Rākau | Trees in our Learning Spaces

Trees can teach us how to be good ancestors.

Growing, planting and caring for trees is a relationship that requires patience, care and commitment, with many rewards along the way. We can guide ākonga to connect with and care for trees by choosing a starting point related to the seasons: collecting seeds, growing seedlings, planting, caring and eventually experiencing the flowers, fruit, shade, branches to climb and other benefits they provide us.

Winter is the season to plant trees and we've provided some ideas, resources and links to events below. This is also the perfect time to start planning for next year, by learning about trees that grow in your local area and thinking about whether you could grow your own plants from seeds or leaf litter.

Inspiring Stories

Hastings Central School has a shade house where ākonga grow a range of seedlings which are then gifted to projects in the community. They have also used trees as a key part of their outdoor classroom design, planting mānatu (ribbonwood) and nīkau to provide shade.

Te Kākano nursery in Wānaka has worked in collaboration with Whakatipu Reforestation Trust to develop an education programme that supports ākonga to learn about, grow and care for native plants, from early childhood through to their primary and secondary years.

These projects are examples of how outside providers and the wider community can help support kaiako with relevant and local learning.

Visit our Providers page to search by region and find people and groups near you who can provide support.

Getting Started: Helpful Resources

Restoration Through the Seasons includes a poster and inquiry plan from the Department of Conservation (DOC) that can help guide you towards activities that work best each term.

Kids Greening Taupō have an online nature classroom about Tipu | Plants of Aotearoa that includes great activities and information about trees and other plants.

Order a copy of Tree Snap or Taukapu Rākau from Trees That Count and have fun learning the names and benefits of some of our common native trees.

Get to Know a Tree with this short nature connection activity from DOC.

Trees That Count have a range of videos and advice for schools about how to plan and coordinate planting days. Remember to check in with your local community and environmental education providers to get support with this process.

If you're part of the Enviroschools programme you should check out the Living Landscapes resources.

Plant Trees in Pipiri | June

You might already have plans to start a ngahere | native forest in your school or kura grounds, or maybe you're involved with a community planting project. These dates and events can provide a starting point if you want to get involved:

June 5th            World Environment Day (and Arbor Day) many local councils and community groups organise planting days over this long weekend. Find out what's happening in your area and encourage ākonga and their whānau to get involved with a community planting day.

June 4 - 12th   Be With a Tree Week from Kiwi Conservation Club includes some fun online events and could provide inspiration for growing or planting trees.

June 24th          Matariki is a time for celebration and giving back to Papatūānuku, which is the perfect opportunity to plant trees in your school, kura or wider community.

Resources
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