Take a moment for nature

Issue: Volume 100, Number 10

Posted: 9 August 2021
Reference #: 1HANz1

For this year’s Conservation Week | Te Wiki Tiaki Ao Tūroa, Department of Conservation (DOC) has developed activities to support kaiako and ākonga to ‘take a moment for nature’.

Take a moment for natureAn important part of being in nature is the opportunity it provides to learn about ourselves. Many young people feel a deep connection to te taiao – it is part of who they are, their identity, their whakapapa.

Spending time outside moving, connecting, thinking, dreaming, listening helps us all to know Papatūānuku and understand the world around us. We build ideas about the connections between all living things and have space to contemplate our place in the big picture. Time in nature provides space to move and laugh, be boisterous or quiet.

What does it mean to ‘take a moment for nature’? When we apply this concept to the classroom it could mean many things: take a moment to get your students outside – moving and breathing in nature; take a moment to learn about and from nature; take a moment to care for nature.

We all know spending time outside in nature is good for us and has health and wellbeing benefits for children and adults alike. Nature can be considered one of the basics – like kai, wai and aroha. Spending time in nature lowers cortisol levels and improves concentration, we move and we are more active, and we feel more connected to each other. Research(external link) shows children need nature, and they thrive in it. 

Conservation Week is a great reason to open the doors and jump into spring. This year it is being celebrated from 4 to 12 September. To celebrate, DOC has developed five easy activities for students – one for each day. 

With the wellbeing focus, they are designed as pick-up-and-go tools to support teaching time outside.

The activities range from reading in nature to building sound maps; from creative craft to movement and breathing. Older students can lead them with younger students and they don’t require much time or printable resource. 

See the Teach Outside page on the DOC website to download your kete of Conservation Week activities. 

Be in to win a class toolkit for Learning Outside!

Take a photo of what Conservation Week looks like for your class and post with the hashtag #TeachOutsideNZ.

For more information go to www.doc.govt.nz/teachoutside(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 12:45 AM, 9 August 2021

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