New Zealand is home to a wide variety of ducks. Different native duck species are adapted to particular habitats in New Zealand and have co-existed by taking advantage of different ecological niches.
In this activity, students will use resource materials to identify the features of a variety of New Zealand duck species. This is one of a set of three activities that help students identify different duck species and is designed to be adapted to meet student requirements, age, level and ability. The other activities are Which duck is which? and Duck dominoes.
By the end of this activity, students should be able to:
- identify similarities and differences between some New Zealand duck species
- distinguish between native ducks and common introduced species
- use information cards to elicit specific information.
Download the Word file (see link below) for:
- background information for teachers
- equipment list
- student instructions.
Download the PDFs (see below) for:
- Duck information cards
- Duck fact cards
Nature of science
Identification of species relies on students developing their investigative skills, part of the ‘Investigating in science’ strand of the Nature of Science. Students are encouraged to work like scientists, using their observational evidence to make decisions. This fosters the development of science capabilities such as ‘Gather and interpret data’.
Examples of related articles on the Science Learning Hub include Who’s who in the duck world?, Introducing New Zealand ducks, Fantastic whio feathers, Conserving native birds – introduction and Conserving native birds – writer’s insight. There are also several teacher PLD sessions related to this topic: Diving into inquiry with whio, Why learn about whio?, Inquiry outside the classroom, Taking action for conservation, Bird conservation and literacy and SLH and conservation.
Some other activities on the Science Learning Hub related to whio and other New Zealand ducks that you may wish to explore include Ethics in bird conservation, Eliciting prior knowledge, Whio feathers – what are they for?, Which duck is which?, Duck dominoes and Ethics in conservation science.