Goanna ate my homework: YEAR 2 - Science - 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
In Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 5 ‘Goanna ate my homework’, Little J recognised that the greedy goanna had eaten his emu eggs. He hadn’t seen the goanna entering the shed and eating the eggs, but he found evidence through the tracks left by the animal.
Introduce students to the concept of science needs evidence to prove an assumption (hypothesis). As a class, ask students to guess what animals are present in their local environment, and which animals come out at night and roam around the school. Conduct a class experiment:
- Topic: Local animals that visit the school at night
- Inquiry question: Which animals live in the school environment?
- Observations: Have students hypothesise about what animals are present in the school through their observations. Animals may include birds, insects, domesticated animals, known Australian animals for the local area.
- Make an animal track plot
- How to: Set up a tracking station (pdf)
- Sand Pads: using tracks to monitor fauna
- Tracking animals: how to read animal tracks
Activity: Make an animal track plot
Refer to Make an animal track plot
Theorising on the facts, the evidence:
- Theorise with the students what animal left each kind of track. Get them to practise their tracking skills!
- Predictions can be made each night as to what creatures will leave their prints behind and, over time, a pattern of frequency may become obvious.
- Photos can be taken each morning of the tracks and a photo display can be mounted in the classroom revealing the movements of night creatures in the area.
- The students can add some rotting meat to a shallow hole in the centre of the patch to entice carnivores!
- The class identifies the animals that passed over the patch of sand. Ask students whether this was enough evidence to make a conclusion that the animal or animals live in the area. Extend their thinking about the animals that didn’t walk in the sand pit, and how you collect evidence of their local habitat.
- Have all class members write/present a short report on this experiment and make conclusions based on the facts.