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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.


Social Sciences Units

(0001)ancestors.pdf : [142 KB]

NEW Zealand’s first Polynesian settlers likely came from a varied background rather than a tight-knit group, say scientists studying the DNA of remains unearthed in Marlborough, on South Island.

Download this News Release to use with 'Who Do You Think You Are' unit in starters&strategies, Term Four, 2012.

(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. 

(01) SHELL SHOCK INFO.pdf : [65 KB]


Please note: Some student guidance may be needed for the video below.


(01)Sustainable Electricity Generation.pdf : Subscription Only Download [288 KB]

A cross-curricular (STEM) unit best suited to years 6-10+ that begins by exploring the impacts of electricity on our everyday lives, the history of electricity in New Zealand and methods of production for full class investigation. The unit then focuses on producing electricity using only renewable sources. Students investigate how hydro and wind energy is produced, how households can cut back on their power, what households must consider when choosing solar power, the advantages of electric vehicles, and how to have an electric efficient home.

(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. 


The majority of our school students live in cities and unlike 50 years ago, most of our families and students have never visited, worked on, or had a holiday on a farm.
Most students are vaguely aware of the animals found on our farms and how farmers care for and respect their animals. Students may not have a clear idea about the lifestyles of farming families and the career opportunities available.

The combined agriculture sector is the lifeblood our economy and when it prospers, so too does New Zealand

Websites supporting this unit.

Dairy Farming in NZ for Teachers and Students

NZ Agricultural Education

AIRPORTS IN OUR COMMUNITY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [91 KB]

In this unit we get students to look at the pros and cons of having airports in a local community. What benefits do they bring? What problems might they cause? Are there any environmental issues to be considered? The unit concludes with an exciting airport drama composed and acted out by students who are going on an imaginary holiday.

Videos supporting this unit.



ALL ABOUT APPLES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [102 KB]

As well as having health-giving qualities, apples play a major part in our overseas export drive. In this unit, students research the different types of apples by district, locate the countries that we export our apples to and conclude with a 'Creative' promotion of a new apple variety.

New Zealand 10 Most Popular Apple Varieties

History of New Zealand Apples (and pears) Te Ara

ALL ABOUT SUGAR.pdf : Subscription Only Download [135 KB]

Why is sugar important? How do we taste things? What is the history of sugar? Where is it grown? How is it refined. Social sciences and science activities on a sugar theme.

History of New Zealand Sugar

AN MP'S DAY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [98 KB]

In this unit, students focus on the duties, responsibilities and daily life of their local MP and also the personal family sacrifices they must make. Students will gain a wider understanding of the function of an MP in the democratic process.

How Our Parliament Works


ancestors.pdf : [66 KB]

ANCIENT OLYMPIC TRUCE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [88 KB]

In this unit, students look closely at the beliefs of the ancient Greeks and the important part the Olympic Truce played. Download the copymaster on ancient olympism below for students.

History of the Olympic Games

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



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.


BEING A KIWI.pdf : Subscription Only Download [170 KB]

What does it mean to be a New Zealander? Where did your family come from? What did they bring with them? Why did they come? What do you know about the Treaty of Waitangi? What does it say? Why is New Zealand special? All this and more is explored in this major social sciences unit. We conclude by planning and running a New Zealand/Aotearoa festival at school.

NZ Herald Article on Being  Kiwi

7 Defining Characteristics of Being A Kiwi

                  NZ Political Values and Being a Kiwi


                  What Does It Mean to Be a Kiwi? - Video

BEING A REPRESENTATIVE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [98 KB]

Before students begin to understand how our democracy works, they need to explore the meaning of the word representative and the attributes that such a person should have. The unit concludes with knowing about and contacting their local parliamentary rep and finding out what local electorate concerns the district has through conducting an email survey.


BEING PREPARED.pdf : Subscription Only Download [111 KB]

What natural disasters can we be threatened by in New Zealand? What disasters have we experienced? Can we cope? Do we have a disaster plan? How does society cope with a disaster? What common-sense steps can we take to make ourselves and our families better prepared?


BERLIN WALL.pdf : Subscription Only Download [133 KB]

The Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 bringing to an end, one of the most cruel and divisive episodes in the cold war and once again re-uniting Germany as a nation and re-uniting family members cut off from each other by the Berlin Wall. This unit provides an historical context to enable students to begin to understand the seeds of the building of the wall, the consequences it had and the jubilation that followed. The videos below will provide students with a powerful insight into the political and ideological folly of the Berlin Wall.

Videos supporting this unit.

Moments in History – The Fall of the Berlin Wall


                  Fall of Berlin Wall - Live Footage

                  The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall (1)


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. 

CELEBRATING NZ INNOVATION.pdf : Subscription Only Download [75 KB]

Celebrating New Zealand Innovation and Quality

This unit is about understanding and finding out how manufacturing has changed to allow New Zealand to compete in the global market. We have become innovators and trade on quality. In this unit, students will explore and celebrate the work of New Zealand manufacturers in an economic context.

CelebratingCulturalDiversity.pdf : [775 KB]

Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Learners and families bring diverse and exciting linguistic and cultural funds of knowledge to the class and the school. It is vital that this knowledge is valued and represented in the classrooms. Using this unit will give your school a richer and more exciting learning environment and fulfils the aims of the New Zealand Curriculum.

CHILD RIGHTS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [116 KB]

Important issues and discussions based on the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Students examine these rights and come up with a classroom charter of child rights and ways they can implement them. Visit the Te Ara Website below for the story and digital resources.

 New Zealand Children's Rights

CITY AND COUNTRY GAP.pdf : Subscription Only Download [108 KB]

This unit deals with the following key ideas:

The majority of our students live in cities. Many are not lucky enough to have had a farm holiday or to have worked on a farm.Many of them are only vaguely aware of what animals are found on a farm and how they are cared for. Sometimes what happens to farm animals is difficult for city dwellers to accept. We need to find out more before making a judgment.

CLASS MEETINGS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [99 KB]

The first basic democratic understanding that most students have is through participating in class meetings. In this unit they explore this basic democratic institution and find out how it works and the benefits it will bring.

Class Meeting Ideas

CLEAN AIR.pdf : Subscription Only Download [92 KB]

LETS HERE IT FOR CLEAN AIR. 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. Most suitable for curriculum levels 2-4


Websites for Clean Air and Pollution Research


The Air We Breathe


We All Need Clean Air


Air Quality in NZ



I Breathe What?


Air Now Resources for Students


Air Now Resources for Teachers


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.


(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.

COLLECTING STAMPS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [109 KB]

The simple and ever-popular activity of collecting and analysing stamps provides countless activities and opportunities for teaching and learning in the social sciences.

Website links supporting this unit.

About Stamps

Stamp Collecting

Stamp Collecting With NZ Post

CONFLICT AND MEDIATION.pdf : Subscription Only Download [87 KB]


We all have likes, dislikes and preferences and at times this can bring us into conflict with each other. This social sciences unit examines how we can resolve these conflicts. Students will examine the following:

Knowing and understanding why we have rules and laws; how people exercise rights and responsibilities; how people can organise themselves in response to disputes and how they can be resolved; identifying rights and responsibilities people have within a group or in society and understaning the importance of mediation in normal human interaction.

CULTURAL FESTIVAL.pdf : Subscription Only Download [106 KB]

Little known, but equally important, is the celebration of cultures, music, literature and arts from around the world at the same time as, and under the banner of, the Olympic Games. In this social sciences unit we get students to think about the meaning of culture, why it is important and the joys of cultural diversity – within a school and local community session. The unit concludes with the planning and running a cultural festival.


DAIRY FARMING.pdf : Subscription Only Download [197 KB]

Dairy exports earn about 30% of all money we earn from overseas exports a d is known as 'the engine room of our economy'. In this unit, students explore why this is so and why dairy farming is so successful in New Zealand. Students learn about the dairy products we export and consider the jobs and careers that are available and related to our dairy industry and why many young people now seriously consider it as a career.

DESTINATION PACIFIC PT 1.pdf : Subscription Only Download [117 KB]

This social sciences based double unit uses a related arts/cross curricula approach. Students plan and have the holiday of their dreams and choose between three popular Pacific destinations – Vanuatu, Samoa, or Cook Islands. Using web research they take a virtual holiday, find out about the country visited and take part in many and varied activities. Most suitable for a major English unit.


             Vanuatu Video

             Cook Islands Video

             Samoa Video

DESTINATION PACIFIC PT 2.pdf : Subscription Only Download [103 KB]

This social sciences based double unit uses a related arts/cross curricula approach. Students plan and have the holiday of their dreams and choose between three popular Pacific destinations – Vanuatu, Samoa, or Cook Islands. Using web research they take a virtual holiday, find out about the country visited and take part in many and varied activities. Most suitable for a major English unit.

DISTRICT DATABASE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [70 KB]

The best way of finding out about other places in New Zealand is going there – but obviously this is not practical. In this unit, students are encouraged to create their own district database and publish it on the school/class website. They must decide what the database should contain and how they will get the information. Once published, students will communicate with other classes around the country and encourage them to do the same so they can learn more about their country.

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.

ENERGY WISE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [88 KB]

Social Sciences and Science based investigations in to how we can all use energy more efficiently and wisely. As well as saving us money it also saves our country money and improves our local environment.



ENJOY AND PROTECT RIVERS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [89 KB]

Social Sciences: Place and Environment Unit. 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.

ENVIRONMENTAL WOF.pdf : Subscription Only Download [109 KB]

Would your classroom, school and district qualify for an 'Environmental Warrant of Fitness'? What criteria would we judge it by? A major unit for students on a social science and environmental theme.

EXCHANGE RATES AND TRADE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [111 KB]

An social sciences economics unit. A beginners guide to how an economy works, why we trade, how it eventuated and what affects our exchange rates (they go up and down). The unit concludes by introducing the concept of why it is important for countries to keep trading – especially during recessionary times. This unit can be used in conjunction with the financial literacy series (see below).

FARMING AND CLIMATE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [108 KB]

Cross curricula social science ideas based ideas that enable students to see the close relationship between climate and agriculture – the sector that provides 60% of our exports. The unit can also be used for science and temperature based activities, English communication opportunities plus music and visual art ideas.


The first of four major units to introduce your class to the concept of financial literacy – money and how it works.

Unit one deals with the concepts of goods and services, the advent of trading societies and how money began and why it was 'invented'.

Websites supporting these units.

The Mint – Games, Activities, Resources

10 Money Education Games and Lessons

Classroom Financial Teaching Activities

FINANCIAL LITERACY 2.pdf : Subscription Only Download [120 KB]

Unit two deals with currency and New Zealand's notes and coins, making a class monetary system, what we use money for and an introduction to overseas currency.

FINANCIAL LITERACY 3.pdf : Subscription Only Download [103 KB]

Unit three deals with the concepts of choices we make about money, differences between needs and wants and earning and spending money. The unit concludes by exploring the concept of setting and achieving savings goals.

FINANCIAL LITERACY 4.pdf : Subscription Only Download [172 KB]

The series of units concludes with a close look at what banks do, how they work, and the special services that banks offer to their customers.

Additional Resources for this Unit

History of Money Slideshows

British Museum History of Money – Video

What Banks Do With Money

FINANCIAL LITERACY STRATEGIES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [101 KB]

Financial literacy for students can be defined as a set of skills that allows them to make informed and effective decisions about money. It is also about understanding what money is and how to manage it.

This major unit is divided into two parts; part one provides a series of starters across all curriculum areas; part two is a major unit exploring the concept of self gratification, setting savings goals, and how to achieve them.



FINDING A JOB.pdf : Subscription Only Download [111 KB]

Everyone has once said 'when I grow up I want to be a …' but we know that mostly things turn out very differently. In this major social science unit, students focus on the difference between work, jobs and occupations, look at what job seekers look for in a job and what employers look for when employing a job seeker. They are challenged to list what an employer wants from an employee, find out about CVs and role play job interviews etc. The unit concludes with putting their knowledge to work to find part-time work for themselves.

FISH ANOTHER DAY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [106 KB]

In this social sciences and science 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

New Zealand Seafood Industry – Video

FISH FOR THE FUTURE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [99 KB]

Social Science: Place and Environment, Economic Activities where students conduct investigations into:
• Finding how we perceive and interact with our marine environment and why we must learn to respect this environmental relationship.
• Understanding the scope of and importance of the seafood industry to New Zealand and its economy.

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

FRUIT FLY SCARE.pdf : [100 KB]


Today: (Friday 11 May, 2012) Queensland Fruit Fly has been found in a monitoring trap at Mt Roskill in Auckland. While investigations continue to see how widespread the infestation is – this is the ideal time to bring home to your students the shocking consequences for our country if this pest became established. This unit will bring home top students the huge economic consequences for New Zealand if this pest became established.



Use in conjunction with Fruit Fly Scare Unit



This provides an opportunity for our students to learn about, reflect on and honour the contribution and sacrifice made by New Zealanders in the service of their country. It is important that our students know about the extraordinary contributions that were made, and continue to be made in defence of beliefs and the protection of the freedoms that we all enjoy as a nation. Use for ANZAC Day commemoration or at any time for your social sciences classroom programme.



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

HOW THE LAW WORKS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [103 KB]

In this unit, students learn that there are hierarchies in decision making, both at school and in our courts. Students will conduct research and interviews to find out about our many courts, their purposes and how they work.

How the NZ Jury System Works (Link to Video)

Immunisation.pdf : Subscription Only Download [335 KB]

Immunisation is very much in the news at present and although immunisation has prevented more suffering, saved more lives than any other medical invention and is one of the safest and most effective procedures in modern medicine, there are some people still do not vaccinate their children based on myths about vaccination and a total lack of knowledge of the facts. 

In this major unit students will learn about: fighting diseases and infection, how vaccination started, world-wide epidemics and pandemics, how vaccination works, deciding to immunise and fact verses fiction. The unit concludes with further activities about immunisation awareness and getting the message out.

Websites Supporting this Lesson (Live Links)

Fighting Infection (Science Learning Hub)

List of World-wide Epidemics

How Immunisation Works (NZ Immunisation Advisory Centre)

Serious Epidemics in New Zealand

Myths and Facts About Vaccination

Video Links Supporting this Lesson

How Vaccines Changed Modern Medicine Videos

Fighting Infection Videos (Science Learning Hub)

Edward Jenner Video

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.

JUSTICE, FAIRNESS AND RESOLUTION.pdf : Subscription Only Download [1 MB]

In this second in the series we look at the causes of personal differences and challenge students to think of ways that they can be resolved. Students then look at a hypothetical case that is settled by a mediator and the next steps that can be taken to resolve the dispute between neighbours. Students next invite a mediator to the classroom to explain how disputes are settled fairly in the 'real world and then apply these lessons to classroom disputes in the future.

LIFE'S A RISKY BUSINESS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [124 KB]

Social Sciences unit where students explore the basic principles of risk, how we manage it and how and why we ensure against it. We also explore the basic principles of the insurance industry and how the insurance industry began.

LITTER FREE ENVIRONMENT.pdf : Subscription Only Download [97 KB]

Keeping our school and local environment litter free is healthy and promotes pride in how we interact with our environment. A major unit where students look at their environment, investigate and establish recycling schemes and develop a sense of pride in keeping the environment litter free.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT AWARENESS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [100 KB]

How aware are your students of the important role played by local government? In this unit, students research and explore the important role that our local government has and the responsibility it has to the local community. Students also learn about why it is important for a local community to vote and have their say in how their community functions.

MANAGING RISK.pdf : Subscription Only Download [167 KB]

Part two where students explore the things we can do to manage risk through common sense, how we can insure the things we love and the different types of insurances we can take out.

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


NEW ZEALAND HEROES – KATE SHEPPARD.pdf : Subscription Only Download [95 KB]

Kate Sheppard, the leader of the women’s suffrage movement in New Zealand and ensured that New Zealand women were the first in the world to receive the vote. A true hero, both in our eyes and in the eyes of women all over the world as she paved the way for them to also get the vote.

NEW ZEALAND HEROES – KATHERINE MANSFIELD.pdf : Subscription Only Download [92 KB]

In this social sciences unit we look at a very unlikely and probably reluctant hero – Katherine Mansfield. Even though she spent most of her tragically short life away from New Zealand, she is revered by most in New Zealand literary circles as our greatest ever writer

NEW ZEALAND HEROES – REWI ALLEY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [108 KB]

In this social sciences unit we take students on an optimistic journey to celebrate Rewi Alley – a New Zealand Hero and Optimist. Students will explore how Rewi Alley tackled important issues and participated in social action during an extremely turbulent time in Chinese history. Levels 3-6.

Rewi Alley Historical Video (New Zealand OnScreen

NEW ZEALAND HEROES – RICHARD PEARSE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [106 KB]

Visionary aviator and eccentric, Richard Pearse is regarded by many as the first person ever to experience and invent powered flight. So why were the Wright Brothers credited with this honour by history? Find out all about one of our New Zealand Heroes.


NEW ZEALAND HEROES – SIR EDMUND HILLARY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [110 KB]

In this social sciences unit we encourage students to explore the life and times of this remarkable and modest man who is revered throughout the world – not just for his magnificent achievements but for the positive way he represented all that can be decent, kind, caring and unspoiled in the human character.

NOT WANTED IN NZ.pdf : Subscription Only Download [119 KB]

This unit's focus is on visitors – plant, animal and food – that are not wanted in New Zealand. Students discover where and why unwanted visitors arrived and their consequences for the country. Students research animal and plant pests and diseases. The unit concludes with students re-creating and examining an in-flight biosecurity video script and running a biosecurity presentation.

NOT WANTED IN NZ 2.pdf : Subscription Only Download [26 KB]

A Bio-Security Inflight Script to go with the above unit.

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.



NZ ShakeOut.pdf : [213 KB]


In this major multi-level Health/Social Sciences based unit we:

Identify the risks posed by earthquakes and other hazards. 

Research and  put safe practices into action to manage these risks.

Understand how a major disaster could affect all families and the local community and that preparedness and co-operation will be needed to minimise its impact.

Understand the importance of co-operatively making a household emergency plan, what it includes, and the reasons for the inclusion of specific items and actions.

Understand why and how people take actions to minimise risk in their relationship with the environment.

OLYMPIC DAY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [97 KB]

Olympic Day is celebrated on the 23 June each year. Schools normally celebrate with an Olympic Day Run but it is also a chance to examine the ideas behind the Olympic Movement – the principles of Olympism. Students are provided with activities to explore and understand fair play, rules, ethics, and why we should always strive to do our best.

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.



PARLIAMENTARY ROLE PLAY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [105 KB]


A social sciences unit designed to help students understand the workings of our democratic processes. Perhaps the best way for students to gain an idea of how parliament debate works is to role play a debate and become the Members of Parliament and the Parliamentary staff. In this role play, we simplify the process and choose a topic that students find important and can easily relate to.

  Latest Videos from ParliamentLive Stream and Information

PELORUS JACK AND OTHER LEGENDS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [113 KB]

Wellington Harbour is the subject of many legends. In this unit we share these legends – both Maori and European with the class and learn about the legendary dolphin – Pelorus Jack. Students then investigate other New Zealand and local legends and paint murals and create dramas to enhance learnings and present to other classes.

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

PROTECTING OUR BORDERS 1.pdf : Subscription Only Download [115 KB]

Two major units to raise student and community awareness about keep our country free from pests and diseases. In part 2, students will look more deeply at the major economic consequences for our country if any of these pests or diseases became established.

PROTECTING OUR BORDERS 2.pdf : Subscription Only Download [114 KB]

Two major units to raise student and community awareness about keep our country free from pests and diseases. In part 2, students will look more deeply at the major economic consequences for our country if any of these pests or diseases became established.



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

Re-Branding New Zealand.pdf : Subscription Only Download [380 KB]

Re-Branding New Zealand

In this unit we explore the concept of branding New Zealand for business and help our students take pride in our past and present achievements. By exploring our past and present, students will be better able to ‘tell our story’ – a story of New Zealanders making things happen and daring to do things differently. Understanding and promoting this ‘point of difference’ is the key to our success on the world stage – now and in the future.

RESPECTING COPYRIGHT.pdf : Subscription Only Download [97 KB]

Understanding how innovation and creativity creates opportunities for people and the responsibility we have as a society to support, encourage and respect their endeavours.

Seaweek One Ocean.pdf : Subscription Only Download [125 KB]


In this unit we celebrate the passion we all feel for the sea and explore what the sea means to different people – be it the love of fishing, as a place where we we work, the joy of scuba diving, the tranquility of a deserted beach at dawn, observation and enjoyment of birds and sea mamals or just simply a special place where we relax with friends and family over the summer. We can’t give our ocean too much love or respec.





SELECT COMMITTEES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [112 KB]

A social sciences unit designed to help students understand the workings of our democratic processes. In this unit we study the select committee system of Parliament by allowing students to follow the select committee process as a class in a way that is meaningful and relevant to classroom and school life.

SISTER CITIES 1.pdf : Subscription Only Download [109 KB]

Unit one introduces the concept of people-to-people Sister Cities – aiming to foster international friendship and understanding. Students also explore council websites to see what sister city relationships are all ready in place, how they started, how they are maintained and the ways in which the people from each sister city interact with each other.

SISTER CITIES 2.pdf : Subscription Only Download [92 KB]

Unit two invites students to take practical steps and make a school-to-school practical link with another school in Japan.

SISTER CITIES LIST.pdf : Subscription Only Download [195 KB]

Map of Japan showing Japanese cities and their New Zealand sister cities relationship.

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

A healthy global and local environment is a natural partner of the Olympic ideals. 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.

STAMPS AND HISTORY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [106 KB]

Stamps provide wonderful learning opportunities for students as they reflect the history, environment and culture of our country. Not only does a study of New Zealand stamps provide stimulating social sciences opportunities but also provides students with examples of design excellence. In this unit we focus on the history of stamps and then take a closer look at the design and cultural elements that make our stamps highly prized by collectors both in New Zealand and amongst international collectors.








STAMPS FOR MOTIVATION.pdf : Subscription Only Download [72 KB]

There is probably no quicker way to find out about the culture and geography of a country than to study the stamps it issues. In this unit we look back on New Zealand stamp issues and find out what they tell us about the country. Students then try their own hand at choosing topics for stamps and designing their own. 



SustainabilityCalendar2019.pdf : [1 MB]

Sustainability Calendar 2019

Education for sustainability (EFS) challenges and engages students to think and act in ways that shows respect for and safeguards our precious environment. EFS encourages students to learn about: the total environment, the interactions between human activities and the natural environment; the consequences of these nteractions and discovering the many choices we can make to prevent and reduce activities that have an adverse environmental effect. EFS lessons and topics can cover all curriculum areas and support the attitudes and values of the NZ Curriculum. 

The web-links to each event or theme will provide you with ideas for lesson plans and classroom activities for each event including: pre-prepared lesson plans; video; information and websites for student research; student activities; images and ideas and suggestions for taking class, school and community actions in projects and actions to sustain and improve the sustainability of our environment. 

Keep dates flexible so activities can be carried out to fit in with your class programme or if the event falls during holidays or over a weekend.

SustainableFishing.pdf : Subscription Only Download [502 KB]

In this unit students will:

understand the special relationship New Zealanders have with the sea, including how it provides us with kaimoana and recreational opportunities
gain an understanding of the fragility of our marine envionment and understand the special measures we take, now and in the future, to preserve this precious resource for the future


Web Links Including Videos

Fishing Industry Video

Te Ara –Preventing Pollution

How to Release Fish

Teamwork Unit.pdf : Subscription Only Download [102 KB]

TEAMWORK IS EVERYTHING: Health & PE/Social Sciences Unit.

Teamwork is Everything is a new unit designed for teaching students in Years 3-8 about the value of working together as a team. Students consider what team membership is; the benefits of team membership and how to work together successfully as a team and as a team member. The unit concludes with discovering and identifying team membership desirsble values students listing the personal actions they can take to demonstrate these team membership values.


Teaching Teamwork

Stories About Teamwork


Two Motivational Videos (YouTube)

Video One

Video Two

TELEVISION IN NEWZEALAND.pdf : Subscription Only Download [88 KB]

After 50 years of analogue TV,  New Zealand television switched to digital TV. In this unit we look back over 50 years history of television in New Zealand and how it has shaped our lives.

50 Years of New Zealand Television

History of NZ Television News

First 5 years of NZ Television

First Official TV Broadcast

NZ TV News History

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

THE COMMONWEALTH.pdf : Subscription Only Download [107 KB]

In this cross curricular unit we explore the concept of the family of nations known as the Commonwealth, how the modern Commonwealth functions, and explore the history and meaning of the Commonwealth Games.





Copymaster for students explaining how and why toys can pose a safety hazard – especially for young children. It also outlines what types of toys to choose for children with a focus on matching the toy to the age of the child. Use in conjunction with the above unit.

TOY SAFETY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [681 KB]

Toys have been around in some form since humans first arrived on the planet. In this cross curricula unit we investigate the history of toys and how fashions and fads have changed over the years. Students then focus on the safety issues that the explosion of modern-day toy choices can pose for children – especially young children. The unit concludes with the students planning and running a school and local district toy safety campaign.


Safe Toys

NZ Information For Parents

 Toy Safety Videos

Toy Safety Video One

Toy Safety Video Two

UNDERSTANDING AN ECONOMY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [90 KB]

Practical activities from the resources and economic strand. The class will be creating a classroom economy where groups of students or individuals will combine to produce goods or services which they will sell to other members of the class, the school, and the school community. The success of their ventures will be judged by how successful they are in creating a demand for and selling their goods or services.

UNDERSTANDING AQUACULTURE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [1 MB]

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.

VISITING FIJI.pdf : Subscription Only Download [91 KB]

In spite of the political trouble in recent years, Fiji is still a popular place for New Zealand tourists to visit. What would it be like to visit Fiji on holiday. An investigation for students.

WARS AND CONFLICTS.pdf : Subscription Only Download [111 KB]

This unit brings into focus the reality of war and its effect on children. During the past decade over 2 million children have been killed in wars – both between countries and civil wars within countries. The unit concludes with a look at conflict between friends and within families and how we can avoid these conflicts.


Conserving and Respecting Water – It's a Taonga

In this cross-curricula unit, students discover and explore the water cycle, why all living things need water, how living things use water, where our drinking water comes from and the measures we take to keep it safe for drinking. The unit concludes with involving the students in learning how to conserve water use around the garden and the home.

Understanding the Water Cycle

Extensive Water Cycle-based Video Collection

Choose Pictures for Water Cycle Presentation

WAY BACK IN 1956.pdf : Subscription Only Download [60 KB]

Further ideas and activities for exploring the past with a particular focus on the Continuiting and Change social science strand.

WAY BACK WHEN.pdf : Subscription Only Download [172 KB]

What was life like when your parents and grandparents went to school? What did they read? What games did they play? What music and games were popular? What else has changed? Is it for the better? Social science historical investigation topics.

WHAT IS BIOSECURITY.pdf : Subscription Only Download [100 KB]

To understand why biosecurity is so important to New Zealand, students must first explore and gain an understanding of why exports are so important to our country – in particular, our agricultural exports. Student also explore some basic economic principles such as why we import and where the money comes from to pay for our imports. The unit concludes with activities to help students understand the consequences of unwanted pests and diseases and why such a high value is placed on biosecurity.

Additional Resource for this Unit


WHAT IS OLYMPISIM.pdf : Subscription Only Download [87 KB]

A major unit where students explore the principles of Olympism including balanced development, the joy found in effort being a good role model and the six ethics of Olympism. The unit concludes with a sport challenge to help them apply the principles of modern Olympism.

WHO'S IN OUR COMMONWEALTH.pdf : Subscription Only Download [110 KB]

A more detailed look at what makes our Commonwealth of Nations, who is in it, how the countries differ … plus a more detailed look at and activities to complete when a Commonwealth Games is taking place.

WHY NATIONS TRADE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [114 KB]

APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) is an ideal focus for students to explore and gain understanding of the following important social sciences concepts …
- the reasons why people and nations need to exchange goods and services
- explaining different processes by which goods and services are exchanged
- understanding why people, countries and organisations seek to gain access to the resources of nations other than their own
- learn about an important international organisation and how it benefits all of its members

WHY WE HAVE RULES.pdf : Subscription Only Download [125 KB]

In a democratic society we have rules and laws that we follow to make it easier (and safer) for people to live and work together. In this unit, students explore the difference between rules and laws, their effectiveness and the reasons we have them. Practical activities and challenges.

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)

WOOD – AN IMPORTANT RESOURCE.pdf : Subscription Only Download [126 KB]

Using forests and wood as a context, students will learn how people interact with places and the environment and learn how people participate in economic activities and the importance of the wood industry to New Zealand’s economic health and the jobs it provides for people.