This Leaning into Literacy session happened back in the classroom after the third Te Reo o Te Wai field trip. As with all the previous trips we started on the bank above the Ruamāhanga river. This time Kara Kenny from Mountains to Sea, introduced some of the fish, like the Giant Kōkopu that once flourished in our rivers. We then explored the restoring wetland on Ruamāhanga Farm and learnt about the important role our wetlands have to play in the health of our rivers and wider ecology. After harvesting all the words that we might use to describe the qualities of water and naming some of the creatures we had discovered, the children went on to write their letters of appreciation.

Kia ora Ruamāhanga awa
I like your gleaming still waters – they made me interested in you.
I learnt about the giant kōkopu and their beautiful patterned bodies.
I want to learn about the kōara and kōkopu.
I hope I can keep learning about the river and fish.

Ngā mihinui, arohanui

Kia ora Ruamāhanga awa,
I liked your icy clear water.
I learnt that the water is home to many creatures.
I want you to be home to many species of kōkopu.
I hope that people keep the water clean.

Ngā mihi nui,

Kia ora Ruamāhanga awa,
I liked the beautiful shimmery river.
I learnt that wetland water is dirty because its job is to clean the sparkly river.
I want our awesome river to stay clean.
I hope our beautiful rivers will be able to get bigger.
Harley Rose

Kia ora Ruamāhanga awa,
I liked the gleaming river.
I learnt that the wetlands are quite dirty because their job is to clean.
I want there to be more awa.
I hope the rivers can be free one day.
Thank you for taking us there.

Kia ora Ruamāhanga awa,
I like the icy, gleaming, fresh water.
I learned that water is a beautiful place.
I want to fish.
I hope that you find your own way some day.

Kia ora Ruamāhanga awa,
I like how you are home to all the freshwater fish.
I leant that the wetlands are quite dirty because their job is to clean the water.
I want to go see the river again.
I hope that the wetlands get cleaner.