Saving Our Stream

An inquiry unit for Years 3 – 6

This unit was created by Chris McLean working with EcoMatters Environment Trust. EcoMatters would especially like to thank Laingholm Primary staff and students from the middle and senior school for sharing their stream inquiry and photos for use in this resource.


The aim of the inquiry unit is to support and encourage children to engage with their local stream and to take collective action towards a sustainable future for their freshwater environment.

General Objectives

By the end of the unit students will:

1. have knowledge of the physical features of their local stream and its history through stories from mana whenua

2. have an understanding of the water cycle and how it relates to their lives

3. identify some of the animals and plants in their local stream and have an understanding of their habitats and life cycles

4. be able to describe the relationships between the plants and animals (food webs) and their reliance on a healthy habitat

5. identify how humans have changed stream habitats and the water quality in an urban environment

6. develop an understanding as to why streams are significant places, what their value is and whether they should be protected places

7. identify and reflect on actions they can take to help protect waterways

The unit comproses of six separate sessions