Goanna ate my homework: YEAR 1-HASS-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 - Collect data and information from observations and identify information and data from sources provided



Invite a local Aboriginal Elder and/or Torres Strait Islander Elder, or their accredited representative, to visit the class and introduce the students to Aboriginal peoples’ and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ knowledge, culture, history and language, particularly in respect to tracking skills.

Ask students to develop a set of questions about the topic ‘Tracking’, and present these questions to the Elder. After the talk, ask students to write a card thanking the Elder for the visit and stating what information they found most valuable to them.

Use the following Holistic Teaching and Learning Framework to record information:

Ask students to consider and suggest who else needs to find things, and what they need to find. Possible might include, e.g. Police – thief or fingerprint, dog catchers- stray animals, treasure hunters – treasure, postman – parcel, archaeologists – fossils, etc. As a class, create a table on the IWB or board with the headings, ‘Occupation’, and ‘Findable’, at the top. Write a list of occupations under the Occupation heading. Then, list the things that people in these occupations track and find. Make finger print identifications of the students using an ink pad and cards with each student’s name.

The Tracking Game

Divide the class into small groups of 2–4 students.

  • Collect enough sets of tokens, for example, different coloured Lego bricks, or other type of small identical objects, for your class. All the sets must have the same number of tokens.
  • Each group of students should chose a token to be their ‘token’.
  • One student from each group then goes out into the yard and lays a trail of their objects for the rest of the group to follow. In theory, this could be played in a local park or bushland too.
  • Make sure that only a set number of the tokens is available to use and that the person laying the track uses all the available tokens. Other rules might also be worth considering, such as not placing the tokens where they cannot be seen (like drains or holes in trees).
  • Each student in the group takes a turn at laying the trail.

VARIATION: Instead of using tokens, the Tracking Game could be played by having the trail-laying student simply make sure they leave visible footprints and other indications of their movement. This would be a lot harder, but would certainly put to the test everything the students have learnt!