In 2019, students from three Dunedin primary schools teamed up with University Otago scientist Dr Cynthia Winkworth to complete two goals: to discover which invertebrates were living in Dunedin’s city and park environments and to find a peripatus (ngāokeoke or velvet worm).
Peripatus are really unusual invertebrates. They’ve been around for 500 million years but are only found in Dunedin and two other cities in the entire world!
The students surveyed two ecosystems: their school and a bushy park. They used three different survey methods at each site. Students learned how scientists work very carefully as they systematically collect data and ensure that it is accurate and can be compared.
Back in the classroom, they had to learn how to interpret and use the data – looking for patterns, including similarities and differences.
The final task was learning how to be an effective science communicator. They created flyers and found other ways of sharing their findings with the community.
Check your school library for the article from the 2020 level 2 Connected journal ‘Digging deeper’, download it as a Google slide presentation or order it from the Ministry of Education.
Teacher support material
The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from TKI (Word and PDF files available, click on ‘Look inside this issue’).
The supporting materials for this article list key nature of science (NoS) ideas for level 2 – ‘Investigating in science’ and ‘Communicating in science’. It includes four learning activities that support exploring the science and technology aspects of the New Zealand Curriculum:
- Insects in our place
- Bug hotels
- Getting the message out.
Learn about bringing insects into your classroom in our webinar All about insects featuring entomologists Dr Chrissie Painting and Tom Saunders.
Nature of science resources:
Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.
Label a wētā and cicada using the online interactives or download a paper alternative.
In Insect mihi, students write a formal introduction for an insect species including its relationship to other animals and the land.
Make a wanted poster to help enhance your students’ observation and scientific drawing skills.
Identifying bugs uses ‘What is this bug?’ from Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research to identify an insect.
Find out more about peripatus/ngāokeoke on the Department of Conservation website.
For more information on peripatus, see this indepth article Peripatus is a sharp-shooting ‘living fossil’ from Predator Free NZ.
Visit our We love bugs Pinterest board with links to resources and community activities.
The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.