Goanna ate my homework: YEAR 1-HASS-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 questions about past and present objects, people, places and events


Re-watch Episode 5 ‘Goanna ate my homework’. In particular, have students pay attention to when Nanna describes the ‘proper way’ to track. Have students demonstrate what Nanna does, and explain why they should do tracking the ‘proper way’. Highlight the action of pointing an arm out to follow the tracks in the sand and the reason why this is done. Elicit from students that a tracker needs to identify the ‘direction’ that the animal is going.

Have students pose questions about how to identify the direction the animal is heading in, and how to identify which animal they are tracking. Give each student two sheets of paper. Have students trace their bare feet onto one of the sheets and their shoed feet on the other sheet of paper. Label the foot prints as ‘left’ and ‘right’ and ask students to cut around their footprints so every student has their own set consisting of left and right bare-foot prints and shoe prints. (Alternatively, have students paint their feet or the soles of their shoes with a water-based dye/paint/ink to leave a coloured print impression on the paper sheet).

Name all the foot and shoe prints and display them in the classroom. 

Divide the class into groups of four or six. Give each group an area of soil or sand to create a track diagram using their shoe prints. Invite another group to guess which track belongs to which student. The guessing team can refer to the shoe prints on display. Have the teams explain how they arrived at their decision, particularly what distinguished one shoe print from another. Play the same game with foot prints.

Students can create tracks going in different directions using a compass, and can hide clues in the sand or soil for the others to find.

Alternatively, have each group make footprint tracks in the playground where the prints are depicting the path of someone walking, running, jumping, etc. Students can observe the spacing and directionality of the prints to find someone.

As a class, discuss the concept of ‘direction’ and the compass points, the size of the spaces or intervals between the tracks, the way the toes pointed, and if the heel was up or down for running and jumping.

Students can play the Aboriginal Animal Tracks Game.

Other resources