Kiki Kiwi character launches anti-litter resource for schools

Issue: Volume 97, Number 13

Posted: 30 July 2018
Reference #: 1H9jiN

A new programme to raise awareness about the problem of littering will be rolled out in primary schools this week, with teaching resources being made available nationwide using a new mascot called Kiki Kiwi to help deliver the key messages to ‘Litter Less’ and ‘Do the Right Thing’.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful (KNZB) is behind the initiative, as part of its reinvigoration of a litter awareness and behaviour change campaign which began 51 years ago to encourage everyone to ‘Do the Right Thing’, and ‘Be a Tidy Kiwi’.

KNZB Education Manager Christine White says, “To achieve widespread behaviour change, we are using TV, radio, print ads and posters with actor Dave Fane dressed up as ‘Mama Nature’ responding to casual littering, such as dropping takeaway coffee cups in parks and on streets.”

The school initiative weaves the key competencies, vision and principles of The New Zealand Curriculum  throughout the learning. As students learn to manage their own waste, they become connected to the land and the environment, and participate with their community to sustain the environment for the future.

Christine says, “The scale of the litter problem is growing and the multimedia material teaches children that throwing something away doesn’t make it go away, as it can travel far across the planet, but also shows students what they can do about it.”

A storybook, Kiki Kiwi and the Friends – The Travelling Trash, is part of a package including lesson plans and interactive support resources with informative learning material to raise awareness and inspire action. Kiki Kiwi and his wildlife friends, including Sybil Seagull and Puka Pukeko, see and talk about the impacts of a blue plastic bag being dropped outside a shop and ending up in the Pacific Ocean.

Encouraging inquiry

KNZB plans for Kiki Kiwi to be an enduring character in its work as the book draws children in with its great visual appeal. The storybook, which could be read at any time, and used in particular in lessons 4, 5 and 6, is divided into chapters with questions to encourage inquiry and extend learning. It is also downloadable, and the online teaching materials include the storybook as an audio file.

The target group is children aged 5–11 years, with appropriate content for different year levels.

Although most litter, such as packaging and cigarette butts, comes from the land, it often ends up in the ocean or waterways. So the materials put litter in a local, national and global context and show clearly the environmental, social and economic impacts of littering.

A hard copy of the resource pack is being delivered to primary and intermediate schools this week, and the material is also available as a digital resource online for downloading(external link).

Aligning with the curriculum

With the support of a number of principals, the lessons have been aligned with The New Zealand Curriculum with cross-curriculum learning opportunities, in particular social studies, maths, statistics, English and science. There are activity sheets, action tables, animations, cards, and a poster to make the subject come alive, and curriculum tables that provide clear lesson-by-lesson links to Achievement Objectives for Levels 1–4 to motivate and engage the students.

The online material also includes animations, interactive content and a graphic of ocean currents. The lesson plans contain material to promote class discussions as well as ideas for practical and immediate actions, such as rethinking lunchboxes to remove potential litter, and conducting a playground litter audit that will develop students’ mapping and research skills. 

Litter is a big issue

Two years ago, KNZB volunteers collected an astonishing amount of litter – enough to fill 120 rugby fields half a metre high – a total of 190,000 tonnes of rubbish. These clean-ups were carried out by over 80,000 volunteers – the majority of them primary school students.

Research shows cigarette butts are the most commonly littered item (78 per cent) and nearly half of the people who litter, do so within five metres of the nearest bin.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:00 am, 30 July 2018

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