What’s on the beach? What gets washed up and what shouldn’t be there? This is a chance for students to investigate objects on the beach – natural and unnatural – and identify ways that they can contribute to sustainable coastal areas

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 LTA@ccc.govt.nz or contact us(external link).

Programme overview

Year level Years 0 to 4
Curriculum level Levels 1 to 3
Availability Year-round (tide dependent)
Times 9:30 to 11:30am or 12:30 to 2:30
Site Spencer Park Beach, Waimairi Beach, North New Brighton Beach, New Brighton Beach, South Brighton Beach, Sumner Beach
Cost Free
Number of students Maximum of 35
Special requirements  None

Key concepts

  • Sustainability.
  • Beach habitats.
  • Natural and non-natural items found at the beach.
  • Litter and its effect on the environment.
  • Personal and social responsibility for action.
  • Caring for our beaches.

Lesson description

Students will learn what plants and creatures live in different beach habitats and why these are important ecosystems.

Students participate in a Beach Treasure Hunt to find out what’s on the beach. Analysing their treasures, students classify what they’ve found and discuss where these items have come from; and the effects they may have on the beach environment.

Students identify ways they can contribute to sustainable coastal areas and share their ideas by creating a “message in the sand” to share with other beach-goers.

Learning outcomes

We are learning to:

  • Identify the key reasons why beaches are special places.
  • Identify things that would not naturally be on a beach and the problems that these items cause for coastal creatures.
  • Name things that live in and around the beach that depend on the environment for their survival.
  • Identify an action that we can take to reduce litter at the beach.

Key competencies

Using language, symbols and texts

Students will interpret signs, symbols and text to find out information about different beach creatures.


Students will employ critical thinking to make decisions regarding the appropriate place for objects found on our beaches.

Managing self

Students will manage their learning and think and act independently in an outdoor near-water environment.

Participating and contributing

Students will be empowered to become actively involved in making a difference to the community through their learning and action.

Relating to others

Students will work collaboratively and supportively to complete tasks; take turns and support their classmates.

Achievement objectives

Curriculum area Strand and level Objective
Nature of Science
Levels 1 to 3
Investigating in science
Communicating in science
Participating and contributing
Living World
Levels 1 to 3
Life processes
  Planet Earth and Beyond
Levels 1 to 3
Earth systems
Interacting systems
Social Sciences
Tikanga ā-Iwi
Levels 1 and 2 Social studies
Health and Physical Education
Healthy Communities and Environments
Levels 1 and 2
Community resources
Rights, responsibilities, and laws
People and the environment