Goanna ate my homework: FOUNDATION-HASS-Explore

Little J shares his bird feather collection with B-Boy. In school, Little J promises to find bush tucker to share with the class. The problem is that he doesn’t know how to find bush tucker. He enrols the help of Big Cuz and Nanna to teach him ‘proper way’ to identify and track animals. The group finds emu eggs but overnight a greedy goanna eats them. Nanna comes to the rescue by making spaghetti bolognaise for the class.

Explore - Sort and record information and data, including location, in tables and on plans and labelled maps


As a class, read these books and view the clip:

Talk with the students about how the writers describe the landscape in their stories, and identify the various features of the landscape, and how the illustrator represents the features of the landscape. Explore the different signs and symbols within the Aboriginal artworks used by the illustrators in the books. Have students pose questions about the meaning of the signs and symbols.

Divide the class into small groups of two or three students. First, have each group select one image of an Australian landscape. Then, have the students find the location of this landscape on a map (preferably using Google maps, satellite setting and list the:

  • name of the state, and region
  • name of a main town (Indigenous name and non-Indigenous name)
  • type of landscape (forest, desert, city, farm, etc.)
  • animals found in this landscape.

Find 4–6 images of animals and birds of their region.

Similarly, develop a class ‘data base’ for their local area (if it is different from the option above). This involves the whole class contributing facts and statistics about their local land/sea features of the area, temperature, rainfall, native flora and fauna, etc. to build up a geographical profile.

Using a large plastic sheet, in an outdoor school location, cover it with sand. Ask each group, in turn, to draw their landscape in the sand and to describe to the class what features they are drawing and why these features form their landscape. Mix the sand with thinned wall paper glue and students can build up the undulating surface of their landscape. Students can use symbols to indicate waterholes, etc. Refer to the Aboriginal symbols for geographic features: