Inquiry unit | Levels: 1-4: Use this resource to learn how to protect our unique marine environment.

Protecting our marine world cover.

Protecting our marine world is an integrated curriculum teaching resource with New Zealand’s marine reserves as a real-life context for learning. The resource links to the New Zealand Curriculum at levels 1-4, but can be adapted for use at various levels.

The resource contains teaching and learning material to support a unit of work, grounded in Environmental Education for Sustainability (EEfS)/Conservation education themes and incorporating aspects of Te Ao Māori (a Māori worldview).  The unit is based on an integrated, inquiry learning process.

Learning objectives

Overall vision:

To provide students, teachers and their communities with opportunities to grow their knowledge, skills and understandings about marine conservation, so that they can help resolve environmental challenges for the marine environment in their local area and beyond.

The exact pathways of learning and associated outcomes are up to students and teachers. Activities and suggestions in the resource enable the following learning opportunities:

Connecting to the marine environment (Te Taha Wairua)

Students can:

  • form significant personal connections to their local marine environment
  • have awareness and sensitivity about local species and environments and start to care for them.

Knowledge, skills and understandings (Te Taha Hinengaro, Te Taha Tinana)

Students can:

  • grow their understandings of no-take marine reserves in New Zealand
  • recognise the role of tangata whenua in marine conservation
  • learn skills to help address marine conservation issues.

Taking collective action and working with community (Te Taha Whānau)

Students can:

  • act alongside the wider community to contribute to a healthy marine environment
  • participate in active sharing with the community to celebrate success and action.

Download the resource 

Download a zip file of all these activities (ZIP, 8,455K)

Note: This is a very large file and may take some time to download.

Supporting resources

Resources from the 2004 marine reserves education resource:

Other resources

Learning levels

  • Primary
  • Secondary


  • Marine and coastal
  • Animals
  • Plants

Curriculum learning areas

  • Science
  • Social science
  • Health and physical education
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Technology


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