Specific Links to the Science Curriculum

Specific Links to the Social Studies Curriculum

Developing the eight essential skills

The New Zealand Curriculum specifies eight groupings of essential skills to be developed by all students across the whole curriculum. These are communication skills, numeracy skills, information skills, problem-solving skills, self-management and competitive skills, work and study skills, social and co-operative skills and physical skills.

Sea Keeping can be a useful thematic structure in a number of different and varied areas of the school curriculum. It gives students a chance to experience hands on and relevant learning with regard to their local environment. "Students learn effectively, and se relevance in learning science, when they have opportunities to develop and use their science ideas and skills, first in a variety of familiar contexts and later in other challenging situations." (Science Curriculum page 17).

Some of the areas where sea keeping activities are useful are:

Communication Skills

Communication skills are needed for all of the environmental improvement projects - in organising the project, and reporting results. Projects involving community and school involvement include Coastal Litter, Sand Dune Restoration, Shellfish Restoration, Wetland Restoration


Students use their own scientific data concerning their local environment in graphing, statistics, calculations, thus providing a focus and meaning to their figures.

Self Management, competition, work and study

Social Relationships and Co-operation and Social Action

Industrial arts

Use in Design and Technology to create designs for sampling equipment, mapping, design of wetlands, flow diagrams of uses of the habitats, and so on.


Students can write and produce a play about the local river or coastal area highlighting conflicting views of the area as learned from local surveys of public opinion.


Photojournalism, specimen photography, habitat and site photography, recording environmental problems and successes.

Specific links to the New Zealand

Science Curriculum Achievement Objectives

Sea Keepers projects and activities area useful for Making sense of the:

Making Sense of the Nature of Science and its Relationship to Technology

Level 2/1 Use a variety of methods to investigate different ideas about the same object or event. (Use of rivers, Wetlands, Birds, Pollution, Beaches)

Level 3/1 Recognise when simple investigations can be classified as a "fair test" and make decisions about the worth of results. (Beach Studies, Protecting the Sea, Marine Debris)

Level 4/1 Plan and carry out a "fair test" and make decisions about whether the conclusions drawn from an investigation are soundly based. (Beach Studies, Protecting the Sea, Marine Debris, Shellfish Census)

Level 5/1 Relate interpretations of the result of their investigations to their original ideas, questions, and predictions. Explain how different cultures have developed understanding of the living, physical, material, and technological components of the environment. (Beach Studies, Protecting the Sea, Marine Debris, Shellfish Census)

Level 6/1 and 3 Investigate how knowledge of science and technology is used by society when making decisions about environmental issues. (Dune Care, Beach Studies, Protecting the Sea, Marine Debris, Shellfish Census)

Level 7/3 Research the personal and ethical issues which arise from the impact of science and technology on people and their environment.

Making Sense of the Living World

Sea Keeping experiences and activities provide useful contexts for all levels and achievement objectives in this learning strand.

Level 1/1, 2, 3 Share their experiences relating to the living world and group the living world according to some of its attributes. Observe and identify parts of common animals and plants. Investigate and describe the changes in a particular plant or animal over a period of time. Beaches, Coastal Birds, Estuaries

Level 2/1,2,3,4 Use differences in external characteristics to distinguish broad group of living things. Investigate the functions of the main parts of animals or plants. Beaches, Coastal Birds, Estuaries Understand the changes that take place in animals and plants during their life cycles. Beaches, Shellfish, Estuaries. Investigate the responses of plants, animals, and people to environmental changes in their habitats. Beaches, Coastal Birds, Estuaries, Wetlands

Level 3/1,2,3,4 Distinguish between living things on the basis of external characteristics. Investigate special features of common creatures and how these adaptations help them stay alive. Beaches, Coastal Birds, Estuaries Research how some species have become extinct or endangered. Wetlands, Sea Surface. Use personal observation and library research to explain where and how a range of New Zealand plants and animals live. Estuaries, Beaches, Sand Dunes

Level 4/1,2,3,4 Classify closely related living things on the basis of easily observable features. Investigate special features of creatures which help survival. Describe patterns of variability of a visible physical feature. Use simple food chains to explain feeding relationships of creatures and investigate the effects of human intervention. Beaches, Coastal Birds, Estuaries, Wetlands, Pollution, Toxic Algae

Level 5/1,2,3,4 Investigate the microscopic living world. Toxic Algae, Sea Surface, Estuary. Investigate structural, physiological and behavioural adaptations. Investigate patterns of genetically controlled characteristics and the importance of these. Investigate trophic and nutrient relationships. Coastal Birds, Sand Dunes, Estuaries, Beaches

Level 6/1,4 Investigate helpful and harmful micro-organisms. Investigate use of biological principles in plant and animals management. Toxic Algae, Wetlands, Estuaries.

Level 7/1,2,4 Describe the reasons for special characteristics of New Zealand's plants and animals. Investigate factors that affect a living process. Research a selected issue affecting the New Zealand environment. Shellfish Census, Dune Care, Marine Litter, Pollution, Toxic Algae, Estuaries.

Level 8/1,2 Carry out an extended investigation, involving a range of techniques, and originating from their own interests, into some aspect of, or issue related to the Living World. Wetlands, Beaches, Sea Surface, Shellfish Census, Dune Care, Marine Litter, Pollution, Toxic Algae, Estuaries.

Making Sense of the Material World

Level 2/3 Investigate everyday changes to common substances.

Level 3 /4 Research the use of technology in the disposal or recycling of common materials. Pollution

Level 4/4 Investigate the positive and negative effects of substances on people and on the environment. Pollution, Shellfish, Wetlands

Level 7/4 Investigate chemical effects of human activity on the environment. Toxic Algae, Sea Surface, Pollution

Level 8/2,4 Investigate the chemical and physical properties of a family of substances to their use in the home, industry, and the environment. Research the functions and use of selected groups of chemicals and describe some effects of these on people and the environment. Toxic Algae, Sea Surface, Pollution

Making Sense of Planet Earth and Beyond

Sea Keeper activities and experiences are useful for all achievement objectives of this learning strand.

Level 1 and 2/1,2,3 Share ideas about features and patterns of the physical environment and how some of these features may be protected. Beaches. Suggest ways their immediate physical environment was different in the past. Shore Changes. Share ideas about objects in space and very noticeable environmental patterns associated with these objects (sun, moon, seasons). Tides.

Level 3/1,2,3,4 Investigate the major features, including the water cycle, that characterise Earth's water reserves. Gather and present information about the origins and history of major natural features of the local landscape. (Wetlands, Rivers, Beaches) Justify their personal involvement in a school or class-initiated local environmental project. Dune Care, Shore Litter

Level 4/2,4 Collect and use evidence from landforms and library research to describe the geological history of the local area. Investigate a local environmental issue and explain the reasons for the community's involvement. Sand, Beach Care, Shellfish, Wetlands

Level 5/1,2,4 Investigate processes which change the Earth's surface over time at local and global levels. Wetlands. Research a national environmental issue and explain the need for responsible and co-operative guardianship of New Zealand's environment. Wetlands, Beaches, Sea Surface, Shellfish Census, Dune Care, Marine Litter, Pollution, Toxic Algae.

Level 6/1,2,4 Investigate some common minerals according to easily observed properties and relate to their common use. Report on a national resource in New Zealand, including its method of formation, location, and extraction, as appropriate, and any issues associated with its use. Sand, Sand Dunes, Water

Level 7/1,2,4 Use a range of techniques to infer what events shaped local and national landform features. Beaches, Wetlands, Rivers. Survey and evaluate the literature relating to an Earth sciences' issue. Sand Mining, Wetland destruction, Erosion.

Level 8/1,4 Carry out an extended investigation into some aspect of, or issue related to Planet Earth and Beyond. Wetlands, Beaches, Sea Surface, Dune Care.

Social Studies Achievement Objectives

Sea Keepers projects and activities are useful for the following Social Studies Achievement Objectives:

Social Organisation and Processes

Levels 2 and 3/1 How and why groups of people organise themselves to meet their individual and collective needs, and the effects of this on people.

Students identify the roles and responsibilities of individuals and organisations in looking after shared resources such as beaches, shellfish, and fresh water.

Level 4/1 Why people reshape their social organisations in response to challenge or crisis.

Shellfish Crisis, Toxic Algae Bloom Crisis.

Level 5/1,2 Participating in political processes. Working as a group, students investigate the ways regulations, by-laws, and laws are made. Shellfish, Toxic Algae.

Level 6/1 Changing values and perceptions of organisations. Students use news reports to research the involvement of social organisations dealing with environmental problems. They identify ways in which people's perceptions of the organisations have changed and predict new directions. Organisation

Level 7/1 Ways in which organisations help people meet their needs. Students examine an example of environmental litigation and evaluate the successes and problems of the Resource Management Act in regulating coastal and water uses.

Level 8/1 Processes and value systems which influence and reinforce various social organisations. Students study the values ascribed to rivers, wetlands, or beaches by different ethnic groups and how (well) conflicts are settled within the legal structure of the Resource Management Act.

Culture and Heritage

Level 1, 2/1 Students learn the meaning of Maori, English and perhaps Scientific names of creatures, rivers, beaches, bays, and other locations.

Level 3, 4/1,2 Students examine use of resources by different cultural groups, and discuss basic cultural uses and views of rivers, creatures, and the sea.

Level 5, 6, 7. Students examine the Treaty of Waitangi and bicultural natural resource allocation and use in New Zealand. What differences can they find between Maori resource protection systems versus Pakeha resource protection systems. They disccuss cultural conflicts associated with shellfish use - Pakeha, Maori, Pacific Islander, Asian.

Level 8. The implications of the growing multicultural society in New Zealand on resource use and development issues. Practical assessments can be made by surveys and field investigations on Litter distribution, water pollution, shellfish overfishing, and wetland destruction.

Place and Environment

Nearly all of the activities are linked to the main achievement aims of how and why people perceive places and environments differently and interactions between people and environment.

Level 1/1,2 Places that are important to the students and why they are important. Students discuss the importance of water, beaches, and other features of their environment.

Level 2/2 How natural and cultural features of an environment affect people's lives and how people affect these features. Shellfish, wetlands, sand dunes, pollution, litter

Level 3/1 Students interpret and compare pictures and stories about their area to write a newspaper report about the effects of construction, wetland filling, land clearing, or agriculture on water quality and wildlife. Shellfish, wetlands, sand dunes, pollution, litter

Level 4/1,2 Students interview people of different generations to investigate how and why their views and actions relating to resource use may have changed over time. They show their findings on a values continuum. Beaches, Dune Care, Marine Litter, Pollution, Toxic Algae.

Level 5/1 Students make a video or set up a photographic display to show the ways in which a class visit to another place might influence class members' perceptions of that place and its environment. Marine Litter, Pollution, Wetlands, Beaches

Level 6/1 Students research the history of a community improvement group established to improve some environmental condition. They present a report evaluating the impact of the group's activities. Organise, Trees for Survival, Shellfish, Beach Care, Wetland Reconstruction

Level 7/1 Students create a cartoon sequence to depict how a person's perception of place and environment might change as they move from an Asian or Pacific Island or Rural New Zealand homeland to an urban New Zealand environment. Marine Litter, Shellfish

Level 8/1 Students identify a place in New Zealand where an environmental issue has arisen as a result of differing cultural perspectives. They explain how and why the issue has arisen and describe the implications of this for the people and the environment. Shellfish.

Time, Continuity and Change

Level 2/1,2 Students visit a shellfish midden and discuss the relationship between the presence of shellfish and the location of Maori settlements and their way of life. Shellfish

Level 3/1 Students view a series of aerial photographs of a beach, estuary or water catchment system to see how development has increased in their area. They prepare a play in which the students are the plants and animals discussing the changes. Beaches, Estuaries Dunes.

Level 4/2 Students prepare a visual timeline illustrating the impact of English settlers on the roles of Maori warriors and hunters from 1840 to 1940.

Level 5/1 Students prepare and present a role play about the Maori loss of land and resources to the Colonial settlers and how this has influenced problems of erosion and water pollution through conversion of forests to pastures. Shellfish, Wetlands, Water Pollution

Level 6/2 Students advance a hypothesis about the impact of environmental concern on the lives of people in the community and test their hypothesis by interviewing people of varying generations and ethnic groups about their views on the environment. Shellfish, Wetlands, Water Pollution, Litter, Dune Care.

Level 7/1 Students work as a group to investigate a controversial environmental issue and, through a method of their own choice, they present the history of the issue and ways people have responded to it. Shellfish, Wetlands, Water Pollution, Litter, Dune Care.

Level 8/2 Students investigate the global decline of fisheries and marine life and in a report they suggest and examine various possible solutions to the problem. Toxic Algae, Sea Surface, Habitat loss, Pollution.

Resources and Economic Activities

Level 1/1 Students make up captions for photographs or pictures of a historic building they have visited and identify the materials used in constructing it. In a relationship chart, they compare they identify similarities and differences between the resources used to build their own houses and those used for the historic building. They include information about the differences between water use.

Level 2/1 Students identify the decisions people make when deciding how to use water resources; will they use ground water, build reservoirs, take water from the river? What will they do with the water after it is used?

Level 3/1 Students participate in a simulation activity to demonstrate the varying ways people of different cultural groups feel about the use of beaches and shellfish. Shellfish

Level 4/2 Students investigate the processes involved in supplying and treating water for the community and indicate, on a flow chart of the process, the stages at which various tasks occur, and the skills and knowledge required for each task.

Level 5/1 Students construct a continuum that identifies changes in people's attitudes towards the sea as a resource. They suggest possible reasons for these changes in attitude. Pollution, Shellfish, Estuaries

Level 6/1,2 Taking varying perspectives, students debate the effects of exclusive economic zone policies on resource management and on economic activities. Pollution, Marine Litter, Toxic Algae

Level 7/1 Students compile a file of facts about the restriction of public use of a beach or marine reserve and identify the extent of agreement or disagreement between groups of people involved. Shellfish,

Level 8/1,2 Using newspaper articles and government reports, students discuss allocation of fishing quotas, and include conflicts resulting from Maori claims under the Treaty of Waitangi. Students prepare a newspaper article on the theme that pollution represents a lack of efficiency as resources are lost from the production system while causing degradation of valued waterways and beaches.