Big Plans: YEAR 1 - Media Arts - Explain

Big Cuz and Little J are very excited that Sissy is coming to play with them over the weekend. They both see Sissy as their special friend. Big Cuz wants to play a ‘Sisters Only’ talent quest just for she and Sissy, and Little J plans an obstacle course for all to play. Eventually, Little J, Big Cuz and Sissy come together to test their skills on the obstacle course.

Explain - Respond to media artworks and consider where and why people make media artworks, starting with media from Australia including media artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples


After viewing the Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 6 ‘Big Plans’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding of news reporting as a media genre.

Have students watch examples of news reporting, such as:

Have students identify what a news reporter’s main role is, such as presenting facts about an event to an audience. Ask students about how a news reporter collects specific information/facts about an event/incident for their report, such as on location interviews with people who experienced or observed the event/incident. Student responses should also include that reporters ask questions of the people (participants/observers) who were present at the event/incident, or are experts about a topic.

Divide the class into groups of six students, and have each group recall and discuss the ‘obstacle course’ competition in Little J’s backyard. Have each group allocate the roles of the five characters who were in Little J’s backyard at the time (two contestants- Big Cuz and Sissy, the host – Little J, and two bystanders - Nanna and Old Dog), with one student acting as a news reporter.

In their character roles, the group enacts the events in order to prepare a news report on the competition. Invite each group to present a two-minute news report to the class, from the different perspectives of one or more of the characters.

Discuss how the characters can relay the same event from different perspectives. As a suggestion, have students imagine how Old Dog would have described the event when he was used as the crocodile, and all he wanted to do was play with the ball; or Big Cuz who was reluctant to participate at first but was encouraged to do so. Have the groups also suggest the purpose of the news report, and the intended audience.

Have the class pose and respond to questions about the different styles of news reporting. Have each group consider how they will present their news reports, and which of the characters perspectives will they focus on.

Explain to students that a news reporter may have two roles: a reporter (on location) and a news presenter (in studio). As a class, watch examples of news reporting from Behind the news.

From the students’ observations of various news reports, establish the following points about the purpose of news reporting and the demographic of the intended audience:

Purposes of reporting the news:

  1. Uncover and present facts about an (actual) event
  2. Tell the story incorporating different perspectives from those who experienced or observed the events, or expert testimony

Provide background information about why/how/where/when it happened and what other events may have a relationship to the event, etc.

  • Audience (demographics):
  • Young children (0–6 yrs)
  • Children (6–12 yrs)
  • Adolescent (12–18 yrs)
  • Young adults (18–25 yrs)
  • Adults (25–60 yrs)
  • Mature adults (60+ yrs)

Ask students to keep a Media Diary, noting any items of news they watch on television/online at home. Have students note the names of the news reporters and presenters, and assess who they consider is the news production is pitched at (or intended audience). View Rookie Reporter, Behind the news, ABC

In pairs or groups, invite students to select one of the following Aboriginal stories and/or Torres Strait Islander stories:

Have students imagine that they are reporting the story as a news item. Ask students to identify the characters, describe when and where the event took place, and what happened in the views of those who were the participants and those who were bystanders. Select students to present their news report to the class.

** Teacher note: The reporter also has to present a respectful report, as these stories hold special beliefs to Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.