Goanna ate my homework: YEAR 1-HASS-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 - Present narratives, information and findings in oral, graphic and written forms using simple terms to describe direction and location


Organise the students to work individually or in pairs and have them select an Australian animal to investigate. The students can use these websites as resources for information:

Ask students to imagine that they are a journalist who needs to tell/write a story about a strange thing that happened to their Australian animal.

Choose any of these three options:

1. Students create a story about tracking the animal and create a storybook. For example:

2. Enviro Stories – Aboriginal Animal Tracks, by Grace Scadding and Borenore Public School (PDF)A group of students create a stop-motion animation using a designed and constructed version of the animal in plasticine/play dough.

  • As part of the animation, students should develop a narrative/story about the animal they select, and storyboard the scenes to match the story.
  • Students may choose to tell and represent an Aboriginal story about an animal or totem.
  • The background for the animation could be an Aboriginal art work and/or a Torres Strait Islander art work that features a representation of the animal or of the local Country (within the protocols of Aboriginal society).

Use any stop-motion App, such as:

Present the animations to an audience that has not learnt about tracking, such as parents or other students.

Alternatively, students can use paper clay or plasticine to model a foot/feet of an Australian animal or an imaginary animal. Once dry and hard, press the foot/feet into a wet plaster cast into a shoe box or alike to leave a print. Repeat for more prints as a directional track or pattern. When the plaster has hardened, remove the model foot to see the impressions. Use the singular plaster tiles of the impressions to create a diorama of the footprints/animal prints/hand prints. Students could paint their tile and situate it in the garden or outdoor areas as part of a habitat landscape.