Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Lost in the Bush

The Avengers summarised the events "Lost in the Bush" by Serie Bradford in the form of a radio news broadcast.

Monday, 20 November 2017

The Kereru

The X-Men summarised the article Kaupapa Kereru in the form of an infographic.

The Kereru by Sativa

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Pests Cause and Effect

Continuing our inquiry into the native bush we collaborated on a cause and effect of introduced species to New Zealand.

Possums, rats and stoats have had a huge impact on our environment since their introduction to Aotearoa. To combat these pests New Zealand has an ambitious aim to be rid of them all by 2050.

Possums were introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1837 to establish a fur trade. However there numbers soon grew to such an extent that there is now approximately 30 million possums in New Zealand. The effect of this invasion is the serious damage of native trees. Possums eat a huge number of leaves. This can stress a tree so much it will eventually die. Some forests have lost all of their rata and kamahi, two of the possum’s favourite species. Possums have no natural predators in New Zealand therefore numbers must be controlled with traps, poison and by being hunted.

Stoats -
Stoats are public enemy number one and were introduced to New Zealand by European settlers in 1879 to control the number of rabbits and hares.  An unexpected effect of their introduction though was to cause the extinction of many native birds. Stoats attack birds that nest in trees such as the mohua and kaka. Stoats can take out eggs, chicks and incubating adults in one go. The stoat has also caused many subspecies to become extinct such as the bush wren, laughing owl and the New Zealand thrush.

Rats -
Norway (brown or water) rats were introduced to New Zealand unintentionally by being stowaways on the boats and ships that arrived in the late 1700’s. The introduction of rats contributed to the extinction of some native bird species. Rats are especially dangerous because they are able to climb the trees and enter the nests of native birds.

Possums, rats and stoats are New Zealand’s most wanted pests having caused the destruction of the native bush and the extinction of native birds and animals. To protect our native forests, animals and plants we must rid these species from our shores for good.

Kereru Vs Kakapo

After reading "Kaupapa Kereru" by Ross Calman the X-Men used a SOLO Hot map to compare the kereru with the kakapo.

When walking through the bush, you’re likely to hear kereru crashing through the trees, wings flapping noisily. You may also catch a glimpse of their plump shape and sleek, colourful plumage. Another native bird you may encounter, if you are lucky, is the largest flightless parrot in the world, the kakapo.
Native to New Zealand - Liam and Connor
The  kereru and kakapo are amongst many birds native to Aotearoa. The kereru can be found in the lowland, native forests of the North and in the South island. The kakapo is found in the forested islands of Maud island and Little Barrier Island.

Vulnerable to Extinction - Arav and Sam
Like many of our native birds, the kereru and kakapo is under threat of extinction. The kereru is under threat by Illegal hunting. Some other threats include being eaten by animals such as cats, possums, stoats and rats. These creatures have been reducing the numbers of kereru over the years. The kakapo however is in more immediate danger as numbers have reduced to only 126 birds.

Eggs in nests - Siya and Sarah
Both the kereru and kakapo build nests to lay eggs and raise their young. Kereru lay between one to three eggs depending on the food source available. The nest is an untidy platform that sits in the trees. The parents lay one egg at a time and take turns looking after their young which takes about a month to hatch. However the kakapo is different as it lays between one to four eggs on the forest floor.

Organisations helping protect them - Angelika and Sativa
Luckily for the kereru and kakapo there are organisations that have been formed to help protect them. Kaupapa Kereru was first created in 2000 by Ngai Tahu to help protect the kereru. Actions Kaupapa kereru have taken have been growing plants that kereru eat, trying to keep cats away from breeding grounds and schools have also been helping by making and selling kaupapa kereru calendars. As for the kakapo a partnership between D.O.C and forest and birds was formed to protect the kakapo.

Although both birds are taonga to Aotearoa it is the kakapo that is under more serious threat of extinction. Therefore we need to take action to prevent their loss by donating money and volunteering our time to the D.O.C and forest and bird, as well as helping eradicate threats such as cats, dogs, stoats and rats.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Possum Vs Rats

As part of our inquiry into the New Zealand Bush we compared two of our most destructive pests - the Possum and the rat.

The New Zealand native bush is home to a large variety of flora and fauna. However not all of these species are native or even helpful to the bush ecosystem. Certain animals have done immense damage to the native New Zealand bush. Two such animals are the possum and the rat.

Introduced Species - X - Men
Both the rat and possum were introduced to New Zealand from other countries. The possum was brought from Australia in the mid 1800s to be used for fur. Whereas the rat was not brought here intentionally, they were stowaways on ships that carried Polynesian settlers in the 1250’s - 1300’s. Ship rats or Norway rats came to New Zealand with the first European settlers. The introduction of rats is thought to have contributed to the extinction of native birds.  

Pests - Guardians of the Galaxy
The possum and the rat are both pests. They both wreak havoc on the New Zealand bush. Possums eat seedlings and leaves preventing the regrowth of native trees, they also devour buds, fruit, flowers, fungi, insects and eggs.  The rat similarly eats eggs but also birds and is responsible for killing native species of birds and bats. Although both destructive pests possums are considered more dangerous due to their large numbers, there is thought to be around 30 million possums in New Zealand.

Numbers being controlled - Avengers
We all know that possums and rats are some of the biggest pests in the native bush. They destroy many important resources like native trees, birds and eggs. People are trying to control the number of possums by shooting and setting traps to kill them. To control rat numbers people such as the Department of Conservation (D.O.C) have enlisted the help of inventors to create self setting traps.

Other uses - Justice League
Although possums and rats are considered pests there are other uses for these animals. Possum fur can be used to make hats, gloves and scarfs. Possum meat can also be used for cooking purposes such as Possum Pie. Rats can be useful in numerous ways, one of these uses is for scientific experiments such as testing different types of medicine. Rats can also be household pets, as rats can be trained to do a variety of tricks.

The native New Zealand bush is a taonga and needs our help in preserving it. We believe it is essential that pest numbers are controlled to preserve our native bush. The possum and rat need to be targeted with new and improved traps in order to reduce further damage to our native bush.

Bird Food?

Using information from the text 'The Bush Supermarket' we created unique menus for some of our native birds.

Harrier Hawk by Harrison

Wood Pigeon by Kyza

Tui by Liam

Monday, 13 November 2017

Birds of the Native Bush Analysis

"The Bush Supermarket" by Julie Stroud inspired us to analyse how native birds interact with our native bush.

All ecosystems, whether they are marine, freshwater or located in native bush, involve relationships between plants and animals. In our native bush there is an important relationship between birds and our plants and trees.

Fantail - GOTG
The fantail or piwakawaka eats flying insects, caterpillars and spiders low down among the ferns and tree ferns in the bush. The fantail is able to eat these insects as they use their upright tails for hovering and have bristles around their beak which act like a net. If the fantail was to be removed from the bush ecosystem the number of insects would multiply. Pest insects would spread disease and damage crops meaning fewer native plants and trees.

Wood Pigeon - GOTG
Many of our native trees depends on the wood pigeon or kereru to eat their fruit and spread seeds. The bird’s loss would be a disaster for our bush. Native plants are dependent on birds for successful seed dispersal and regeneration. Once a seed has passed through the digestive tract of a bird, it will often be dropped far away from the host tree’s location, enabling the tree to potentially colonise a new area. Without the kereru native trees would not grow as widely. Trees are needed for oxygen, shelter and to control the temperature and without them our world would not be the same

Harrier Hawk - X-Men
The Harrier hawk has a vital role in the bush environment as it cleans up the leftovers of dead animal carcusses. By doing that role the bacteria from carcusses will not spread disease across the forest. The Harrier Hawk also controls pests such as rats and mice. Without the hawk controlling numbers the rats, mice and rabbits would destroy seedlings and spread disease.

Kingfisher - Avengers
The kingfisher or kotare eats small fish called minnows, shrimps, crayfish and frogs. If the kingfisher was removed from the bush ecosystem the food chain would collapse. There would be an overpopulation of fish, frogs and crayfish. This would mean there would be more competition for food sources meaning more animals would die.

New Zealand native birds have a key role in the pollination and seed dispersal of our native flora as well as protecting the bush from predators. Birds are essential to ensure the future of our native bush ecosystem for generations to come. Therefore it is important to protect them from harm by conserving our native bush.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Fantail Vs Wood Pigeon

After reading 'The Bush Supermarket" by Judy Stroud the X-Men, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy compared the fantail and the wood pigeon.

New Zealand is home to a range of birds that live nowhere else on earth. Our unique and remarkable native birds include the kiwi, weka, kotare, pukeko, takapu, tui, ruru and many more. Many of these birds are found in our native forests and bush. We are comparing two native birds, the fantail and the wood pigeon.

Maori Names
Maori named a lot of our native birds including the fantail and the wood pigeon. The Maori name for the wood pigeon is kereru and the name for fantail is either piwakawaka, tiwakawaka or piwaiwaka.  Maori also have a long history of using native birds as a food source and for clothing. However it was only the wood pigeon that was used as a food source.

Native Bush
The fantail and wood pigeon are both located within the New Zealand bush. The wood pigeon is located at the top of the trees because this is where they can find, fruits, berries and nectar. The fantail is however located lower down amongst the ferns close to its food source.

Both the wood pigeon and the fantail feed on items found in the native bush.  The fantails diet consists of flying insects, caterpillars and spiders. Whereas the wood pigeon’s diet consists of fruit, vegetable, juices, leaves, flowers and nectar. This is ideal food for a slow and noisy flyer like the wood pigeon.

Both birds have adapted differently to help them survive in the bush environment. The fantail has evolved to use its upright tail for hovering and has bristles around the beak that act like a small net. These features help the fantail to catch small insects. On the other hand the wood pigeon has features     such as large wings to help it fly high in the trees to find fruits, berries and nectar.
Many New Zealand native birds have adapted to survive and thrive in their natural habitat, however some of our native birds are under threat from pests such as possums, and from humans through the destruction of native bush to make way for houses. We believe it is important to protect native species through the eradication of pests such as possums.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Celery Experiment

We conducted an experiment with celery, water and food colouring. Plants absorb water through their roots through a process called osmosis. The water travels up tubes in the stems to all parts of the plants, and is used during photosynthesis to make food for the plant. When food colouring is added to the water, it travels with the water into the celery's stem and then into the leaves. Plants also absorb nutrients from the soil through the roots and up through the phloem in the plant's stems. The food colouring illustrates how nutrients are delivered to all parts of the plant.

Feathers and Oil Experiment

As part of our inquiry into the environment we conducted an experiment with feathers and oil. When an oil spill occurs in the ocean hundreds of thousands of birds are killed. Oil spills cause the bird’s feathers to loose their buoyancy which makes it much harder for the birds to float in water. Feathers also help the bird maintain a constant body temperature. When the feathers are penetrated with oil, the bird becomes vulnerable to hot and cold temperature fluctuations and extremes. Additionally, when birds which have been coated in oil try to preen themselves, they ingest the oil causing liver and kidney problems. Much of the bird’s food is also coated in oil furthering the ingestion of oil. Because of this and the limited foraging abilities, most birds suffer from dehydration and starvation. We discovered that the most effective way to clean oil covered feathers is to use a mild detergent. 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

What do you call a camel with three humps?

This week we learned about the ship of the desert or as more commonly known the camel. We took notes from a dictogloss and produced information reports.

Camels by Kristy

Camels by Aadi

A Cactus for Valentine's Day?

The X-Men during a compare and contrast of roses and cacti decided cacti were the better plant. They then created these adverts to prove why.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

How does a cactus live without water?

After reading 'How does a Cactus live without water?' on Wonderopolis Harrison and Nikhil created this infographic to show how the cactus has adapted to live in the desert.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Cactus Vs Rose

After reading 'Plants that Store Water' by Gillian Shannon the X-Men collaborated on a compare and contrast map and summary.

The desert is a hot, barren environment that makes for difficult conditions for plants and animals to survive. However there is one plant that is synonymous with the desert and that is the cacti. The cacti has adapted to live in an often inhospitable environment. We are comparing the cacti with another plant that is commonly found in backyards, florists and supermarkets, the rose.

Types -  
The cacti and rose are similar in that there are many different varieties. There are over 100 types of roses such as modern garden rose, the climbing rose and the David Austin rose. However the cacti far outnumbers the rose with over 2000 types including the artichoke cactus, peyote and the cactus commonly seen in cartoons and movies, the saguaro cacti.

Both the cacti and rose like all plants need water to survive. A cactus can store water in their stems however roses don't store water and therefore need to be watered often. Roses transport essential nutrients in water through their roots or leaves.

Like all plants roses and cacti have leaves. However the leaves on cacti are very different compared to other plants. Most cacti have lots of spikes or needle like leaves, which act like an umbrella to protect the cacti from the hot sun and also prevent animals from eating them. Alternatively the rose has pinnate leaves. Pinnate leaves have a feather-like appearance and do not protect the rose but help absorb sunlight and water to help the plant grow.

The cacti and rose both have uses beyond being decorative. The cacti can be used for shelter by many animals and insects. The cacti can also provide water to people travelling through the desert as well as being turned into food such as jelly. The rose can also be eaten in the form of sweets and drunk as a flavouring in syrups. The rose also adds scent to perfumes and can even be used in medicines such as rosehip oil.

Overall we believe the cacti is a greater plant to have. Cacti are easier to grow as they don’t require as much watering, they can provide relief from thirst if you are in the desert and provide important shelter for desert dwelling animals. So next Valentine’s Day instead of a bunch of  roses why not give your lady a cactus instead?

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Tapa Art

Inspired by the Pacific we used print making techniques to create these artworks.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

How to Grow Micro-Herbs

In writing we wrote instructions for planting and growing herbs. We'll keep you posted on our growing efforts.

Charlotte's instructions on growing your own herbs.

Huhu Haiku

After reading 'Huhu Escape' by Jan Maguiness the Guardians of the Galaxy wrote some 'Huhu Haiku' based on information in the article.

Sunday, 29 October 2017


After reading 'Timber' by Julia Wall the X-Men collaborated on a Cause and Effect map and summary.

New Zealand’s new Labour government is planning on planting 1,000,000,000 trees over the next ten years. Without trees, the world as we know it wouldn’t exist. Our forests make oxygen, and they absorb greenhouse gases. Trees are also home to countless species, many of which are in danger of becoming extinct. Trees also provide jobs and a boost to the economy through exportation.

New Zealand has a long history of forestry especially the felling and milling of native trees, but at what cost?

The early European traders felled native Kauri to produce masts for ships. In doing this however they robbed the forests of native trees. It would take hundreds of years for native Kauri to regrow to the same level, therefore the solution was to plant fast growing exotic trees, such as pine.

The felling and milling of native trees also meant lots of money was made by exporting timber to Australia, Britain and California. However a consequence of this was that native birds and animals lost their natural habitat

Historical evidence shows Pakeha settlers felled native trees to make way for towns, roads and farms. One possible effect of this was that the ground became unstable due to erosion and less greenhouse gases can be absorbed.

We believe the government’s aim of planting 1,000,000,000 trees will have lots of benefits for New Zealand such as boosting the economy from exporting more trees overseas and help the environment by absorbing more greenhouse gases.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Tundra Animals

This week in writing we produced information reports about tundra animals.

The Polar Bear by Joshua

 The Arctic Fox by Tariq

Snowy Owls by Tvisha

The Caribou by Brianna L

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Arctic Hare Vs Arctic Fox

We have been learning about the tundra during reading and inquiry. We learnt about the harsh conditions as well as the plant and animal life. Using a SOLO Hot Map we compared the Arctic fox and the Arctic hare.

Arctic Fox Vs Arctic Hare by Liam, Connor, Sam, Mizuki and Boston

The tundra is a cold, windy treeless environment known for its difficult living conditions. However there are a number of animals that have adapted in order to survive the inhospitable climate. These animals include polar bears, snowy owl, Arctic fox and Arctic hare. We are comparing two animals of the tundra the Arctic hare and fox.    

Both the Arctic Fox and hare are found in the tundra. The Arctic Fox is found in Canada, Russia,  Scandinavia and Alaska. The Arctic Hare is found Northern Canada and various parts of Greenland.

The Fox and Hare share a diet based on what is available to them. The fox eats lemmings, voles, birds and their eggs. The hare however eats the limited vegetation found in the tundra such as buds, berries, twigs and mosses.

The Arctic hare forages in the snow to get shelter and be protected from the elements. On the other hand the foxes dig a den with multiple entries and exits to escape from predators and build under snow.
Even though both the Arctic hare and fox have successfully adapted to survive the tundra we believe the arctic hare and the fox have successfully adapted to survive the tundra we believe the hare is better suited to not only survive but to thrive. The hare's fur changes colour through the seasons which helps it camouflage. During summer the hare’s fur changes to grey and blue or grey and brown to help it hide in between the grass and twigs, whereas the fox remains white throughout the year leaving it exposed to predators.

Arctic Fox vs Arctic Hare by Kristy, Charlotte, Sativa and Alexus

The tundra is a treeless, cold, harsh environment. It is known for it’s difficult living conditions. However there are a number of animals that have been able to adapt and live in the tundra, such as the Caribou, Snowy Owl, Polar Bear, Arctic Fox and the Arctic Hare.

Both the Arctic Fox and hare are found in the tundra. The Fox is located in Canada, Russia, Alaska and Scandinavia. Similarly the hare can also be found in Canada, Alaska and Scandinavia as well as Greenland.

The fox and hare share a diet based on what is available to them. The Arctic Hare’s diet consists of buds, berries, twigs and a variety of mosses. However the Arctic Fox’s diet is made up of birds and their eggs, lemmings and voles. The Arctic Fox is opportunistic and can also scavenge for Polar Bear’s leftovers such as whale and seal carcasses.  

Both the Arctic Fox and Hare have thick, white coats to help them survive to the harsh conditions. The Arctic fox also has a long, bushy tail to wrap around their small body. Whereas the Arctic hare has strong hind legs to propel themselves across the snow. Their claws also help them to dig through the thick snow in search for it’s prey.

For shelter the Arctic Fox protects itself by building a den with lots of entrances and exits, in order to escape quickly from any approaching predators. However the Arctic Hare digs for shelter beneath the snow.

Both the Arctic Fox and the Arctic Hare have been able to successfully adapt and survive in the tundra. We believe that the Arctic Fox is better suited to not only survive in the tundra, but thrive. The Arctic Fox is better suited for the tundra because it has a wider variety of food, a more protective place to live and more adaptations to keep it warm.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Genius Hour - What are Volcanoes?

This term students in Room 3 have been working on Genius Hour projects. Here is Suyash and Jacky's project 'What are Volcanoes?'

Monday, 25 September 2017

Globalisation 1 Minute Movies

To conclude our inquiry into Globalisation we produced 1 minute movies focussing on one area of our inquiry.

The United Nations by Jacky and Joshua

Refugees by Sam, Mizuki, Nikhil and Tariq

A Migrant's Story by Liam, Boston, Connor and Suyash

The Evolution of Communication by Kristy, Sativa and Alexus

Fair Trade by Arav, Shreyas, Harrison and Rayan

Box Fit Fitness Routine

For health we created our own fitness routine. Give it a go Champ!

Financial Literacy

Comic Art

After studying the British pop artist Peter Blake we created our own collages using comic books.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Globalisation Poetry

We wrote a range of poems related to our inquiry topic of Globalisation. See more fabulous examples on our individual student blogs.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017


The Justice League used SOLO three layers of learning to complete a novel study of Michael Morpurgo's Warhorse

Malaria Outbreak!

After reading 'Fever' by Rupert Alchin the X-Men used information in the article to create a radio                                                                        news broadcast.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Street Sellers of India

After reading 'Street Sellers of India' by Andrew Crowe the Guardians of the Galaxy collaborated on a compare and contrast map and summary.

People connect with others across the world through imports, exports, migration and through travel. Andrew Crowe a New Zealander travelled to India and experienced street sellers. We are comparing India street sellers and New Zealand street sellers.

Goods and Services Outside - Tariq and Kyza
In India and New Zealand goods and services are sold outside. In New Zealand goods and services are usually sold outside at markets in car parks or fields. Whereas in India they sell their goods and services on the streets on the side of roads or pavements. We think India should have designated market places so pedestrians don’t have to walk on the road to get passed the vendors.

Stalls - Jacky and Sheena
In New Zealand they sell their goods from tables under gazebos. But in India they sell their goods on the floor on a mat. New Zealand stalls are more hygienic because the goods are off the dusty, dirty floor and are covered from rain and any fallen dust and dirt.

Drinks - Boston and Mizuki
Both street sellers sell drinks. In India they sell sugar cane because of the hot weather. In New Zealand they sell different types of drinks such as  freshly squeezed fruit juice, soft drinks and coffee and tea because New Zealand is colder. We think New Zealand market places are better because they have different type of drinks so when you are hot you can drink cold freshly squeezed fruit juice or soft drinks and when you are cold you can drink nice, warm coffee or tea.

Flowers - Rayan and Suyash
Both India and New Zealand street sellers sell flowers. In New Zealand they sell flowers in bunches for everyday occasions but however in India they sell flowers in garlands and bouquets for special occasions such as weddings. We think New Zealand flowers stalls are better because they have more variety of flowers.

Overall we believe New Zealand markets are better because the goods are kept cleaner and more hygienic as they are off the floor, there is a wider variety of drinks available and they are safer because people don’t have to walk on the busy roads.