Goanna ate my homework: FOUNDATION-Science-Engage

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.

Engage - Pose and respond to questions about familiar objects and events

Theme - FAUNA

After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 5 ‘Goanna ate my homework’, ask students to identify the signs left by living things, that Little J found in the backyard and on Country. Quiz students on what objects Little J collected for his treasure box. Ask students to list any other clues they saw to identify the animals, birds or insects in Little J’s local area. Prompt students by highlighting some things Little J talked about at the start of the episode. As a class, develop a short list on the IWB or board of these ‘signs of life’.

Divide the class into smaller groups and ask each group to nominate a list of ten animals. Remind students, if necessary, that there are six different types of animals: mammals, reptiles, birds, arthropods, amphibians and fish.

Invite students to explain what is meant by ‘native” within an Australian context. Then have them use their list of ten animals and determine if these animals are native to Australia or not. Invite students to suggest animals that are not ‘native’ to Australia, and think about how these animals may have arrived in Australia.

​​​​​​​As a class, devise a combined list of Australian native animals. Divide the number of animals listed between the groups and ask each group to find and print images of each animal and label these to create a visual class reference table.


Explain to students that they are taking a walk through the local bush area to collect evidence of animal/bird/insect life. Ask students to collect things such as feathers, seeds, flowers, leaves, rocks, soils, shells, and photographs of birds, animals, fish, insects, etc. Students can identify any feathers they find by comparing the colouring and shape of the feather to the images of the birds they previously researched. If there is concern about removing objects from important places, students could create a frottage.

Have students create a Treasure Box (shoebox) of their artefacts and specimens to display and label their finds.