information and relevant links can also be found at:

What's the Plan, Stan is linked to the curriculum areas of Health & PE; Social Sciences; Science and English.

ELECTRICAL AWARENESS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [106 KB]

Electricity is something we can take for granted. In these investigations, students will think about the importance of electricity in our everyday lives, how it is produced and strategies for energy efficiency that we can apply. The unit concludes with a series of cross curricula activities including art and musical activities.

Websites/Videos Supporting this Unit

Introduction to Electricity

Safety Around Electricity

What is Electricity and How Does it Work? 

ENERGY FROM COAL.pdf : Subscription Only Download [117 KB]

Students learn all about different types of energy production and in particular, energy produced from coal. Did they know that much of our industry energy is generated by coal? Coal is not a current environmental favourite as an energy producer but new clean burning technologies are coming on stream and used mines undergo refurbishment when used up. Students investigate the uses of a need for coal energy – both now and in the future.

Website and Video Supporting this Unit


Te Ara – Coal and Coal Mining (includes Video)

ENERGY IN OUR LIVES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [125 KB]

In this unit we explore the many ways that electrical energy can be generated and how it was first discovered. Students discover the difference between renewable and non renewable energy and why we use both of these generation methods. We introduce the 'one room at a time' campaign as a way of cutting down on our energy use.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Introductilon to ElectricityHow Solar Energy is Generated (Link to Video)




ENVIRONMENTAL 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.

Websites, Videos and Information supporting this unit





Planet Earth and Beyond based unit where students:

  • Investigate and  gain an understanding of the factors that affect our New Zealand weather and why it assumes such an importance in our daily lives.
  • Begin to understand and use the specialised vocabulary used to describe and predict weather.

New Zealand Weather at Accuweather

Radar and Satellite Images at Metservice New Zealand

Focus On Clean Air.pdf : Subscription Only Download [151 KB]


Science, Social Science and Health-based unit to raise student awareness of the problem of air pollution, its causes and actions we can all take to help solve this problem. This unit has a particular emphasis on open fires and wood burners

Video Supporting this Unit

Learn About Earth's Atmosphere

Websites & PDFs Supporting this Unit

Earth's Atmosphere

Why Oxygen is so Important

Composition of the Atmosphere

Air Quality in New Zealand

Air Quality, Pollution and Contamination

GEOTHERMAL FACT SHEET.pdf : Subscription Only Download [352 KB]

Fact sheet and pictures copymaster for students related to the unit.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Geothermal Power Production – Te Ara (Information, Pictures, Videos)

GEOTHERMAL POWER.pdf : Subscription Only Download [134 KB]

Investigations into geothermal energy where students will gain an understanding that geothermal energy is a natural and renewable form of energy that helps us conserve the Earth’s resources. Students will also be able to describe and identify the components and processes involved in geothermal electricity generation.

Powering New Zealand in the Future

                  Opening of Ngatamariki Geothermal Power Plant

GROWING VEGETABLES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [101 KB]

In this unit, students will learn about the different types of soils and their characteristics, eg acid and/or alkaline soils. As well as learning how to test soils, students will plan and plant their own gardens. They will also carry out investigations into the health benefits of vegetables and conduct surveys to find the most popular vegetables. As an added extra, students will be introduced to the concept of the 'potager' garden as a different and attractive way of growing vegetables. Strong links to English, health and mathematics.

Websites Supporting this Unit

What to Plant and When to Plant

                  Yates Growing Vegetables – Includes Video

HORSES AND PONIES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [125 KB]

A science based cross curricular unit where students conduct research and find out about these fascinating creatures from the living world.

Websites Supporting this Unit

Horses and Ponies

                  Horses in New Zealand – Te Ara


                  The X Factor of the Kaimanawa Horses (Includes Video)

How Aviation Changed the World.pdf : [1 MB]

Major Social Science, Science and Technology-based teaching unit. Major focus: Understanding the historical nature of flight and how it has had a positive and major effect on how we interact and view the world.

Most suitable for Years 4-10. Pdf contains live links to websites and videos.

Nassa Story Book – How Planes Fly

                What Makes Airplanes Fly?

                 How Do Airplanes Fly – Youtube Video Series

HYDRO POWER.pdf : Subscription Only Download [122 KB]

Science and Technology based unit investigating hydro power generation on the Waikato River system. Strong links to English and Social Sciences.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Hydro Power (Waikato River) (Information, Pictures)

Hydro Electricity in New Zealand – Te Ara ( Information, Pictures, Videos, History …)

Creating Electricity with Water and Gravity – Hydropower Facts

HYDRO POWER 02.pdf : [64 KB]


IMPORTANCE OF WATER.pdf : Subscription Only Download [227 KB]

Water is one of the Earths most precious resources. People cannot live for more tan a few days without it. With no water, most life on Earth would cease to exist. In this major unit students explore the importance and cultural values of water and then begin to learn about the local water catchment area.

Websites Supporting this Unit

Teachers Guide to Water Lesson Plans/Activities

                 Water Matters Teaching Plan.pdf

                 H20 on the Go – includes images, video, interactives, animations

                 Up the Creek – Source to River Mouth

ImprovingWaterQuality.pdf : Subscription Only Download [1 MB]


Health & Science-based unit for Yrs 4-8+

Students discover the difference between treated drinking water, wastewater and stormwater and the different paths they take before being released back into our natural environment. Students will focus on the pollutants that stormwater and wastewater can carry and the serious effects this can have on our rivers, streams and natural environment. The focus then shifts to wastewater treatment and specifically the problem caused by the increasing amount and variety of unwanted products that we continue to flush down our toilets.


Additional Web & Video Links for this Unit

Wet Wipes Clog Pipes: 

Never Flush These: 

Avoid a Flood: 

Do Wipes Dissolve? 

Save Pipes from Wipes:

Freddy the Fish:  

Science Facts of Freshwater

LEARNZ Videos: 

Auckland Water & Wastewater Treatment

IN THE GENES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [123 KB]

A major unit dealing with issues surrounding genetic modification – what it is and how it works.

INVESTIGATING HYDRO.pdf : Subscription Only Download [112 KB]

Students explore the following concepts. Electricity is part of our lives and often taken for granted. Water is the principal fuel used in electricity generation in NZ. Electricity is the only major energy form produced mainly from renewable resources. Water has multiple uses. Hydro-electricity generation of electricity only uses water, it does not consume it. Everyone’s interests must be considered before permission is given to use water to generate electricity. This is called consultation. Environment and pollution concerns must be addressed.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Hydro Electricity in New Zealand – Te Ara ( Information, Pictures, Videos, History …)

INVESTIGATING OUR VOLCANOES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [1 MB]


A major Science, Social Sciences and Health and Safety teaching unit that develops the following:

Students will:

Explore, understand and be able to describe the physical forces, the effects and the nature of volcanoes in New Zealand.

Discover who is involved and how they monitor volcanic activity and why this is so important

Discover how people interact with volcanic eruptions, including the past, the present and in the future and discover the impacts these eruptions have had, are having and could have on our landscape and the effects they can have on people who experience these eruptions.

Investigate and identify the positive actions we can all take to prepare for and what to do during and after a volcanic eruption to maintain and enhance our personal well-being.

JOY OF GARDENS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [99 KB]

In this multi-level unit, students share experiences of the living world by examining the features and parts of common flowers, discover similarities and differences to distinguish broad flower groups, and investigate the response of plants to seasonal change.

Yates Kids Gardening Ideas/Activities


Kakapo Student Copymaster. Use in conjunction with unit below.

KAKAPO RECOVERY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [1 MB]

The kakapo, a unique, personality-rich and beautiful flightless native parrot, was once a common bird in New Zealand. Human colonisation with its attendant predators, hunting, and deforestation, meant that by 1995 there were just 51 of these beautiful birds left. Although today there are only 122 known kakapo, the establishment of the Kakapo Recovery programme has given these birds a window of opportunity to survive.

Kakapo Recovery is a partnership between DOC, Rio Tinto Alcan New Zealand, and Forest & Bird – it is the story of dedication and love that just may turn the tide for the kakapo. This unit is designed to allow students to investigate and understand why it is so important to preserve and value this precious part of our heritage and to realize that we can all make a difference.

Videos and Websites Supporting this Unit.
Meet the Kakapo 

Kakapo – Only 92 Left

Meet the Locals    Stunning images of Kakapo in a slide sound sequence.

Kaurirescue.pdf : [483 KB]

KELLY TARLTON'S.pdf : Subscription Only Download [105 KB]

In this science/English based unit we use pre-internet days as a context. Students consider how Kelly Tarlton's would then have got information out to schools and students about the great diversity of sea life they have on display plus interesting facts and information that students can now access on their website Knowledge Centre. In planning a pre-internet campaign, students will conduct web research using the Knowledge Centre to learn about the diversity of sea life at Kelly Tarlton's.

Website/Video Supporting this Unit

Learn About Kelly Tarltons

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 Discovery Website

Kereru Slideshow

Videos supporting this unit.

Close-ups of Kereru Feeding Eating and Flying

MAKE AN ANEMOMETER.pdf : Subscription Only Download [97 KB]

An anemometer is a device that measures wind speed )sometimes called a wind speed indicator). In this unit, students are challenged to make their own anemometers and put them into practical use to indicate wind speed. Good for use with the class weather station.

Videos/Websites Supporting this Unit

Building Simple Anemometer Videos

Wind Activities for Kids

MARINE RESERVES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [113 KB]

Why are they important? What do they do? Where are they? Investigations and promotion of marine reserves.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Diving in the Rich Waters of the Poor Knights

Poor Knights Diving – World Class

Poor Knights – Rich Seas

NZ Marine Reserves – Full Details

METAL CAN PACKAGING.pdf : Subscription Only Download [111 KB]

In this unit we have students consider the many purposes of packaging and the various ways that products are packaged. The unit develops with a major focus on tin and aluminium cans. The unit concludes with investigations into local recycling options and encouraging others to re-cycle cans of all types.

NATURAL GAS.pdf : [286 KB]


Our featured lesson with web links from the Term Four starters&strategies Teacher's Magazine. Using this Science, Social Science unit students will:

  • gain an understanding of the concepts of matter, energy, renewable and non renewable resources.
  • be able to identify the many types of energy we use in our homes, why many people choose natural gas and identify other important uses for natural gas.
  • gain an understanding of how natural gas is formed, recovered and distributed.
  • be able to identify the major gas fields in New Zealand, know about their history and understands the importance to the environment of the STOS Goal Zero philosophy.
  • learn how to become safe around natural gas.


Websites/Videos Supporting this Unit

Natural Gas Facts

Natural Gas Fact File and Source

Science Learn: Future Fuels NZ


OIL REFINING IN NZ 01.pdf : Subscription Only Download [119 KB]

Understanding the properties and origins of oil , its many uses and how we change its state to make it more useful.
Understanding how people can interact responsibly with the environment and still pursue essential economic outcomes.
Learning about how innovative systems and products have made a difference to the world.



OIL REFINING IN NZ 05.pdf : Subscription Only Download [117 KB]


From April in 2022, Marsden Point Oil Refinery will change to an 'import only' terminal.

Read about this major change using the link below.

Changes to Marsden Point Oil Refinery

OUR NATIVE BUSH.pdf : Subscription Only Download [108 KB]

A living world based unit where students learn to appreciate the environment provided by our beautiful native bush.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Te Ara Encyclopedia – Native Bush Story

Te Ara Encyclopedia Videos and Pictures

PENGUIN DOSSIER.pdf : Subscription Only Download [111 KB]

Students are given the challenge of creating the perfect penguin environment. To do this they have to find out about the needs of penguins – in other words, compile a penguin dossier. They will speculate on the technology they will have to use to pull off this feat and see what has been done to produce this at Kelly Tarlton's in Auckland. The unit concludes with the construction of a penguin environment in the classroom, hall or corridor. Tons of fun on a science, technology and social science theme.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Interactive Penguin Map

All About New Zealand Penguins

Emperor Penguin Video

Yellow Eyed Penguin Video

Sucsessful Release of Penguins After Oil Spill


PLANTING NATIVE TREES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [96 KB]

Many students have taken part in the planting of native trees only to find that many have died. In this living world based unit we look at why we plant natives, how to plant them and prepare the soil and how to care for them while they are growing. Lots of cross curricular activities included.

Websites/Videos to Support this Unit

NZ Native Plants and Animals

NZ Native Trees, Grasses, Herbs, Shrubs

Native Plants and Trees of New Zealand

Create a New Zealand Native Garden

POHUTUKAWA AND RATA.pdf : Subscription Only Download [95 KB]

As an Arbor Day focus, students learn all about these beautiful trees and why they are being threatened. Students then investigate steps that are being taken to protect them and formulate conservation plans themselves.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Project Crimson (Web page for resources)

PreciousWater.pdf : [558 KB]

Fresh Water – Our Most Precious Resource

Science and Social Science based activities focussing on the importance and scarcity of clean fresh water, the serious consequences and causes of water pollution and measures taken to keep our water safe for drinking and recreation.

Websites and Videos Supporting This Unit

Wet Feet – NZs Freshwater Resources



New Zealand has a richness of distinctive and unique habitats including: alpine, drylands, estuaries, forests, freshwater, marine, farms, wetlands and built environments. Put simply, habitats are environments where plants and animals live.  In this unit we explore these habitats to discover the diversity of plants and animals that  live there and how we value them. We then identify pests and diseases that pose threats to these habitats and the measures we must all take to eliminate or minimise these risks. We then apply these learnings to our own district and how and why we must all become part of a New Zealand-wide ‘biosecurity team’ of 4.7 million to protect our environment. 

This 4 page cross-curriulum unit (science, social sciences, technology, English and environmental) is best suited to Years 4/5 – 10+ students

REASONS FOR TREES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [98 KB]

Trees play such a major part in our lives – but why and how. A major science-based unit where students investigate and learn about the reasons for and importance of trees in our environment. Lots of cross-curricula ideas for English, social sciences and the arts.

New Zealand Native Plants, Trees and Animals Overview

New Zealand Native Garden Plants

DOC Website: Native Plant Conservation

RED FIRE ANT.pdf : Subscription Only Download [112 KB]

A nasty pest and a major threat to our eco-system and what biosecurity measures we can take to help eradicate it and keep it out.

Websites to Support this Unit


                  THE BITTEN HAND – Te Ara

                  GETTING RID OF RED FIRE ANTS

RENEWABLE FORESTS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [123 KB]

Students learn how living things interact with their environment and the human effects on our environment, and understanding how planting forests can help combat climate change. They then learn about the interdependence of our subsystems of land, water, air and life and discover the diversity of species that our forests support and encourage.

Website to Support this Unit

Forestry Insights – dozens of resources for teachers and students.

RIDE THE WIND.pdf : Subscription Only Download [124 KB]

A major science and cross curricula unit dealing with the wind, its uses and how we measure wind speed.

When the Wing Blows Lesson Plan

Measuring the Wind

RIVERS AND LAKES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [94 KB]

A Major Science/Health/English Unit where students investigate how rivers and lakes affect peoples’ lives and why we need to maintain and value them as special places and ensure they remain healthy environments.

Resources for Teaching about Fresh Water in NZ

ROCKS; EARTHQUAKES; VOLCANOES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [118 KB]

Ideas to focus students on observation of rocks, research into volcanoes and the Pacific Ring of Fire plus instructions in how to make a volcano and simulate an eruption. Includes cross curricular presentation ideas.

Additional Resources for this Unit

How Earthquakes Work Video

How Volcanoes Work

What is an Earthquake

Earthquakes in Action 1

Earthquakes in Action 2

Volcanoes Around the World & Ring of Fire

ROCKY SHORE STUDY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [71 KB]

How to get the most from this popular natural science activity.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Extensive Marine Study Resources Downloads  (University of Otago)

SAVE OUR FROGS.pdf : [120 KB]

Alarmingly, half of the world's amphibian species are under threat of extinction. The following activities and topics are designed to make our students and school communities aware of their plight, their important part in the food chain, their special environmental niche and the actions we can take to help prevent their extinction.

Websites/Videos Supporting this Unit

New Zealand Frogs - 2 Websites

Frogs on Te Ara

Frogs on DoC


SAVING THE HOIHO.pdf : Subscription Only Download [121 KB]

The Yellow Eyed Penguin breeds in various locations around New Zealand and is in danger of becoming extinct unless we take special measures to protect and provide safe areas for it to breed.

In this Living World unit, students carry out investigations into the hoiho plus learn about the concept of a food chain and the interdependence of members within food chains. Further activities involving legends and students carry out research into why species become and have become extinct.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Introducing the Yellow-eyed Penguin(hoiho)

Yellow-eyed Penguin Fact Sheet pdf

Yellow-eyed Penguin Videos

SEAWEEK IDEAS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [100 KB]

More cross curricular activities for celebrating Seaweek or to use as a focus for a sea study.

SOLAR SYSTEM.pdf : Subscription Only Download [136 KB]

Students conduct research into our solar system and conclude by creating a 'people' scale model of the planets that revolve around the sun.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Understanding The Solar System

Exploring Our Solar System Video

Explore Earth and Space - Our Solar System

Is Alien Life Out There in the Universe? Why Can't We See it? 

STORMWATER.pdf : Subscription Only Download [101 KB]

Students find out what happens to waste water when it goes down the drain and how pollutants can easily get into our aquatic environment.

SUSTAINABLE FISHING.pdf : Subscription Only Download [97 KB]

In this science and social sciences based unit students will:

  • Understand the importance and diversity of our fishery and marine environment.
  • Consider how living things interact with the environment and the effects humans can have on this environment.
  • Understand the concept of sustainability, why it is important and how we ensure our seafood industry is sustainable.
  • Understand the scope of and importance of the seafood industry to New Zealand and its economy.
  • Investigating the life styles, motivations and the many different roles that people play in New Zealand’s fishing industry.

Additional Resources for this Unit

Lifestyle in NZ's Seafood Industry - Video

THE BENEFITS OF AGGREGATE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [1 MB]


Aggregate may not seem like a particularly interesting topic for study but when we begin to realise that without the mining of aggregate on a fregular basis, our lives would change drastically. In this Science, Social Sciences and Technology based unit, students discover why and how we depend on aggregate and the major part it plays in our everyday lives and for New Zealand industry. 

By conducting in-depth investigations, students will discover the dozens of ways aggregate is used at school, at home and in their local community – eg roads, houses, footpaths, walls, tennis courts, driveways, patios, airport runways, monuments, drains … etc. The unit concludes by having students explore the major part that rehabilitation of old quarries plays in providing us with beautiful places to enjoy and explore including parks, native reserves, waterways etc and debunks the notion that we should never quarry

UNDERSTANDING ENERGY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [114 KB]

Scientists say that energy is an invisible force capable of 'doing work'. A major unit where students explore the concept of energy and traces it back to the sun. Extensions include safety with electricity and energy efficiency activities.

Energy Facts


Activities to help students discover how and why weather plays such an important part of our everyday lives. Includes a section on the importance of vocabulary when reporting weather and how it affects occupations and recreation. Use this unit as motivation for starting a class weather station (See below)


Observing the weather is an endlessly fascinating topic for children and provides countless opportunities for talking, reading, listening, observing and recording. The weather worksheet pdfs below cover main weather features and should be rotated around groups of pupils who take the responsibility of recording and reporting the weather data for one week. Have a special time each day when groups report their observations and recordings to the class. 

Establish a classroom weather bulletin board where the daily/weekly/monthly charts can be displayed. Rotate the groups on a weekly basis throughout the year.

The depth to which you take your weather observations will depend on the age and stage of your pupils, eg junior class children may only record the general direction of the wind- north, south, east, west. Middle and senior students may refine incorporating the finer points of the compass.

Additional Resources for this Unit.

Latest New Zealand Satellite Images

Current NZ Rain Radar

Current NZ Local Weather

What is Weather and Climate?

An Introduction to Clouds

The Destructive Power of a Tornado

UNDERSTANDING WEATHER 02.pdf : Subscription Only Download [114 KB]


Students record the barometric readings on a daily basis.

UNDERSTANDING WEATHER 03.pdf : Subscription Only Download [69 KB]


Students record the amount of rain in mm, the direction the wind comes from and the type of cloud cover.

UNDERSTANDING WEATHER 04.pdf : Subscription Only Download [30 KB]


Students record the amount of cloud cover by %, and the daily maximum and minimum temperatures.

USING GOOGLE.pdf : [972 KB]


Search engine Google has radically changed the way we can locate information quickly and accurately. 

 The following themes framed as querstions are on science and natural science themes and are cross-curricular in nature – lots of discussion, related arts and social science activities.

Initial research can be carried out on Google and then expanded to books and invitations to ‘experts’ from the community invited to the classroom.

Before investigations begin always find out through discussion what the students’ current knowledge is and have them set their search parameters.

The unit encourages many different ways of presenting their findings including: drama, displays, written reports etc.


Through a study of and research about weeds, students will use their growing scientific knowledge about weeds and the harmful consequences they have for our natural environment and make decisions and take actions to minimise and/or eliminate this harm. 

 Videos and Website Links to support this unit.


Extreme weed control on Little Barrier Island Video.

Tongariro National Park Weed Problem Video

New Zealand's Special Places and Reserves

WHAT IS MATTER?.pdf : Subscription Only Download [1 MB]


Science based and cross-curricular activities to explore elements that make up all matter in our world and to celebrate over 150 years since the first Periodic Table of Elements was published. Through their explorations, students will gain an appreciation of science as a way of explaining the world and discover the ways that scientists need to work together and gather evidence to support their ideas and theories.

Windfacts.pdf : [130 KB]

WONDER OF HEARING 01.pdf : [147 KB]

The wonder of hearing and how to protect it is an important science and health and safety unit dealing with a growing problem of our times – listening to music at unsafe volume levels and the damage it does to our hearing. In this unit students carry out investigations into the nature of how we respond to sound. A major component identifies causes and risks of sound on our ability to hear and the steps we can take to minimise these risks. Students also learn about how we measure sound and the decibel scale.

Additional Resources for this Unit - The Wonder of Hearing Videos

WONDER OF HEARING 02.pdf : Subscription Only Download [160 KB]

The Decible Scale Student copymaster to be used in conjunction with the above unit.

WONDERFUL WETLANDS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [121 KB]

Preservation of our wetlands is important for all the species that live in these environments and the wonderful recreational opportunities they offer all New Zealanders. This science-based unit is designed to make students aware of valuing water quality and gain an appreciation of these unique wetland environments.

DOC Wetlands Main Page

Further DOC Website Wetland Links

Wetlands of NZ by Region

Why Wetlands are Important

You Can Help Wetlands

WONDERFUL WOOL.pdf : Subscription Only Download [96 KB]

Science, Social Sciences and English related unit where students learn about the properties, economic importance,and the uses of wool – our wonderful natural fibre

                 Wool Scouring

www.woolsnz.com  (includes further links and video clips)

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.


Celebrate Arbor Day

Arbor Day Lesson Plans and Ideas