Te Wiki Tiaki Ao Tūroa Fun - Conservation Week Fun
Here's a selection of suggestions and ideas to incorporate into your wiki to engage, inspire and foster your tamariki love for te taiao.
Firstly, the science...
Participating in events such as Te Wiki Tiaki Ao Tūroa supports our wellbeing in several ways - here’s our favourites:
Connection with Nature: Aotearoa unique and diverse natural landscapes offer a profound connection with the taiao. Involvement in conservation activities mean we spend time in environments that support some real ‘feel goods’ such as a sense of awe, wonder, appreciation of beauty and valuing our ecosystems. These connections have been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of isolation, leading to improved mental and emotional wellbeing.
Sense of Purpose and Contribution: Engaging in conservation activities such as planting native trees, cleaning up beaches, or protecting endangered species, provide us with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. They provide tangible ways to create positive impacts on the taiao and community. This sense of contributing to something larger than ourselves can boost our self-esteem, self-worth, and overall life satisfaction.
Community Engagement: Te Wiki Tiaki Ao Tūroa often involves collaborative efforts that bring us together. Participating in group activities like beach cleanups or wildlife habitat restoration fosters a sense of community and belonging. The social connections formed during these events can strengthen our sense of belonging, combat feelings of loneliness, and enhance overall social wellbeing.
Why this activity?
These activities are not only developing opportunities for tamariki to explore their understanding and aroha for our taiao, but also create a whole wiki of fun learning in outside spaces.
What to do
Start the wiki by introducing Te Wiki Tiaki Ao Tūroa. You might keep the kōrero simple or go a bit deeper and discuss the importance of conserving biodiversity, including manu, ngārara (insects) and how this all directly impacts the wellbeing of Aotearoa, our planet, as well as us.
We love these sites/resources to support this kōrero:
- Tātai Aho Rau Learnz who offer some fantastic virtual field trips
- Build your own Super-Secret Bug Base which is an amazing activity by Nanogirl.
Rāhina/Mane - Have some Mindful Colouring time
For this you'll need to get the pencils, crayons or felts out and print off our Aotearoa Manu colouring sheet for some quite colouring time
This could make a great rainy day activity, or tamariki could take a book (to lean on) outside, their colouring sheet and pens and have a mindful moment under the shade of a rākau doing this mahi.
Rātu/Tūrei - Listen in to te taiao
For this you'll need a speaker to play the meditation video and a good time to find some calm.
Guided meditation is great for taking time to relax, focus, supports emotional awareness, as well as reduces stress - a practice that can last a lifetime!
We love this one from Ladi6 and Te Papa Atawhai - the Department of Conservation
Alternatively, or additionally, you could head outside for some real-life mindfulness in your green-space. You might like to go for a brief nature walk and encourage tamariki to pay attention to the sounds, sights, and smells around them.
You might even stop to practice puku breathing or take some deep breaths along the way, a great way. Our Hā - breathing resource has some more info on this!
And as extra for experts - how about creating your own recording or the taiao at your school adding a short mindfulness activity to this? We know, right?! Tamariki then have these as a classroom resource and can practice them together.
Rāapa/Wenerei - Exploring kaitiakitanga
All you'll need is your kind tamariki for this one.
Keep it simple with a shared kōrero around the concept of kaitiakitanga and our responsibility to care for our local taiao.
This kōrero could be paired with something as simple as taking your tamariki outside and picking up some rubbish as a school clean up.
Rāpare/Tāite - Let's get curious!
For this one we just need some devices to get researching...
Ask tamariki to work in small groups and research the manu who share your community with you. If the Aotearoa Manu colouring sheet was completed earlier in the wiki, this could support your kōrero.
Ākonga might research aspects of manu such as their habitat, diet, prey, their song or call, and whether and why these manu might need protecting, and what tamariki could do to support this cause.
It can also be really fun for tamariki to learn about the personalities of their local manu and note how similar they are or different to you all!
Te Papa Atawhai - Department of Conservation has a great website to support your tamariki research here.
Rāmere/Paraire - Have an outside classroom day!
Surprise your tamariki with a fun-filled day teaching out in the taiao for the entire day! Find a shady sport and make the space your new classroom.
Possible activities throughout the day could include:
Keeping on with any usual mahi with ākonga using devices outside - just check the stretch of the wifi, and get this mahi done in the morning before the devices run out of charge!
Outdoor Art – inspiration can always be found on Te Papa Atawhai - Department of Conservation website. They have an awesome guide for leaf art!
Storytime - bonus points if your reading relates to Conservation week! Some great
Aotearoa conservation books include 'Nanny Mihi and the Bellbird' by Melanie Drewery and 'Aroha Knows' by Rebekah Lipp.
Head off on a taiao hunt - find 2 triangles in nature, 4 brown things, 1 orange thing, something native, something introduced, 1 bug and 2 things that are round.
Lift a rock or stump, take a photo and investigate what's there.
Use all 5 senses to create a piece of creative writing.
AND, to finish off, reflect on your wiki together and repeat the earlier mindfulness activities and end calmly - this might be one you've created!
Encourage your amazing green explorers to share their wiki through your school’s online platform or social media.
If they get round to creating a mindfulness activity - ask whānau to practice this with tamariki before bed and notice whether it's support a wee bit more calm!
Personal Health and physical development: A1 - Personal growth and development
Movement concepts and motor skills: B2 - Positive attitudes
Relationships with other people: C2 - Identity, sensitivity, and respect
Healthy communities and environments: D3 - Rights, responsibilities and laws
Healthy communities and environments: D4 - People and the environment
Explain how living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they
respond to environmental changes