Goanna ate my homework: FOUNDATION-Science-Explain

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.

Explain - Engage in discussions about observations and represent ideas


As a class, view one of the following video clips on feather collections:

Discuss the benefit of seeing related objects together in a collection. Prompt students to identify the different names of birds in a collection. Ask the class, how the collector knew that the feather belonged to the bird. Introduce ways of identifying various birds. Reference materials:

Show students a few examples of feathers; explain and detail the various parts of a feather. Explain how the feathers help the bird to camouflage itself within its environment, or attract a mate.

View and discuss these video stories:

Have students use paper/cardboard cut outs of feathers to colour with their own designs and colours.

Talk to students about the characteristics of birds and the phenomena of being classified as a bird. Ask students to pose their own questions about what make birds different/similar from other animals. List these characterises and have students nominate different birds to see if they fit the hypothesis. For example, concentrate on local native birds: magpie, budgerigar, swan, noisy miner, crow, emu, parrot, galah, etc. (Non-native birds include: blackbird, Indian myna, feral pigeon, starling, and sparrow) Explain to students that the feathers of the same species may different because of gender differences.

Over the course of a fortnight or month, ask students to collect bird feathers (found on the ground) and start a class collection. Use the following website to identify feathers in your local area.

Suggested resources: