• Articles
  • Activities
  • Interactives
  • Videos
  • Teacher PLD
  • Primary
  • Secondary
ARTICLE

Characteristics of living things

When you look at the world around you, how do you categorise or group what you see? One of the broadest groupings is 'living' and 'non-living'. This may sound simple, but it is sometimes ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Earthworm adaptations

Adaptation is an evolutionary process whereby an organism becomes increasingly well suited to living in a particular habitat. Natural selection results in helpful traits becoming more common in a ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Native bird adaptations

New Zealand separated from Gondwana around 65 million years ago. Due to the geographical isolation and a lack of ground-dwelling predators, our birds evolved unique characteristics. Flight was ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

The role of observation in science

Observation is something we often do instinctively. Observation helps us decide whether it’s safe to cross the road and helps to determine if cupcakes are ready to come out of the oven ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Insulation

In Antarctica, winter temperatures can vary from -70ºC to -15ºC – it is one of the coldest places to live on earth. To survive in the Antarctic, keeping warm becomes a very important focus, and ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Environmental conditions affecting the sea

On land, the most important environmental conditions affecting organisms are rainfall and temperature. In our oceans, there are a number of environmental conditions that affect the growth ...

READ MORE
STAR
ACTIVITY

Living or non-living?

In this activity, students use an interactive or paper-based graphic organiser to explore their ideas about the characteristics of living things and the characteristics of animals. This activity ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Birds’ roles in ecosystems

An ecosystem consists of all of the flora and fauna living within an area and the interactions between them. All ecosystems, whether they are marine, freshwater or located in native bush, involve ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Flight of the godwit

Bar-tailed godwits can fly about 12,000 km at one time – further than any other known bird. This recent discovery excited ornithologists around the world. Dr Phil Battley from Massey University’s ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Charles Darwin and earthworms

Charles Darwin is best known for his theory of evolution as set out in his book On the Origin of Species. He was a naturalist – an expert in geology, botany and biology – whose interest in all ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Longfin eels

The New Zealand longfin eel (Anguilla dieffenbachii) is New Zealand’s only endemic freshwater eel. Our shortfin eel (Anguilla australis) is also found in Australia and some Pacific Islands. We ...

READ MORE
STAR
ACTIVITY

New Zealand bush ecosystems

In this activity, students build a food web that represents the New Zealand bush ecosystem. Students use images of organisms within the ecosystem to explore the relationships between them. By the ...

READ MORE
STAR
ACTIVITY

Observing earthworms

In this activity, students use observation to explore earthworm anatomy and the nature of science. By the end of this activity, students should be able to: identify various physical ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Predation of native birds

New Zealand native birds have been greatly affected by predation. After existing in isolation from natural predators for millions of years, many native birds developed traits that exposed them to ...

READ MORE
STAR
ACTIVITY

Exploring genetic variation

In this activity, students gain an understanding of the importance of genetic diversity within a population. By the end of this activity, students should be able to: identify possible outcomes of ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Hearing sound

Three components are needed for sound to be heard: A source – where the sound is made. A medium – something for the sound to travel through. A receiver – something to detect the sound. Source ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Protecting native birds

New Zealand birds evolved in isolation from natural predators for around 65 million years. When human settlers arrived, changes came rapidly, and birds were poorly adapted to withstand threats to ...

READ MORE
STAR
TEACHER PLD

Conserving native birds – unit plan

New Zealand is well known for its unique bird life. Our endemic birds evolved in an isolated, island environment. The arrival of people, the deliberate and accidental introduction of mammalian ...

READ MORE
STAR