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Teaching and learning units

These resource ideas from the Ministry of Education and other organisations have a social studies focus, or a cross-curricular focus with social studies elements.

The resources are starting points for teachers in the classroom. Teachers are encouraged to save the unit files and adapt them to meet the needs of their students, school, and community.

These ideas link directly with the New Zealand Curriculum, and support development of the key competencies and values of the curriculum.

Consumer protection resources: years 4–6

The suite of Consumer Protection school resources aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to be informed and confident consumers.

In the collection of modules for  years 4–6 students explore their role, rights, and responsibilities as a consumer. 

Find out about modules for other levels on the Consumer Protection's  School Resources page.

Visit Consumer protection resources: years 4–6

Consumer protection resources: years 7–8

The suite of Consumer Protection school resources aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to be informed and confident consumers.

In the collection of modules for  years 7–8 students examine and describe the factors that influence people’s purchasing decisions. 

Find out about modules for other levels on the Consumer Protection's  School Resources page.

Visit Consumer protection resources: years 7–8

Consumer protection resources: years 9–10

The suite of Consumer Protection school resources aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to be informed and confident consumers.

In this collection of modules for  years 9–10 students will recognise that purchasing goods or services involves a contract with terms and conditions, and will outline the steps they can take to remedy a dispute with a retailer. 

Find out about modules for other levels on the Consumer Protection's  School Resources page.

Visit Consumer protection resources: years 9–10

Tax education and citizenship

This resource focuses on young people's participation in, and contribution to society through the taxes they pay now and in the future. It supports students to understand what tax is, what it is used for, and how all citizens are involved. It focuses on key social studies objectives and also covers the key NZC value of community and participation, the key competency managing self, and the future focus issue of citizenship.

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Building Sustainable Communities, level 5

This unit examines the idea of communities' environmental and social sustainability, and the possible role of central and local governments in promoting sustainability, as well as the impact of individuals.

Building Sustainable Communities, level 5

The popcorn shop, level 1

In this cross-curricular unit, students investigate the properties of corn and corn products, and make popcorn for the marketplace using a range of flavours. Learning is focused on the social sciences, mathematics, and science learning areas.

This unit was developed for the Education for Enterprise project. It portrays an enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning. It can be found with other resources in the Financial Capability resources – planning section of the Financial Capability resources – planning section of the New Zealand Curriculum website.

Visit The popcorn shop, level 1

Interact: Cultural Diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand, level 5

This unit explores the nature of ‘cultural interaction’ in Aotearoa New Zealand today, by examining ways in which cultures interact and the implications this has for communities.

Interact: Cultural Diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand, level 5

Asia Celebrations, level 2

This unit of learning explores the concepts of culture, identity, and diversity. These areas are explored using students' own experiences and their responses to narratives, images, and objects within an Asian context.

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Asia Celebrations, level 4

This unit of learning examines the concepts of identity, organisation, and culture for Asian students in New Zealand schools. This unit will open new understanding of cultures throughout the Asian region, while also examining the ways migrant communities celebrate in New Zealand.

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Asia Celebrations, level 5

In this unit, students are challenged to develop understandings of cultural interaction through exploring fresh contexts in Asia and New Zealand. The unit uses a social inquiry approach and enables teachers and students to think and work in contemporary ways.

Visit Asia Celebrations, level 5

Chinese Lantern Festival, levels 1–2

This unit of work encourages students to explore how the Chinese lantern festival is celebrated and to discover why this festival is significant for people of Chinese descent. Students use an inquiry approach to develop their understandings.

Visit Chinese Lantern Festival, levels 1–2

Chinese Lantern Festival, levels 3–4

This unit of work encourages students to explore how the Chinese lantern festival is celebrated and to discover why this festival is significant for people of Chinese descent. Students use an inquiry approach to develop their understandings.

Visit Chinese Lantern Festival, levels 3–4

Dunedin Chinese Garden, levels 1–2

This unit of work encourages students to explore the Dunedin Chinese Garden and discover its significance for the people of Dunedin. Students use an inquiry approach to develop their understandings.

Visit Dunedin Chinese Garden, levels 1–2

Dunedin Chinese Garden, levels 3-4

This unit of work encourages students to explore the Dunedin Chinese Garden and discover its significance to the people of Dunedin. Students will use an inquiry approach to develop their understandings.

Visit Dunedin Chinese Garden, levels 3-4

Going global, level 3

In this cross-curricular unit, students set up an Asian holiday destination in their classroom/school hall and invite others to visit. During the unit, students use coins and notes for transactions and calculate correct change, create a simple budget, and describe ways of keeping money safe.

This unit was developed for the Education for Enterprise project. It portrays an enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning. It can be found with other resources in the Financial Capability resources – planning section of the New Zealand Curriculum website.

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We will rock you, level 3

In this cross-curricular unit, students investigate natural disasters and explore how people can be better prepared to deal with them. Learning is focussed on the English, science and social sciences learning areas.

This unit was developed for the Education for Enterprise project. It portrays an enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning. It can be found with other resources in the Education for Enterprise – planning section of the New Zealand Curriculum website.

Visit We will rock you, level 3

Market fair, level 3

In this cross-curricular unit, students will set up and run their own market fair for caregivers and selected students in their school. Learning is focussed on the technology, English, and social sciences learning areas.

This unit was developed for the Education for Enterprise project. It portrays an enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning. It can be found with other resources in the Financial Capability resources – planning section of the  Financial Capability resources – planning section of the New Zealand Curriculum website.

Visit Market fair, level 3

Marae caterers, levels 3-4

Students will plan, prepare, and serve a two course lunch for a group of visitors to the marae. Students will be given a set budget for the lunch and determine an attendance price so funds are raised to cover/partially cover the costs of attending the Festival. Students will research aspects of Māori culture, for example, traditional foods and cooking methods, and the kawa (protocol) used for hakare at their marae, and the roles and responsibilities of ringawera.

This unit was developed for the Education for Enterprise project. It portrays an enterprising approach in social studies makes learning real and relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning. It can be found with other resources in the   Financial Capability resources – planning section of the New Zealand Curriculum website.

Visit Marae caterers, levels 3-4


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