Goanna ate my homework: YEAR 1-HASS-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 - Interpret data and information displayed in pictures and texts
Theme - TRACKING
Give each student a sheet of paper and have students trace/print their bare feet onto the sheet. Label the foot prints as ‘left’ and ‘right’. If printing the students’ feet 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.
Demonstrate how to describe their own or someone else’s footprint by selecting one of the student footprints and descriptive phrases such as: ‘long, narrow foot with high arch and a round heel which leans to the left, second toe is longer that the large toe, and the little toe is raised. ’ Using the footprint label the parts of the foot and discuss with students why you described the foot as such.
Organise the students to work in pairs and have each pair select an Australian animal and have each group investigate, the type of animal prints that each animal makes.
The students can use these websites or books as a resource:
- Australian animal tracks
- Identifying tracks, scats, burrows and other signs (pdf)
- Identifying nests, tracks, scats, burrows, and other signs
- Tricky tracks, Anne Davis, et al., Sandcastle Books
- Australian Animal Tracks
Have each group print out an image of their Australian animal and draw an accurate copy of the print it makes. The groups present their animal print to the class so that the other students can guess what the animal is. Ask students to use similar descriptive language as when you modelled an analysis of a student’s footprint.
View the following video clips about Aboriginal tracking skills:
- On the Trail
- Tracking animals: how to read animal tracks
- Ray Mears Goes Walkabout: Tracking in the desert
As a class, view images of traditional Aboriginal art and/or Torres Strait Islander art and examine the way artists use symbols resembling the foot prints of animals:
Students can also find the prints of other Australian species, such as: amphibians, reptiles, birds, insects and arachnids. As a class, develop a catalogue of Australian species and their prints. There are lots of possible catalogue formats, such as a book, cards or digital. Have students identify the animals that live in their locality.