Goanna ate my homework: YEAR 2 - Science - 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 and respond to questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events

Theme - FAUNA

Poll the class to identify if students live in a household with a pet/s. Ask students if they are active in the care of the animal. Have students share with their pair stories about their pet/s.

Invite students to draw a picture of their pet and the pet’s favourite place/‘habitat’, e.g. fish in a fish bowl, horse in a stable, dog on the lounge, cat on the window sill, bunny in a hutch, etc. Display the artworks and use these to discuss the needs of their pets and what the students’ families do to look after their pet/s. (Ask students if anyone’s pet dog eats spaghetti bolognaise, like Old Dog.) Discuss with students how owning a pet makes them feel. Compare how a pet is a comfort for people, as much as a pet is cared for by humans.

Read books about pets, such as

Pose the questions for students to consider and respond to:

  • Why do people keep pets?
  • Do wild animals make good pets?
  • When and how did people first domesticate animals, and the reasons for domestication?
  • Why did Aboriginal people not domesticate native animals?

Students discuss their understanding of the words ‘domestication’ and ‘domestic’ and suggest characteristics that make an animal domesticated. Have students make a list of all the domesticated animals they can think of. Then, have the students discuss ways of grouping the domesticated animals on the list, such as household pets, farm animals, circus animals, or zoo animals. As a class, develop reasons for and against domesticating, training and caging animals. Poll students on their views.

Have the class consider which types of animals make good pets compared to those animals which animals should remain in the wild. Have students categorise animals into groups, such as mammals, fish, birds, arachnids, amphibians, and insects. Students each draw a picture of an animal for a wall mural. The mural could show animals in their natural locations in an environment (for example, hills, houses, river, sea) or in groups per characteristics (for example, mammals, fish, birds). The mural could be displayed in the classroom or library. Organise a ‘Bring a pet to school’ day to launch the mural.