Goanna ate my homework: FOUNDATION-Science-Elaborate

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.

Elaborate - Participate in guided investigations and make observations using the senses


Talk to students about the characteristics of birds and the phenomena of being classified as a bird. Direct students to the fact that birds lay eggs. Poll students for those who like eating eggs, and what types of foods using eggs they like to eat. Discuss that eggs are a staple food and that humans primarily eat chicken eggs. Have students think about what emu eggs might taste like; is there any other type of egg they may have eaten, e.g. duck eggs, quail eggs? Quiz students about where they find eggs in the wild. Discuss how and why birds lay their eggs in a nest and where you usually find a nest. If possible, take students for a walk to observe nests in trees in the local area. Talk with the class about not disturbing eggs in the nest, and about the times of the year that birds lay, hatch and protect their eggs.

Ask students, to suggest strategies for encouraging birds to live in the local area: for example, bird baths to provide water for local bird life, wooden shelter boxes for birds and possums, putting out of food sources for different creatures, planting flowers that might attract birds or insects or native trees that might be home to native species.

Re-watch Episode 5 ‘Goanna ate my homework’. Discuss why goanna wanted the emu eggs and have students suggest what else goanna would need to sustain life, e.g. water, shelter, etc.

Conduct an experiment using mung beans or seeds to determine how necessary light, water, and food (in the soil) encourage growth. The students can test these elements to provide a truthful explanation about growing food.



1. Collect small plastic containers to plant seeds in. Put soil in about half of the containers and cotton wool in the other containers.

2. Plant 4–5 seeds in each container.

3. Sort one half of the containers into three groups and place them on a window sill, in sunlight.

  • some containers with soil and regular watering
  • some containers with no soil and regular watering
  • some containers with no soil and no watering

4. Place 3 types of containers in a darkened cupboard:

  • some containers with soil and regular watering
  • some containers with no soil and regular watering
  • some containers with only soil and no watering.

5. Allow all seeds to grow (or not) for 2 weeks, then compare health and size of plants – tabulate for students to easily view the results.

6. Have students draw conclusions about the importance of each element – soil (food), water, sunlight – when growing food. Identify which elements and conditions are the most successful.