Together at home #07

Orca are at the top of the food chain in Northland’s sun-kissed harbours.

Two orca hunt for a ray in the weeds at Oakura, Northland, while a third, younger orca looks on and learns. The middle orca has its white underbelly facing the camera and is not an albino.

BELOW ARE SOME talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s video.


Discuss the ideas presented in the Northland video with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.

  • What was the main risk facing the orca?
  • We saw the pod of orca hunting as a team but they have also figured out some other smart ways to help each other. Did you notice any of these?
  • Which animals of the ones you saw might eat some of the newly hatched baby octopi?
  • Were you surprised by how much movement and life there was on the mudflats when the tide was out?
  • How might a change in this ecosystem—like the Mediterranean fan worm that has established in some areas and competes for food with native mussels—have an effect on larger animals, further down the food chain?


Use up some pictures from old magazines such as New Zealand Geographic or Forest & Bird to make cards for people. Cut around the outline of individual animals and glue them onto cardboard. Add captions or background if you want to. Send your teacher some picture of what you made! 


Did you know that apples have a magic star in the middle? Chop an apple cross-ways instead of down the middle. Shake out the pips and reveal the star.

You can dehydrate apple rings by slicing them, laying them out on an oven try and baking them in the oven, on its lowest setting, overnight (you just need to leave the oven door open so that the moisture can escape as they dehydrate. To save electricity though, you can space the rings out on a stick and leave them to air-dry for 2–3 days. We propped our stick up between two jars on the bench and put a paper towel over the apple rings to keep any marauding flies or germs off. You can soak the rings in lemon juice before drying, to try to stop them oxidising (turning brown) if you want to.

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