A Guide For Teaching Environmental Education
Ko Ranginui e tū iho nei
Ko Papatūānuku e takoto nei
Whiria te kaha tūātinitini
Whiria te kaha tūāmanomano
Haumi ē! Hui ē! Tāiki e!
The foundation for environmental education in the classroom is the student’s own environment. Firstly, they must have an understanding of their environment and their relationship to all it holds within it. Following this students then identify topics for exploration themselves – this ensures the results are achieved through authentic learning contexts.
The following are examples of learning activities to support the enviro digi-stories. Although they all have a science focus, links can be made to the Te Reo, Tikanga ā-iwi, Ngā Toi, Hauora and Technology learning areas. Teachers should choose the learning areas most appropriate for their students.
Kotahi tonu te matua o te tangata Māori,
ko Ranginui e tū iho nei,
ko Papatūānuku e takoto nei.
Māori have only one parent.
Ranginui who stands above,
And Papatūānuku who lies below.
Ko te oranga taiao, he oranga tangata.
The wellness of the environment ensures the wellness of people.
- Students will understand their relationship with the environment.
- Students will understand that their actions have an effect on their environment.
- Students will develop proficient skills in research, testing, investigation and problem solving.
- Students will understand that environmental action is a collaborative process and that results are achieved by working together.
Te whenu: Te Ao Tūroa Taumata: Tau 1–8
Te Pū Me Te More
1. Ka ako haere ko ētahi hiahiatanga kei ngā mea oreore katoa, kia noho ora ai.
2. Ka whakawhitiwhiti whakaaro mō ngā mea oreore, ka whakarōpū i runga i ngā rerekētanga.
3(i) Ka ako mō ngā kīrehe korehāhā, nō nehe rā anō i ora ai.
3(ii) Ka mārama haere ki ngā āhuatanga o ia mea oreore e rite ana kia whai oranga ai ia i tōna ake wāhi noho.
4. Ka ako haere me pēhea te rū whenua me te puia e huri ai i te āhua o te takiwā, me ngā pānga ki te maunga, ki te awa hoki.
5. Ka whakawhitiwhiti whakaaro mō Tama-nui-te-rā me te Marama, me ngā pānga ki a Papatūānuku.
1. Ka ako haere i ngā āhuatanga motuhake o ngā rauropi e whai oranga ai tēnā me tēnā.
2. Ka whakarōpū whānui ā-pūtaiao i ētahi rauropi.
3. Ka mārama e rite ana te rauropi mō tōna wāhi noho, ā, tērā ka raru te rauropi ina rerekē taua wāhi noho.
4(i) Ka ako haere i ngā pūtake o ngā āhuatanga ā-nuku o te takiwā, tae atu ki ngā tāpui wai.
4(ii) Ka ako haere mō te āta titiro, te tuhi me te matapae i te huarere.
1. Ka āhukahuka ki ngā tukanga koiora kei ngā rauropi katoa, me te mōhio anō he rerekē aua tukanga i ngā momo rerekē.
2. Ka whakarōpū whāiti ā-pūtaiao i ētahi rauropi.
3. Ka āhukahuka, ka whakamārama i ngā panoni o ngā momo koiora (me ngā mea motuhake o Aotearoa), o neherā tae noa ki tēnei wā.
4(i) Ka mārama haere ki ngā āhuatanga nui o te mata o Papatūānuku, arā, te wai, te toka, te one, me ngā āhuatanga e taea ai te ora i reira.
4(ii) Ka mārama haere ki te hurihanga wai me ōna pānga ki te āhuarangi, te āhua o te whenua, me te koiora.
1. Ka tautohu i ngā hanga me ngā mahi o ngā tukanga koiora i te tipu, i te kīrehe, ā, ka whakaahua i ngā whakahaere o te pūtau.
2. Ka whakaahua i ngā tukanga koiora e pā ana ki te whakaputa uri, te iranga, me te tukunga iho ā-ira.
3. Ka tūhura i ngā hononga hauropi o te rauropi ki te rauropi (hei tauira, ko te raupapa me te māwhaiwhai kame), ki te taiao whānui hoki.
4. Ka tūhura i te hanga, te hanganga, me ngā āhuatanga o Papatūānuku, o te kōhauhau hoki, me ngā pānga o tā te tangata mahi.
5. Ka tūhura, ka whakatauira i ngā hurihanga e ahu mai ana i ngā pāhekoheko a Papatūānuku ki te Marama me Tama-nui te-rā, pēnei i ngā āraitanga, i ngā tai, i ngā wāhanga o te tau.
1. Ka whakahāngai i ngā āhuatanga ā-tinana me ngā mahi o te tipu, o te kīrehe, o te moroiti, ki ā rātou tukanga koiora, ā ka tūhura i ngā āhuatanga taiao e pāpā ana ki aua tukanga.
2. Ka torotoro tauira e pā ana ki te tukunga iho o ngā āhuatanga ā-ira.
3(i) Ka whakamārama he mea nui te rerekētanga ā-ira i roto i te taiao hurihuri.
3(ii) Ka tūhura i te pānga mai o ngā mahi a te tangata, me ngā tukanga māori, ki tētahi pūnaha hauropi i Aotearoa.
4(i) Ka mārama me pēhea te ariā nukupapa me ērā atu tukanga ā-nuku e whakarite ai, e huri ai, i te mata o Papatūānuku.
4(ii) Ka tūhura i ngā hurihanga ā-nuku, ā-Tāwhiri, ā-rangi hoki, e whakarerekē ana i ngā āhuatanga whaiora i runga i a Papatūānuku i te takanga o te wā.
5. Ka whakamārama i ngā tūmomo hangarau (pēnei i ngā tūmomo karu whātata, ngā amiorangi, ngā waka ātea) hei ako haere, hei torotoro i te whānau a Tama-nui-te-rā me te ao tukupū, i ngā hononga mokowā e pāpā mai ana ki a Papatūānuku.
1. Ka torotoro i ngā rerenga tukanga koiora o te tipu, o te kīrehe.
2. Ka mārama ki te pāhekoheko o te pītau-ira me te taiao i roto i te whakatinana ira.
3(i) Ka whakamārama me pēhea e puta ai ngā panoni ā-ira ki rō taupori i ngā pāhekoheko o ngā āhuatanga taiao me te whiringa māori.
3(ii) Ka torotoro i ngā tauira horahora hauropi, ā, ka whakamārama i ētahi take mō aua tauira.
4(i) Ka mārama haere me pēhea te tukanga nukupapa, me ērā atu āhuatanga ā-nuku, e hanga ai, e panoni ai i te mata o Papatūānuku.
4(ii) Ka mārama me pēhea e taea ai e ngā mahi a te tangata te whakarerekē i ngā hurihanga e tautoko ana i te ora i runga i a
5. Ka whakamārama i ngā āhuatanga me ngā hurihanga-ora o ētahi tūmomo whetū, tae atu ki ngā panoni pūngao me te wā.
1. Ka tūhura i ngā tukanga kukuwhatanga i puta ake ai te kanorau koiora i runga i a Papatūānuku; ka tirotiro i te wāhanga me te pānga o te tangata i roto i aua tukanga.
2. Ka mārama ki te raweke ā-pūtaiao i te whakawhitinga mōhiohio ā-ira, ā, ka hanga whakatau mutunga mārama tonu mō ngā pānga pāpori, matatika, koiora hoki e pā ana ki tēnei mahi.
3. Ka mārama ki ngā hononga o te rauropi ki tōna taiao.
4. Ka whakawhanake māramatanga ki ngā pāhekoheko, i roto i te wā, o te mahi a te tangata ki ngā hurihanga māori o Papatūānuku.
A Process for Teaching Environmental Education
He kākano ahau i ruia mai i Rangiātea
This whakataukī reflects the main objective of this part of the process; that the student will understand their connections to the environment – the genealogy, the history and traditional knowledge that forms the bond that man has with the environment.
Ko au te taiao (I am the environment)
1. Students research genealogy and traditional knowledge pertaining to the area. They may choose a whakataukī, a traditional story, a proverbial saying or a traditional song that holds information about the area. They can retell what they find out through:
- presenting a play
- presenting a song
- presenting a movement piece or dance
- making digi-stories
- doing illustrated or photographic storyboards
- making a short film or news report
- presenting an art piece
- designing a carving or kōwhaiwhai.
Ko te taiao ko au (The environment is me)
2. Students research and present a map of their school or local area. They may identify the following places on their map:
- Natural landmarks – mountains, hills, trees, rivers, planted areas.
- Man-made areas – houses, power poles and lines, roads, towns, schools, water repositories, sewerage outlets, rubbish dumps.
- Boundaries – tribal, sub-tribal, family as well as council boundaries.
- Sacred sites – cemeteries, traditional pā sites, marae, community areas of importance, churches.
- Industrial or work sites – farms, factories, industries.
- Food gathering or producing areas – fishing areas, gardens, bush, hunting areas, orchards, and farms.
- Recreational areas – parks, sports fields and buildings, recreation areas
- Gymnasium or hall and sports fields.
- Dining rooms or food preparation and eating areas.
- Toilets and ablution areas.
- Play grounds.
- Trees and planted areas.
- Swimming pool.
- Reception and visitor areas.
- Car parks and bicycle areas.
- Resource rooms.
- Rubbish bins and rubbish collection areas.
Nō tātou katoa te taiao (The environment belongs to all of us)
3. Who are the people in your community that know about your school or local area? Students interview people that are connected to the area such as; kaumātua, local council staff, Department of Conservation staff, hunters, fishing people, scientists, farmers, businesses, children and community or cultural groups. They may choose to:
- Make audio recordings.
- Take photographs and notes.
- Make video recordings.
Mō tātou katoa te taiao (The environment is for all of us)
4. Students present the results of their research and exploration of their area or school. They may consider some of the following questions;
- What have I learnt so far?
- What has the group/class/school learnt?
- What are the main issues that have arisen?
- What things do we still need to find out?
- What action needs to be taken?
Students should identify a project that they will explore further and eventually take action on. It is important that the project is meaningful to them.
He manga wai e kore e whitikia?
This whakataukī encourages students to take on the challenge of creating change in their environment. It likens challenges to contemplating crossing a river. Does one stop or continue on? Through careful planning and co-operation difficulties do not necessarily need to be insurmountable.
Planning for learning
Through their research the students have identified a specific issue or project that they would like to address. The most important thing is that the topic has come from the students’ own observations and findings. Here are some examples:
- There is lots of rubbish on the school grounds.
- There are no shade areas for hot sunny days.
- The field gets boggy during the winter.
- There is less and less kai available in the river.
- There are very few playing spaces and activities for senior students at school.
- The hill behind the school is slipping away.
- There are lots of cars parked outside before and after school.
- The students want to know how to grow kai, or gather a certain type of food or make a garden.
Once a topic is chosen students focus on gathering more specific information about the issue through testing and thorough investigation to ascertain the action that needs to be taken.
Here is a process students can follow during their investigations.
Focusing and planning
Students consider the following question: ‘What information do we need to be able to know what action we will take?’ For example:
- Where does the rubbish come from? What types of rubbish are there? How much of each type of rubbish is there? What effect is it having on our environment? How would we like it to be?
- What kinds of food do we want to grow at school? Where is the best place to grow these types of plants? What do we have to do to prepare the soil? What effect might this have on our environment?
- What kinds of food are becoming scarce in our river? Why is this happening? What can we do to promote the wellness of the kai in our river?
- What kinds of trees does the school want to grow? Why? Do those types of trees grow ok in this area?
This is what the students will do to find information and test ideas or predictions.
- Looking and observing.
- Finding patterns and relationships.
- Doing experiments.
- Asking experts.
- Gathering data.
- Researching in books and the Internet.
- Using various technology and devices.
- Using equipment and various implements.
Analysing and interpreting
Students carefully analyse the information they have gathered. Here are some questions they may wish to consider.
- Can we see any patterns?
- Are all the tests we did useful?
- What are the main trends we can see?
- Do our results match widely known science ideas?
- Do our results make sense with our tikanga Māori?
- What is the main thing we have found out?
- What other things do we still need to know?
Students report back what they have found through their research and investigation. There are many ways they can do this. Here is an example below.
Presenting a Newspaper or TV Report
- Students firstly identify the focus of the article or news report. For example – ‘Food is becoming more scarce in our local river.’
- Students interview people about the focus of the story. They should try to get a range of talent who are connected with the river, or perhaps pretend that they are people who have interests in the river – i.e. fishing people, white baiters, Department of Conservation staff, local farmers, students, kaumātua etc. … This is an opportunity for students to show what they have found out.
- The report should end with what action is going to happen next. This is an opportunity for students to express what action they think needs to be taken.
- Students should choose appropriate images and perhaps music to compliment their report.
Tama tū tama ora, tama moe tama mate
Now that it is clear what needs to be done – it’s time to take action!
Planning for learning
Any plan of action needs to be carefully thought out so that the benefits are clear to everyone involved. Taking purposeful action is not just a physical activity, we have used the whare tapawhā below to ensure that all aspects are considered.
- What are the main objectives of the work we are about to undergo?
- Does everyone know how to do the work?
- When is the best time to do it?
- What do we need to be careful about?
- What are the safety considerations?
- What results are we hoping for?
- Are we feeling confident about what we will be doing?
- Have we considered the knowledge and lessons that our tīpuna have given us when approaching this work?
- Are we prepared to work sensitively, with patience and enthusiasm?
- Have we asked all the appropriate community, iwi, school and whānau groups to be involved?
- Are we ready to work cooperatively and collaboratively?
- What are the guidelines or rules we need to stick to?
- Do we know who the leaders are? Do we all know our own roles?
- Do we have all the equipment we need?
- Do we have all the correct clothing and footwear?
- Do we have the people with the right skills doing the right work?
- Are we aware of how we will support kaumātua, young children or those less able to be involved where they can?
Working collaboratively is a key aspect of environmental education. In this activity students are required to prepare a presentation to a group that they would like to be involved in their project. This group may be able to provide resources, money or expertise to help achieve the change the students want.
The main aim of the presentation is that the audience understands what the project achieves and is inspired and moved to support the project. Here are some sample headings students might use in a power-point type presentation.
- Greeting – opening remarks.
- Who we are.
- Project background.
- The results of our research.
- The objectives of our project.
- What action we want to take.
- How you can help.
- Closing remarks and waiata.
He kokonga whare e kitea, he kokonga ngākau e kore e kitea
This whakataukī reminds us that there are some outcomes that are not so obvious at first glance. As well as achieving objectives, benefits include things like enhanced relationships and personal satisfaction.
Planning for learning
Here are some ways that students may be able to show the development of their skills and learning. Reflection and evaluation is an on-going process and does not necessarily begin at the end of a project. Here are some examples of tools that can be used to help students to reflect on and evaluate their progress throughout the project.
- Writing a diary.
- Using graphs and markers.
- Drawing designs, maps and making proto-types.
- Writing a story or book.
- Comparing results.
- Making a photographic storyboard.
- Writing songs, plays, haka etc.
- Having a celebration.
- Presenting results to others (other classes, schools or groups).
Students choose one of the traditional stories or waiata that they found out about in the beginning of the project and pretend that the main characters have come through time to today. What do they think of the action that the students have taken?
Students devise a play that shows how their characters from the past react to the action the students have taken for their environment.
Whakatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te whenua
Students consider how to ensure that the work they have completed is maintained in the weeks, months or even years ahead. They may also consider what skills or knowledge they need to ensure there is continual improvement in their environment. They may think about the following:
- What now? What needs to happen first? Second? Third?
- Who will do it?
- Who can help or support?
- What do we need to find out about to ensure this happens?
- What other issues have arisen through this project?
- What can we do in the future?
Preparing a Calendar
Although the main part of the project has been completed there is still work to do to maintain the results. If students are planting kūmara they will need to be looked after at different times during the year. If students have organised a recycling programme at school this will need to be maintained.
Students prepare a calendar of activities that will need to be undertaken throughout the year to maintain their project. This will ensure that their project continues and that if needed, help can be called on at various points.
Enviroschools Handbook, The Enviroschools Foundation, Hamilton 2008
Enviroschools Kit, The Enviroschools Foundation, Hamilton 2008
He Kete Taiao – Ko Au ko Koe, ko Koe ko Au, The Enviroschools Foundation, Hamilton 2010
He Tauira Pūtaiao, Ministry of Education, Wellington 2000
Pūtaiao i roto i Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, Ministry of Education, Wellington 1996
Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, Ministry of Education, Wellington 2008
Te Reo Pūtaiao – A Māori Language Dictionary of Science, He Kupenga Hao i te Reo, Palmerston North 2009
Ngā Pepeha a ngā Tīpuna, Hirini Moko Mead and ko Neil Grove, Victoria University Press, Wellington 2007