South Africa Push Pin

Room 15’s Push Pin Inquiry Unit - “Where in the world” had a social sciences based focus that integrated other curriculum learning areas.  

Our Driving Question was “How do people in other countries and cultures live?” Our learning involved comparing and contrasting life in South Africa with how we live in New Zealand.

Our learning focused on different areas of the curriculum including:

  • Developing knowledge about the climate, location, food, culture, economy (money), history, development and flora & fauna in our chosen country.

  • Demonstrating an awareness of dance, music, visual arts in their own and others lives.

  • Listening to and retell legends of our chosen countries, write information reports/book creators to share our knowledge of the countries we are learning about and a word wall to learn the everyday vocabulary of the country we are focusing on (i.e. word in English, Te Reo, Africans, Visual).

Our inquiry started with a class brainstorm to record what Room 15 children knew about South Africa. Luckily for us, Keani’s dad is South African so she was able to contribute a few ideas. We looked at the map and globe to discover that South Africa is a long way away over the ocean.



We learnt about the South African flag and were able to compare it with the New Zealand flag. The students were very interested in the animals that live in South Africa so we were also able to compare and contrast those animals with New Zealand’s native animals. Room 15 children decided they would like to work in pairs to research an African animal. They decided to share their learning with others using Book Creator. We shared these books with our parents, teachers and other students on our celebration day. We also shared these with our parent using Seesaw.








The children wrote wonderings/questions they would like to know about life in South Africa. As a group we supported each other to research and find the answers to our questions - Google was a great help along with some local experts.




One afternoon Keani’s mum arrived at school with some South African treats for us to try. These included Bobotie, Rooibus Tea and Rusks. We made a traditional South African Malva Pudding to share on our celebration day.






Our Safari Park, displaying our African animals, was a great attraction on our sharing day as were our masks.



The children made their own art to display the tribal plates worn by different South African tribes. Some also got to wear the Springbok rugby jersey and a tribal print dress Keani brought along to school.




I taught my little brother how to say good morning in Africans - Hoya Mora (Ana)

I found a South African flower in my garden called a Protea (Chloe)

I got to try on the Springbok rugby jersey. It was cool (Josef)

I learnt lots about life in South Africa” (Lachlan)

I enjoyed making the tribal art. It was really colourful with lots of patterns (Lyla)

We had so much fun learning about life in South Africa and sharing our learning on the Celebration Day. It was great to see in our end of inquiry reflection that the children knew so much more about South Africa than at the start of our inquiry.


Our new classmate “Grilly” also got the chance to visit many other new countries and experience new cultures with the children. Room 15 students were given the opportunity to see the world as the huge and diverse place it is through sharing knowledge with each other about the places they visited with “Grilly”.




Keywords: South Africa, compare, contrast, language, currency, geography, food, music, art, tribal

Push Pin Inquiry South Africa Room 15 2019.4