by Simon Pollard
Planning a science or natural history unit? Not sure where to start? Why is That Lake So Blue? (Te Papa Press) is for you. Written by Dr Simon Pollard, biologist and award-winning author, this authoritative guide to New Zealand’s natural wonders has a wealth of information and inspiration for busy teachers.
Written especially for young New Zealanders, it provides a fascinating insight into the latest understandings on how our land was formed and the evolution of our unique species, earthquakes, volcanoes, forests, lakes, rivers, wetlands and mountains. It covers the latest scientific discoveries about our oceans and marine life, including some “Seriously cool” and “Gross!” (Year 8s) creatures.
As a resource for teachers to bone up on their knowledge and identify starters for inquiry, in a New Zealand context, this resource is a star. As a student resource or reference book, it’s suited to older children (Years 6-10), and those with a passion for geology, nature or bugs.
Feedback from Year 5 and Year 7 students was:
“Really cool. I learnt lots.”
“It’s kid friendly, and if you don’t know a word they’ve got ‘What does that word mean?’.”
“I liked the history of our land and how it evolved.”
“It’s well set out and easy to read. I think a kid would get into it for a research project.”
I highly recommend a copy for every school library; and maybe one for yourself in case you can’t wrestle it from the science-mad kids!
Reviewed by Maria Higgison