Ngā kaitia, ngā kaikauhoe me ngā kūkūtai. Take a trip to Travis Wetland, Christchurch's largest freshwater wetland and a precious habitat for native wetland plants and creatures.

Students searching the wetlandsStudents learn about the importance of wetlands and explore local biodiversity.

Go pond-dipping to discover underwater species, get behind a pair of binoculars to observe the birdlife, and consider the potential human impact on food chains.

Year level 3 to 10
Curriculum level 1 to 5
Availability Year-round
Times 9.30am to 12noon, or 
12.15pm to 2.30pm
Site Travis Wetland
Cost Free
Number of students Maximum of 35

For a full day, with two classes, teachers can lead a self-guided walk around the wetland using the resource, Travis Wetland Walk: A Field Guide (free to teachers booking a programme at Travis Wetland) while the other class takes part in Wetland Waders and Waterboatmen. All students break for lunch together and then rotate classes.

In wet conditions, gumboots are recommended.

Key concepts

Biodiversity of a wetland, interdependence of the plants and animals in a wetland system, native and introduced species, social decision making, conservation.

Lesson description/intentions
Students will go pond dipping to find out what lives in the water at Travis Wetland, identifying the water invertebrates through a hands-on approach. They will be able to observe animal life in the bird hide using binoculars, and will be involved in practical rehabilitation of the wetland. At the information kiosk students will be able to read and hear about the past, present and future directions for Travis Wetland.

Possible success criteria

Students may be able to:

  • describe what Christchurch was like in the past
  • explain why wetlands are valued and give reasons for their protection
  • name several creatures that live in a wetland and why they live in this habitat
  • describe the relationships between plants and animals, and the implications for people living in and around a wetland
  • identify actions they can take to help protect wetlands and other waterways.

Key competencies

  • Participating and contributing – students are invited to become actively involved in contributing to the quality and sustainability of the Travis Wetland ecosystem.
  • Using language, symbols, and texts – students will explore the history of Travis Wetland through visual, oral and written texts; communicating and applying their learning through the activities offered.
Learning areas Strands Curriculum level Achievement objectives
Science Nature of science 2 to 5
  • Investigating in science
  • Communicating in science
  • Participating and contributing
Science Living world 2 to 4
  • Life processes
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
Science Planet Earth and beyond 2 to 4
  • Earth systems
Social sciences   2
  • Understand how places influence people and people influence places
  • Understand how the status of Maori as tangata whenua is significant for NZ communities
Social sciences   3
  • Understand how people view and use places differently.
  • How people make decisions about access to and the use of resources
  • Understand how cultural practices vary but reflect similar purposes
Social sciences   4
  • Understand how exploration and innovation create opportunities and challenges for people places and environments
  • Understand how formal and informal groups make decisions that impact on communities
  • Understand how people participate individually and collectively in response to community challenges
Social sciences   5
  • Understand that people move between places and how this has consequences for the people and the places
  • Understand how people's management of resources impacts on environmental and social sustainability
  • Understand how the ideas and actions of people in the past have had a significant impact on people’s lives
Health and physical education Personal health and physical development 2 to 5
  • Safety management 

"This is fantastic for teachers. It's informative, child-friendly and curriculum-based" – Teacher, Year 6/7

"We need to look after our wetlands and keep them safe for the future. The water may look disgusting but it’s the home of things like bugs that think it is beautiful!" – Student, Year 7

"Animals are very important to NZ and what we do in a normal life can affect other species" – Student, Year 7