Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.
Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.
- Looking through the photos, which ones do you find beautiful or interesting? How many of the creatures can you name without reading the captions?
- Are you surprised to see a snail hatching out of a hard shell? Did you know that a snail could live up to 20 years, like the powelliphanta species pictured? Do you think many young New Zealanders know that we have a carnivorous snail and if not, would they find it interesting to find out about? (Powelliphanta slurp up worms from the forest floor.)
- The opening paragraph of this article is amazing – the author is “up to his knees in a forest” that despite its short stature may be hundreds of years old. What kind of conditions would produce such a low-growing forest?
- The writer quotes from late local poet Leicester Kyle, who described the landscape as an “untrod field of singing flowers.” What do you learn about the land from this description? What does the word ”untrod” mean and why might the flowers seem to sing?
- “Names should have some zing to them” – the flatworm is an unexciting name, considering that it is an insanely frightening predator. The writer and photographer consider whether the “Sandstone Anaconda” or the “Copperhead Hell Worm” would be better names for the flatworm they are looking at. How might those names change the public’s attitude towards a species?
Activity: Finger knitting
This calm and satisfying form of knitting can be done with only your fingers and a strand of wool! It’s a great way to keep your hands busy while you have to sit still.
You will need:
- Wool – either real wool or acrylic yarn
- Your fingers
Step One: Tie a slipknot in the wool and slip the loop of the knot over the “pointer” finger on one hand.
Step Two: Wind the wool around your pointer in a second loop. Pull the first loop over the top of the second loop and off your finger. Now you should have one loop (the second one) on your finger.
Step Three: Repeat the process – making a second loop and dragging/pulling the first one over it and off your finger – until you have a chain of knitting that is a length you are happy with. Tie a knot in the end when you have finished. You can use this knitting to make a belt, a necklace or a thread to hang photos or art from.