Students develop their detective skills in learning why our local parks are so important.

Book a Learning Through Action school programme

Risk analysis and management information (RAMS) will be sent out once a programme booking is confirmed. If you require this at any other stage please email or contact us(external link).

Programme overview

Year level 3 to 6
Curriculum level 1 to 4
Availability Year-round
Times 9.30am to 12noon, or 12:15pm to 2:30pm
Site Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Halswell Quarry Park
Mona Vale
The Groynes
Travis Wetland Reserve
Cost Free
Number of students Maximum of 35
Special requirements None

Key concepts

  • Biodiversity in our local spaces.
  • Balanced ecosystem.
  • Pollination, seed dispersal, decomposition, photosynthesis.
  • Taking care of natural areas.
  • Personal responsibility for action.

Lesson description

Students become detectives, ornithologists, entomologists and botanists as they delve deeper into the unique roles of a balanced ecosystem and the role they can play in that ecosystem.

They will employ all their detective skills to gather information in a variety of scientific ways to come to their collaborative conclusions about the interdependence of birds, bugs and trees.

Hands-on activities enable them to describe the key roles of birds, insects and trees in balanced ecosystems. Students then engage in a problem-solving process to propose action for a sustainable future.

They will take their new ideas and their Detective Notebook back to school where they can continue their discussions to problem-solve ways to encourage this balanced ecosystem in their local green spaces.

Learning outcomes

We are learning to:

  • Name at least two of the birds, invertebrates, and/or trees that live in our natural green spaces.
  • Explain the important role(s) that birds, invertebrates, and/or trees have in our natural environment.
  • Explore and carry out appropriate investigations to develop simple explanations about how a balanced ecosystem works.
  • Use a range of scientific vocabulary.
  • Identify actions that can be undertaken to encourage a balanced ecosystem in our local parks and green spaces.

Key competencies

Using language, symbols and texts

Students will use oral, written and visual texts to interpret key terms and concepts relating to local ecosystems


Students will use creative, critical and meta-cognitive processes to investigate how each of the roles of the ecosystem is connected and then consider the impact and wider consequences if one role is low/depleted

Managing self

Students will immerse themselves in a variety of multi-sensory and kinaesthetic experiences to create an understanding of the key parts of the ecosystem

Participating and contributing

Students are encouraged to problem-solve ways they can encourage a rich and healthy ecosystem in their own local communities

Relating to others

Students will work collaboratively and supportively to complete tasks

Achievement objectives

Curriculum area Strand and level Objective
Nature of Science
Levels 1 to 4
Understanding about science
Investigating in science
Communicating in science
Participating and contributing
Living World
Levels 1 to 4
Life processes
Planet Earth and Beyond
Levels 1 to 4
Earth systems
Social Sciences
Tikanga ā-Iwi
Levels 2 to 3 People and places
Health and Physical Education
Healthy Communities and Environment
Level 2
Collective action
Healthy environments