Week Four: Contemporary Kiwis


Welcome to Week Four, and the final five days of our journey! Over the past three weeks we have travelled across time and learned about what life was like in New Zealand in the 19th and 20th centuries. We have now reached the 21st Century and are ready to learn about modern life in New Zealand.


Cool Kiwi Fact #5: Sign language became the third official language of New Zealand (alongside Te Reo Māori and English) in 2006.


Day 1: Turn of the Century (2000-2010)


Activity 1:  Celebrating a Win

In 2000, the country of New Zealand celebrated when Russell Coutts and his sailing team won their second straight America’s Cup. This was the first time that a team from New Zealand had won back-to-back championships! Many people celebrated the victory with their friends and family.


On your blog, tell us what you and your family do to celebrate special events, such as birthdays. Do you have a special meal or go to a specific place? In our house, we usually make a pizza and bake a special cake. What about you?






Activity 2: Lord of the Rings

Arguably one of the most famous movie trilogies of all time, The Lord of the Rings, was filmed in New Zealand. All three movies were directed by a New Zealander named Peter Jackson. The first movie was released in 2001, the second in 2002 and the third in 2003. The movies cost an estimated $300 million to produce!  



Imagine that instead of spending the money on the movies, Peter Jackson decided to give all of this money to you. Lucky you! On your blog, tell us what you would do with $300 million dollars. How would you spend it? It is a lot of money so please think carefully about it and spend it wisely :-)




Bonus Activity: The Rise of the ‘Selfie’

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Although most of you are quite familiar with the idea of taking a ‘selfie’ (picture of ourselves), this was not always the case. In fact, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that people started talking about the idea of a selfie, taking selfies and posting them online.


In honour of the rise in popularity of the ‘selfie,’ take a selfie and post it on your blog. Try to show us at least one of your hobbies or one your favourite things (maybe a special toy or book). For example, here is a selfie of Hazel drinking a big mug of tea, and Rachel with her son, Aronui, attending a Paw Patrol show!

BONUS POINTS: 8


Day 2: A Decade of Sport


Activity 1: Chasing Great

Over the past 17 years New Zealand has experienced a number of sporting highlights, perhaps none larger than the back-to-back Rugby World Cup victories in 2011 and 2015. In both competitions our national rugby team, the All Blacks, was captained by a man named Richie McCaw. He is arguably one of the best rugby players of all time. A movie called Chasing Great was recently created to document his incredible rugby career.


Please watch the trailer for Chasing Great and read about Richie McCaw online. On your blog tell us three things that you learned about Richie that you did not know beforehand. What else would you like to know about Richie?




Activity 2: Sporting Heroes

In 2015, a kiwi golfer named Lydia Ko became the youngest woman in the world to reach the #1 ranking.  She was only 17 years old. Many people from here in New Zealand and overseas really admire her and think of her as a modern-day sporting hero. Who is your sporting hero? They can be a famous athlete, or even a member of your family or community. It’s completely up to you.


On your blog tell us about your sporting hero. Who are they? Why are they a hero? Include a photo of them in your blog post.


My sporting hero is Lisa Carrington. She is an incredible rower, and last year she was awarded the prestigious  Lonsdale Cup for her amazing results in 2016! She spends hours training, and I think her commitment to her sport is inspiring.




Bonus Activity: Shake it Off

In recent years, many New Zealanders have embraced a new form of exercise called Zumba©. It was developed by a man named Alberto Perez who lives in the country of Columbia. He created Zumba by bringing together many different dance styles including: cumbia, mambo, hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, tango, merengue and mambo.


            The Merengue                                      The Tango

Choose one of the dance styles mentioned above and click on the name to read more about it. Once you are done, post three interesting facts about the dance style on your blog. In which country did it originate? Who originally created it?  

BONUS POINTS: 10





Day 3: Social Systems


Activity 1: Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP)

In 1996, New Zealand adopted the MMP voting system. In September of 2017 we had a national election. Everyone in New Zealand, over the age of 18, was invited to vote for who they wanted to form the next government in New Zealand. The race was really close and in the end, three different political parties (Labour, New Zealand First and the Green Party), came together to form the new government. It is called a ‘coalition government’ because it includes different people from different political parties.


Imagine that you had to form a coalition government with two other people.  Who would you choose to partner with?


I would form a coalition with my son, Aronui, and with my friend, Amber. Aronui would be a great addition to the coalition because he is funny and kind. He would make us laugh and take care of us. Amber would be great because she is really smart and thoughtful. She is also good at making decisions. I think that we would form a great team. What about you? Who would you choose? Why?




Activity 2: Migration

Over the past few decades, there has been a huge rise in the number of people coming to New Zealand to live and/or travel. I was one of those people! In fact, I moved with my family to New Zealand in 2010 and I am so glad that I did. It’s a pretty amazing place to call home! At the moment I live about 10 minutes from three stunning beaches and a beautiful national park.


Speaking of home, where do you live? On your blog, please post a picture of your hometown and provide a list of three things that tourists, like us, could do if we came to visit. What do you like most about your hometown? (Remember the guidelines for being Cybersmart, and never post your address online).


My hometown of Almonte, Ontario




Bonus Activity: Modern Learning Environments

Over the past few years, a number of schools have changed the way that they teach. Instead of one teacher working in one classroom with one group of students, some schools have built huge classrooms where many teachers work together to teach a big group of students. This is called a ‘Modern Learning Environment’ (MLE).

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Some people prefer Modern Learning Environments while others aren’t so sure. Take a look at the pictures above. The one on the left is a photograph of a traditional classroom, and the picture on the right is of a Modern Learning Environment.



Imagine that you are a teacher, and design your own classroom. What would it look like? What furniture would you have? I would love to have some beanbags for reading on.


Draw a floorplan of your classroom (either in Google Draw or on paper) and upload it to your blog. Describe what is special about your classroom and why you designed it this way.


I’ve drawn a classroom with pink carpet and bright coloured tables. I also included a kitchen so that we can do cooking every day and a HUGE bookshelf because I love to read! What would you like to see in your classroom?


BONUS POINTS: 18




Day 4: Contemporary Entertainment


Activity 1: Moana

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In late 2016, the movie Moana was released by Disney. It’s a beautiful story about a young Polynesian girl from the fictional island of Motunui, who goes on a big adventure.


Watch the trailer for Moana and then write a summary of the movie on your blog. If you’ve seen the movie, you can include your favourite part! Tell us as much as you can about the movie. What is it about? Who are the main characters in the movie? What do they do in the movie? Where do they go?





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Activity 2: Country Calendar

Did you know that the longest running television show in New Zealand history is a programme called ‘Country Calendar’? It started on 6 March 1966 and has been running ever since. The programme includes stories of everyday New Zealanders, many of whom are farmers.


Watch this short clip from Country Calendar. What do you think would be the most interesting and/or challenging things about being a farmer? Would you like to be a farmer when you are older? Why/why not? Give us, at least, two reasons to support your answer.





Bonus Activity: Singing a Different Tune

A number of New Zealand (NZ) singers and songwriters have recently burst onto the music scene, becoming popular both in NZ and overseas. One of these artists, Lorde, is gaining a lot of recognition for her unique style and songwriting ability. People all over the world seem to really like the lyrics (words) that she writes in her songs.


Think of your favourite song. Share the name of the song, the name of the person who wrote the song and the lyrics from the song on your blog. You must type the lyrics not cut and paste them in order to earn full points for the activity.


BONUS POINTS: 8





Day 5: Looking into the Future


Activity 1: Your Future Self

It may be hard to imagine, but one day you will graduate from high school and it will be time to decide what to do next. You may want to study at university, become an apprentice, go to training college, travel, or start working. There are so many options!


Take a minute to think about your future. What would you like to do when you finish school? Would you like to work in a specific job? Would you like to study at university? What would you study? Maybe you’d even like to move overseas. Share your thoughts and ideas on your blog site. There are no wrong answers!




Activity 2: Flying Cars

Let’s imagine that you’ve just learned to drive, and your family has decided to buy you a brand new car. You are allowed to choose from any of the following designs:


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On your blog please tell us which of the three cars you would choose and why.




Bonus Activity: Blade Runner 2049

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There is a new movie out in cinemas at the moment called Blade Runner 2049.


It is a movie about what the world will be like in the future. Imagine that you able to travel through time and that you can see what the world will look like in 2099.


On your blog write a description of what New Zealand will be like at that time (80 – 90 years from now). What kind of houses will people live in? What will they eat? Where will they work?


BONUS POINTS: 20


Congratulations! You have now travelled through time and learned about over 200 years of New Zealand history. Wow!


We hope that you have enjoyed the experience. We would also love to hear what you liked and what you think could be improved for next year’s programme.


To give us feedback, click here to be taken to the feedback tab. Everyone who completes the survey will be given an extra 10 points!



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