Goanna ate my homework: FOUNDATION-Science-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 - Participate in guided investigations and make observations using the senses (ACSIS001 - Scootle)


As a class, define what the expression, ‘Signs of Life’, means. List the class suggestions on the board or IWB. Include evidence of dead animals or insects in the definition, as this will lead to discussions of other natural history collections, such as skeletal remains and fossils.

Create a Web-quest of ‘natural history’ museum websites and have students find artefacts at each site. Develop a template for students to input their findings. Encourage students to download images and information about each artefact, so that they can create a booklet showcasing specific objects from the collections. Suggested websites for Natural History museums are:

The Holistic Planning and Teaching Framework by Uncle Ernie Grant could be used here to unpack a particular object or artefacts:

If permissible, ask students to bring to school any collections they or their family may have at home, e.g. butterflies, insects, stamps, fridge magnets, trading cards, etc. Students present their collections and explain why it is important to the person collecting them.


Organise an excursion to local natural history museum to view the collections, such as Melbourne Museum’s various collections of insects, birds and stuffed animals. Check the links above.

Have students reflect of what types of animal artefacts are kept in a Museum and why it is important to have museum collections. Ask students to think about and suggest what artefacts a museum collects about people who lived in the past, or about people’s special places. Discuss these options: art objects, technologies, diaries, stories. Ask students about what artefacts are collected about Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples? Talk about the protocols of never taking artefacts form the special places belonging to other people. Discuss the protocol of ‘leaving Country as you found it’. Prompt students to suggest artefacts of past peoples that are on Country, e.g. rock art, graves, scar trees, etc. Explore examples of rock art found in the their local/state area, such as:

Ask students to find two or three examples of Aboriginal art that incorporates an Australian animal. Have students list the names of the animals. Combine all images on a presentation (using PowerPoint, Prezzie, Glogster or other software) and invite all students to talk about their animal slide and the tracks that those animals leave on the land. Record each student’s narrations with the appropriate slide.