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Last reviewed: Thu, 19 Mar 2015

Junior Park Explorers - Ngā Kairangahau Paaka

Students looking at insects
This programme immerses younger students in the wonders of nature in their local regional park.  Students go bug hunting and make friends with a tree.  Birds, plants and insects are brought to life through story telling and interactive activities. 
Year level:New entrant–Year 2
Curriculum level:1-2
Availability:Predominantly in Terms One and Four
Times:9.30am-11.45am or 12.15pm-2.30pm
Site:Your local regional park: the Groynes, the Botanic Gardens, Halswell Quarry, Victoria Park, Spencer Park and Travis Wetland
Cost:  Free
Number of classes:One at a time
(one class = a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 30 students)


Programme outline

Key concepts
Interdependence of the birds, plants and animals, taking care of natural areas and personal responsibility for action.

Lesson description/intentions
Possible activities include making friends with a tree, going on an insect hunt, exploring the tree tops, playing a tumbling trees game and telling a story about saving a park. Activities will be adjusted according to your students' age, attention span and interest levels as well as the site chosen.

Possible success criteria
Students may be able to:

  • Give at least one reason why this place is special for them.
  • Name at least two of the plants, birds and/or insects that like to live in the park.
  • Identify some places that different birds and/or insects live.
  • Explain that living organisms need food, water and shelter to survive.
  • State one thing that they can do to look after this environment.

Key Competencies

  • Thinking - students will use creative, critical and metacognitive processes to make sense of their surroundings and the organisms living in their local park
  • Managing self - we aim to empower students to see themselves as capable learners by presenting them with engaging, interactive activities
  • Participating and contributing - students are invited to become involved in their local community by considering how they can take responsibility for local community areas.


"Great interaction with the children, both educators were fantastic and made the outing very exciting with their enthusiasm."
Teacher, Year 2

"The content was pitched perfectly for this age group. The paced moved well. The timing was just right."
Teacher, Year 2

"Some people saw worms and little spiders... It was fun. I was really, really happy."
Student, Year 2

Learning areas



Nature of science

Level 1

  • Investigating in science
  • Communicating in science
  • Participating and contributing

Living world

Level 1

  • Life processes
  • Ecology

Planet Earth and beyond

Level 1

  • Earth systems

Social sciences


Level 1

  • Understand how places in New Zealand are significant for individuals and groups

Health and physical education

Personal health and physical development

Level 1

  • Safety management

Movement concepts and motor skills

Level 1

  • Positive attitudes/challenges and social and cultural factors

Relationships with other people

Level 1

  • Identity, sensitivity and respect

Healthy communities and environments

Level 1

  • Rights, responsibilities and laws/people and the environment

Authorising Unit: Business Support

Last reviewed: Thursday, 19 March 2015

Next review: Saturday, 19 March 2016

Keywords: biodiversity, junior, learning, learning through action, park

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