Goanna ate my homework: YEAR 2 - 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 Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 5 ‘Goanna ate my homework’, and concentrate the students’ attention on how Little J needs to learn about his Country and to identify how to track animals, which animals belong there, and how to be protective of the animals and their place.

Ask students to draw a petal or star diagram with five petals or points, each with different headings. Get the students to put their own name in the inner circle, and then name each petal with a word to identify their own place for these five location categories:

  • personal
  • community
  • regional/state
  • national
  • global

Invite students to list on the diagram locations that they regard as their ‘Place’ (in the world). Direct students with questions that start with identifying the micro or personal environments they inhabit, such as a bedroom, a house, a yard, a car, a special tree or corner, a chair, etc.

Have students identify the next level, thinking of places such as a community, suburb, town, shopping centre, etc. Move up to identifying their regional or state locations and associations, then national location and associations (Australia, Australian citizenship, English language, church, etc.) and global associations (Earth, human, etc.). Have students compare the number of listings on each petal: which has the largest and which has the smallest. As a class, discuss how we live our lives in smaller places but are still connected to a larger concept of place.

In pairs, ask students to share what type of personal environment they live in, such as the type of house, share bedroom or own bedroom, favourite colour, location of house, garden, pool, pet, likes/dislikes, members of the family, etc. Have each pair respond to how they feel ‘lifestyle’ (the choices people make for where they live and why they live there) influences how we live and why we live where we do. Have each student to draw a picture of their favourite place and share something about their place with the others. The drawing could also include a map of how they would find their home from school. A map could include special landmarks along the journey.

As a class, read My Place by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins, and discuss how the places in the book have changed over time from generation to generation. Have students compare how the house and land where they live may have changed over time. Have students develop conclusions about how their personal places have been shared and used by others over time.

  • My Place, Nadia Wheatley reading
  • Wheatley, Nadia. & Rawlins, Donna.  (2008).  My Place.  Newtown, N.S.W :  Walker Books Australia 

Using the local library, museum, council resources, have students research and find evidence of what their local area may have looked like in the past and how people used the land, e.g. photographs, maps, old buildings, language groups, animals and plants.