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

Theme - FAUNA

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:

  1. Topic: Local animals that visit the school at night
  2. Inquiry question: Which animals live in the school environment?
  3. 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.
  4. Experiment:

Activity: Make an animal track plot

Refer to Make an animal track plot

  • Find an area of ground in the school yard, or in a local parkland, that is out of the way and won’t be stepped on during the day.
  • Clear an area of about one square metre of leaves and sticks, leaving only the dirt exposed.
  • Dig up the top layer of dirt, making sure to keep the area as level as possible, and keep the removed dirt in a bucket.
  • Place the dirt from the bucket through a sifter and spread the fine dirt particles out evenly over the surface of the patch of dirt, creating a nice layer of dust-like dirt on the top.
  • Leave the patch, untouched, overnight and return in the morning to record the footprints left by creatures during the night. You may find insect tracks or the tracks of mammals and birds. For added incentive for creatures, add a piece of apple in the centre of the patch.

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.