In the Botanic Gardens or Halswell Quarry Park, students investigate how and why New Zealand biodiversity has changed over time.

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Programme overview

Year level 5 to 10
Curriculum level 2 to 6
Availability Year-round
Times 9.30 am to 12noon or 12.15pm to 2.30pm
Site Christchurch Botanic Gardens or Halswell Quarry Park
Cost Free
Number of students Maximum of 35
Special requirements None

Key concepts

  • Biodiversity and sustainability.
  • Native, endemic and introduced species.
  • Endangered and extinct species.
  • Ecosystems and habitats.
  • Human impact on our biodiversity.
  • Personal and social responsibility for action.

Lesson description

At the Botanic Gardens or Halswell Quarry Park, students explore the meaning of biodiversity and look at a timeline showing New Zealand native, endemic and introduced species and make links to those species which are extinct, threatened or thriving.

Children will visit the native forest to explore the different ways in which people value our native plants and animals.

Children engage in an action-packed activity to explore the consequences of habitat destruction and discuss what they can do to prevent the loss of native plants and animals. 

Learning outcomes

We are learning to:

  • Explain the terms biodiversity, native, endemic, introduced, threatened and extinct.
  • Understand the human impacts on native biodiversity.
  • Identify native plants and trees and how these have been used as resources.
  • Understand the different ways in which people value native biodiversity and identify actions we can take to sustain biodiversity.

Key competencies

Using language, symbols and texts

Students will use written, oral and visual texts to explore definitions of the origin and life status of creatures living in New Zealand


Students will use creative, critical and metacognitive processes to consider the consequences and real-life meanings of the information they have explored regarding the creatures who once lived and continue to live in New Zealand.

Managing self

Students will manage their learning and think and act independently.

Participating and contributing

Students will contribute to expanding group knowledge by participating in a variety of whole-group activities and engaging in discussion to determine potential follow-up activities they can undertake to support our native species.

Relating to others

Students are expected to maintain effective interactions with their peers in a range of contexts offered through a variety of activities

Achievement objectives

Curriculum area Strand and level Objective
Nature of Science
Levels 2 to 6
Investigating in science
Communicating in science
Participating and contributing
Living World
Levels 2 to 6
Life processes
Social Science
Tikanga ā-Iwi
Levels 2 to 6 Social Studies

The Christchurch Art Gallery offers a complimentary programme, please contact the Art Gallery on for more information.