Teaching Resources

The Peopling of New Zealand

Our heritage cemeteries strongly reflect the customs not only of the times but also of the many different groups of people who came to New Zealand to settle or make their fortunes. This set of resources allows students to use their information research skills to investigate some of our first settlers. While these units are for specific settings many teachers elsewhere will be able to use the ideas contained in these units and adapt them to suit their local settings.

Resource Set 1: First settlers
(Levels 3 and 4 Social studies)

  • Teaching Unit: First settlers and Early Identities (PDF file. Download size 2.7MB)
    In this unit students investigate the first settlers to arrive in a district. The study context in this unit is Anderson's Bay Suburb and Cemetery in Dunedin.

    Any historic cemetery can be used in this study. Teachers using a local cemetery need to work with their local museum or historical society and locate gravestones of early people important to the district and gather together archival material and information about the individuals or families. Once teachers have selected individual headstones for the study, students visit the local cemetery and locate their settler. When they return to school they try to find out more about their individual settler using collected archival materials, library resources and cemetery authorities, historical societies, museums or information centres or even older family members. Students design questions and are involved in an internal whole class or interclass game as all groups try to guess who each group's 'early settler' may be.

Resource Set 2: The Chinese Goldseekers
(Levels 4 and 5 Social Studies)

  • Teaching Unit: The Chinese Gold Seekers (PDF file. Download size 4.5Mb)
    In this unit classes are encouraged to visit and work with data from graves in the Chinese section of Dunedin's Southern Cemetery. Students investigate who the Chinese gold-seekers were, where they came from, why they came to New Zealand, what happened to them and to what extent they contributed to New Zealand Society.

  • Photo-Story: The Chinese Goldseekers Slideshow (PDF file. Download size 3.4Mb)
    This fifteen-slides phot-story incorporates some of the fact sheets from the Chinese gold-seekers teaching unit into a presentation format for teachers. There is some additional information included in the slideshow that is not part of the teaching unit
    This resource is also available in interactive Powerpoint. Click on The Chinese Goldseekers.pptx (Compatible for Microsoft Powerpoint 2007 - (PDF file. Download size 7.5Mb)

Resource Set 3: A pioneer Jewish community
(Levels 4 and 5 Social studies)

  • Teaching Unit: A pioneer Jewish Community (PDF file. Download size 1Mb)
    Students use a jigsaw approach to find out more about Dunedin's early Jewish community and the extent to which this group contributed to Dunedin Society.

    Some primary and secondary historical resources have been located for students to work through, then develop a short presentation, change groups, present their information to their new groups and then try to answer some bigger questions about the role of the pioneer Jews in early Dunedin. A similar resource could be created by teachers in other centres where there was a strong Jewish community.

  • These group resources have been put together to support students in their inquiries if there is limited time to complete the unit. The resources comprise historical materials such as newspaper clippings, obituaries, cemetery maps and trails, as well as weblinks books and other resources for members of the Jewish Community as diverse as Emily Seideberg, Bendix Hallenstein and Samuel Saltzman.

    Download the resources for individual pioneer Jews:
    • Group 1 Resources (pdf file size 0.6Mb)
    • Group 2 Resources (pdf file size 0.9Mb)
    • Group 3 Resources (pdf file size 1.4Mb)
    • Group 4 Resources (pdf file size 1Mb)
    • Group 5 Resources (pdf file size 1.1Mb)
    • Group 6 Resources (pdf file size 0.7Mb)
    • Group 7 Resources (pdf file size 0.8Mb)
    • Group 8 Resources (pdf file size 2.0Mb)

      Do you have a well-known person or groups of people in your cemetery?

      Your class may wish to investigate an important or historically significant person or groups of people that have erected memorials in your local cemetery.

      You may have designed a trail of historically significant people to your community that have memorials in the local cemetery?

      Why not investigate your local cemetery epitaphs and to send us your information. Make sure you include a photograph of the memorial and some background information about why this person or group of people is important to your community. Email the details along with photographs or send as a Word file to Stewart Harvey and we will share your project with others on this website!