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Fish Collection

Episode:27Te Papa Collection:Natural Environment

Suggested curriculum levels:5 – 8

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Science: Nature of Science

Description:Simon Morton discovers something more than fishy at Te Papa's Tory Street stores. It's a giant morgue for more than 200,000 preserved fish, sharks and sea creatures.

Questions for students

  1. Te Papa's Fish Collection is described as being 'like a library'. Is this a good simile? What features does the collection have in common with a library in purpose and function?
  2. How does a fish specimen get from the ocean to a shelf in Te Papa's collection? Using information in the Tale, draw up a flow chart to illustrate each step of the process.
  3. In this Tale, several aspects of the work of scientists are revealed. From what you already know about scientific research, identify one aspect, such as species identification, and describe how it is shown through the work of Te Papa's Fish Collection.
  4. Why do you think scientists from other parts of the world might be interested in New Zealand species?
  5. How can non-scientists help develop a collection of New Zealand fish or other animals or plants? How can information from a national collection support local conservation efforts? Use the 'Ideas' response template to record and explore one idea about the way people can participate in and contribute to scientific endeavours.

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