Years EC -10


Years EC -10


Rotokare's Eco-Detectives Trail contains 9 unique modules that cover a variety of aspects of nature, wildlife, and conservation in New Zealand. Our modules are designed to complement the NZ Curriculum with intrinsic ties to the Science, Social Science, and Technology learning areas, with acute focus on the Living World and Nature of Science (NoS) strands. Teachers and educators can this tailor their trip to Rotokare with a focus and objective, and choose what outcomes their students would gain from the trip.

'Mouse over' the modules below for more information.

Plants are Cool

Years 1-10

Plants are vital to life on Earth; our forests are its lungs. Students will learn about the diversity of New Zealand plants and the amazing adaptations they have employed to survive. Activities include mirror walks to explore the canopy, "Poo Bombs" for natural plant propagation, plant quadrat sampling, plant scavenger hunt, Survivor Rotokare to find plants for survival, and more.

Key Concepts

The identification, classification, and diversity of New Zealand plants; plant evolution and adaptation; plant lifecycles; pollination; seed dispersal; photosynthesis, wetland and forest plants; stratification and the structure of the forest; conservation; and the importance and use of plants to humans and other animals.

Wetland Treasure Trovel

Years 1-10

Much of New Zealand's wetlands have been lost forever. Students will discover the amazing world of wetlands and the importance of conserving them. Activities include wetland water quality assessment, studies on native fish and eels, macroinvertebrate sampling, World of Water simulation, wetland simulations, and more.

Key Concepts

Wetland habitat diversity; water quality monitoring; wetland conservation; wetland biodiversity; human impact on the environment; the value of freshwater and wetlands.

Nature's Recycling

Years 1-10

Nothing is wasted in nature; unlike humans, nature has no need for a wheelie bin! Different organisms form natures "clean-up crew" who ensure the nutrient cycle continues. Students experience first-hand how the forest lives and dies, meeting key members of nature's clean-up crew along the way. Activities include bug hunting, waste segregation exercises, recycling wastes for animal use, and more.

Key Concepts

Decomposition; food webs; interdependence; nutrient cycling; waste and recycling; impacts of human waste on the environment.

Conservation and Biodiversity

Years 1-10

A broad unit that covers various aspects of New Zealand conservation, with special attention is given to the importance of conservation and the scientific methods used in conservation. Teachers may choose to focus on: 3-Steps to Conservation (broad unit), Predators and Trapping, Creating Habitats for Natives, Biodiversity (Birds or Insects, see "What is That" module). Activities could include Tracking Tunnels, Predator Murder Mystery, Camouflage game, Volunteer's Backpack, and more.

Key Concepts

Biodiversity; conservation; the sanctuary concept; pests and predators; plant and animal adaptation and evolution; sustainability.

Extraordinary Ecosystems

Years 1-8

A healthy functioning ecosystem requires the interdependence of both living and non-living factors. Students will appreciate the balance of New Zealand's native ecosystems and understand how humans have altered these environments with the introduction of exotic plants and animals. Students get a hands-on experience collecting data from the different aspects of one or more different ecosystems. Teachers may choose to focus on either Forest Ecosystem or Wetland Ecosystem.

Key Concepts

Food webs and chains; trophic levels; nutrient cycling; interdependence; abiotic and biotic factors; ecosystem services.

What is that?

Years 1-10

An introduction to the world of animals and/or plants. Students will enjoy hands on activities discovering classification- what makes an animal and a plant, and their special adaptations in general categories and specific to New Zealand. Teachers may choose to focus on one of the following: Bird, Invertebrate, or Plant Adaptations. Activities include beak/mouth adaptation exercises, feet adaptation matchup, camouflage games, kiwi evolution, and more.

Key Concepts

Classification and identification of plants and animals; biodiversity of native plant and animal life; evolution; species adaptations; habitat evolution and interdependence.

A Sensory Explosion!

ECE, Year 1

Explore the sights, sounds and smells of the forest and wetlands. Students enjoy sensory awareness activities to explore the environment, including tasting kawakawa leaves, feeling different natural elements, learning bird calls, and using sign language in the bush. Students are empowered to discover native environments in a simple, yet powerful way.

Key Concepts

Our senses; biodiversity; colours and shapes in nature; confidence and awareness in the forest and wetlands.

Stewardship Superheros

Years 7-10

Students are drawn into an interactive drama (which is catered specifically to each classes needs). Their journey begins at school, where they are introduced to a specific scenario. During the visit they all become young scientists gathering any evidence (bug hunts, bird counts, vegetation studies etc) to aid them in the drama that will unfold in the education centre. Drama scenarios could include an environmental court hearing, an exercise in conservation ethics, a community or political debate, or aiding an alien planet with conservation advice.

Key Concepts

KKaitiakitanga (stewardship); conservation and sustainability; social action and environmental responsibility; the importance of balance between conservation, economics, and recreation; conservation ethics; the values of natural environment (wetlands and forests).

Ko te Tikanga Manaaki a te Maori te Ngahere

Years 1-10

When Maori arrived in Aotearoa, there weren't any supermarkets or hospitals; they relied on the forests, wetlands, and the ocean to survive. Students will get an insight into these amazing traditions by taking part in a range of hands-on activities which may include creating your own traps for food, rongoa or medicinal uses of plants, tasting traditional kawakawa tea, devising uses for traditional materials, and more.

Key Concepts

Matauranga Maori concepts; rongoa or traditional medicinal use of plants; food and clothing, kaitiakitanga (stewardship); the importance of forests and wetlands to Maori; Rotokare's traditional history.