Week 1: Physical Limits

Sport and Exploration

(Year 3-5)

Kia ora and welcome to the first week of the Summer Learning Journey! We are so glad you have joined us! This week we are going to be learning about people who changed the world through exploration and sport. The people included in this programme are only a small number of the exceptional, influential and inspirational explorers and sportspeople in the world.

On Day 5 you will get the chance to choose someone you are interested in and share what you learn about them on your blog.

Get ready to learn about some brave, strong people who have taken risks and pushed boundaries!

Day 1: Exploring the World

Activity 1: Setting Sail [4 points]

People from the Pacific are excellent explorers and navigators. They used the stars, sun and ocean swells to navigate (find their way) around the Pacific Ocean.

Nainoa Thompson used this ancient knowledge to navigate around the world on canoes called Hokule’a and Hikianalia. Here is a short video about Polynesian navigation. Incredible!

Imagine that you were invited to join Nainoa for three weeks at sea. You are asked to pack your own food. List 10 food items that you could take on the trip. Remember you will not have a fridge or freezer!

On your blog, post your list of 10 food items you would take on an ocean voyage.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Image Attribution: Kupe by Sid Mosdell is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Activity 2: Discovering Aotearoa [4 points]

Many people believe that Kupe was the first person to discover Aotearoa, New Zealand in about 1300. He navigated from Hawaiki to Aotearoa using the stars, sun, and ocean swells.

In 1642 Abel Tasman came from The Netherlands, to New Zealand. He thought that he was the first person to ‘discover’ the country, even though Māori already lived here!

Kupe and Abel Tasman came from two very different cultures but they both wanted to explore the world.

Please think about your own culture. Where does your family come from? What is important or special to you and your family? What language do you speak?

On your blog, please tell us about your culture.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 3: Scaling New Heights [6 points]

In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and his sherpa (guide), Tenzing Norgay, were the first people to reach the summit (top) of Mt Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

Sir Edmund Hillary also did a lot of charity work. In 1960, he started the Himalayan Trust to bring education, healthcare and safe drinking water to the people of Nepal - the country where Mt Everest is located.

Please choose a charity that you are interested in. You may choose your own or use one from our list (below). Read about the charity.

List of Possible Charities:


Auckland City Mission

Air Rescue


On your blog, write a short explanation of what the charity does.

Day 2: Up in the Air

Activity 1: Flying Solo [4 points]

Jean Batten was a famous aviator (pilot) who was born in Rotorua, New Zealand in 1909. She was the first person to fly solo (on her own) from England to New Zealand - amazing!

Amelia Earhart was an American aviator. She was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, from Canada to Northern Ireland. Amelia Earhart tried to fly right around the world. Unfortunately, she disappeared in the Pacific Ocean and was never found.

For this activity, compare and contrast these two aviators. You could use this venn diagram.

On your blog, share your comparison between the two aviators.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 2: One Small Step for Man [4 points]

Neil Armstrong was an American astronaut. In 1969 he became the first person to walk on the moon.

Landing on the moon is very dangerous. Neil Armstrong must have been extremely brave.

I always imagine that walking on the moon must be like jumping on the trampoline! Do you like jumping on a trampoline? My daughter Laila loves it!

For this activity, let’s imagine that you were Neil Armstrong.

On your blog, write a short poem describing how you felt when you first set foot on the moon.

Here is a link to some different types of poetry.

Activity 3: Miracle on the Hudson [6 points]

In 2009, Mr Chesley Sullenberger, or “Sully”, became very famous when he landed his aeroplane in the middle of the Hudson River in New York City.

He had to make an emergency landing when both of the engines in his aeroplane lost power. Amazingly, all 155 people on board the plane survived the landing.

This landing became known as the ‘Miracle on the Hudson.’

Sully must have been scared when this happened, but he was extremely brave.

On your blog, recount a time when you (or someone you know) did something brave.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Day 3: Team Players

Activity 1: Rugby Superstars [4 points]

Jonah Lomu was an All Black and a rugby superstar. He was Tongan, and grew up in Mangere, South Auckland. He was very tall, strong and fast.

Richie McCaw was also a famous rugby player. He was the captain of the All Blacks for 11 years. As well as being an amazing player, Richie McCaw was also a strong leader and captain.

For many people, players like Jonah Lomu and Richie McCaw are superheroes with extra special ‘superpowers.’

Imagine that you could be a superhero for a day. What three superpowers would you most like to have?

On your blog, please list the three superpowers, tell us why you have chosen each one, and tell us what you are going to do with them.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Image Attribution: LeBron James is now a Los Angeles Laker by Reuters

Activity 2: Defying the Odds [4 points]

LeBron James is one of the most famous basketball players in the world. He plays in the NBA (National Basketball Association) for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Steven Adams also plays in the NBA. Steven comes from Rotorua, New Zealand. He plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

When they were young, neither of their families had a lot of money. Even though life was hard, they become very successful basketball players.

Imagine that you could interview LeBron James or Steven Adams.

On your blog, tell us who you would interview and write three questions that you would like to ask the basketball player.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Image Attribution: Silver Ferns by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images. Image Source.

Activity 3: Achieving our Dreams [6 points]

The Silver Ferns are New Zealand’s representative (rep) netball team. They play against teams from all over the world and often win!

To become a Silver Fern, the players had to work very hard, sacrifice (give up) many things, and show dedication and determination. They also had a lot of support from others - their family, friends, teachers, coaches - to achieve their dream.

Please think about your dream job. Who do you think could help you to achieve this dream? What could they do to help you?

On your blog, share your dream job, who could help you to achieve this, and what they could do to help. Share your brainstorm as a poster or infographic.

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

Day 4: Individual Pursuits

Activity 1: Making a Racket [4 points]

Billie Jean King, Venus Williams, and Serena Williams are three amazing tennis players. They have worked hard to make sure women get the same amount of prize money as male tennis players do.

Billie Jean King famously beat a male tennis player, Bobby Riggs, in 1973, to prove that women could be just as good as men in tennis.

Here are two videos about Serena Williams and Venus Williams. Choose one to watch (or watch both!)

On your blog, tell us three things that you learned from watching this video, as well as one thing you would still like to know.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 2: What’s in a Name? [4 points]

Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest boxers of all time. He won many World Heavyweight Champion titles.

Muhammad Ali was an African American man born with the name Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. When he was a young man, he became a Muslim and he changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

Imagine that you were allowed to change your name to anything that you wanted.

On your blog, tell us what you would change your name to and why you would choose that name.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 3: Worth her Weight in Gold [6 points]

Dame Valerie Adams is a shot put champion from New Zealand. She has won the World Championships four times as well medals at the Olympics.

Valerie Adams is a proud Tongan New Zealander. There are many Tongans living in New Zealand - you may be one of them!

The Kingdom of Tonga is a group of 169 islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is located between Fiji, Samoa and Niue. Here are some travel tips about Tonga.

Imagine that you were asked to create a travel poster for a country of your choice. On the poster, include lots of great tips about what to see and do in the country.

On your blog, post your finished copy of your poster.

*Please remember to attribute the images that you use and write the information in your own words.

Day 5: Against the Odds

Activity 1: National Treasure [4 points]

Sophie Pascoe is a New Zealand para-swimmer. This means she is a swimmer with a physical disability.

Sophie has won many New Zealand and world para-swimming races, including nine Olympic gold medals. Sophie is a great example of someone who did not let their disability stop them from achieving their dreams.

Swimming is very important to Sophie.

On your blog, please share three things that are important to you and why they are so important.

For me, the most important things in my life are my husband, Jono and daughter, Laila. My extended whānau and friends are also very important to me as they help me to laugh when things are hard, and support me in everything I do.

Activity 2: Swimming to Safety [4 points]

Yusra Mardini is a teenage girl who was born in Syria. She left in 2015 to get away from the war in Syria. She became a refugee.

Yusra left Syria by boat. When the engine on the boat broke down, Yusra helped to save the lives of 20 people.

Yusra now lives in Germany. In 2016 she was part of the Refugee Olympic Team. She is a competitive swimmer.

Listen to the podcast of Yusra Mardini or read her story on her website.

On your blog, retell the story of this brave young woman from Syria.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 3: Own Choice [6 points]

You have now made it to the end of Week 1! Congratulations!

Here is your chance to choose your own sportsperson or explorer who you think has changed the world. It could be someone you know, or here are some suggestions in case you get stuck:

Jessica Watson

Kelly Slater

Tanielu Tele’a

Sachin Tendulkar

Ann Bancroft

Laura Dekker


For this activity, choose one person and read about them.

On your blog, please tell us:

  1. The name of the person

  2. A sentence about the work they do/have done

  3. A sentence about how they/their work has had an impact on the lives of others

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.