What we found at Manutewhau Creek
As part of our science unit study on the features of our landscape I took my class of 26 eight and nine year old students to the local creek across the road from West Harbour Primary School in West Auckland. I asked Mary Gardner, friend and biologist to lead the 'expedition'.
Loaded down with a tub full of tote trays, bowls, sieves and magnifying glasses, Room 13 headed out of school one sunny afternoon in late March.
I have used parts of the childrens' own stories to describe what we found that day. Here's what they had to say….
"The adults who went with us were Mrs Way, Mary and my teacher, Miss Adams."
"Mary told us that she was a biologist and she looks at living things."
"Mary the biologist came with us and showed us how to look for insects that live in fresh water."
"On the way to Manutewhau Creek I heard some cicadas singing in the bush but that's all I heard. I think we made too much noise."
"When we went to the creek we had to walk down a steep hill in the bush. We slid down the hill like water."
"We walked in the dark shady parts where the branches were on the ground. There were no sounds when we went down to the creek - no birds flapping their wings even. We could smell the creek."
"We got split up into three groups. The group I was in had to cross the creek."
"The equipment we used were sieves, jugs, trays and the end of a coca-cola bottle with a stocking for a net."
"Stacey found a spider and she put it back in the creek. She scraped underneath the water and got some mud. I got the magnifying glass and I gave it to here to look closer at the spider."
"Mary showed us how to collect snails and worms. We didn't find many living things in the water."
"We caught a worm and a snail. A cricket was jumping on Mary's back when she was catching bugs."
"Mary was telling us what bugs to look for. But we didn't find anything. She said it makes her sad that she doesn't find anything. What made her a little bit happier was finding water worms and a little swimming bug."
"Stacey went down to the creek with a sieve and big bowl. She didn't collect much but we did see one bug."
"I walked into the creek carefully and stood on some stones so I didn't get wet but I still did!"
"There was an L and P bottle in the water that made a waterfall and an old car tyre. There was a lot of yellow brown clay in the water from the new housing development that is going up beside the creek."
"Stacey found a spider and Mrs Way let us have a look. Stacey tipped the water with the spider in it back into the water. Stacey had another go but all she got was muddy water."
"We climbed up out of the bush. Mary said , "What can you hear?' We opened out ears but we heard nothing - we didn't even hear birds. We only heard Kenny and Sean talking. We saw lots of spider webs on the trees."
"When we got back to class we asked Mary some questions. One of them was. Is the water polluted? Mary said "yes".
"Mary was sad because the water was polluted and we found a few bugs, but not a lot."
"I felt really sad that the creek was polluted because it's a shame for the creatures that live there."
"It was cool going to the creek. I had fun."
"This afternoon my class went to Manutewhau Creek. We had to go and discover if the water was polluted or not. What we came up with was yes, it is polluted."
Mary has asked me to put these comments on this web site in the hope that teachers and children in other parts of the New Zealand might like to tell us about their experiences when visiting a local creek.
Was your creek polluted too?
How did you feel about explaining to your class why there are no bugs in the water?
Room 13 at West Harbour Primary School in West Auckland are on line and can been contacted at : email@example.com. Please wait for our reply and be patient as the telephone line is presently being repaired.
Thanks for reading our stories and from all of us in Room 13 - thanks Mary for leading our creek expedition and giving us access to this page - its been great to do!
Room 13 classroom teacher
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