Hopalong: FOUNDATION - Science- Explore

When B-Boy comes to stay overnight, Little J becomes envious of the attention he is getting from everyone. Out walking on Country, Nanna, Little J, Big Cuz and B-Boy find an injured joey. Uncle Mick, a Search and Rescue officer, tells them how to care for the joey that they name ‘Hopalong’. The children feed and look after Hopalong until Mick finds him a place in a wildlife shelter.

Explore - Participate in guided investigations and make observations using the senses

Theme - FAUNA

As a class, revisit Little J’s story within episode 7, ‘Hopalong’, and ask students to recall what type of animal Hopalong was and how the family rescued and cared for it.

As a class, read the picture book:

  • Bancroft, B. (2005). An Australian ABC of animals. Surry Hills, NSW : Little Hare Books

Create a display of images of Australian native animals. Have students label the animals with their correct names. Many images of Australian animals can be found in these resources:

Once the students have several animal words and/or image cards, conduct a Sorting and Categorising game. Ask students to pay close observation to the images on the cards and invite students to suggest which animal fits into the student nominated categories, for example, big animals, brown animals, birds, colourful animals, animals we know, animals we don’t know, animals with long tails, animals with floppy ears, green animals, furry animals, scaly animals, etc. The choice of categories should display students’ prior knowledge of animal characteristics, appearance and their behaviours.

Discuss any questions, doubts or contradictions that students have, and follow up for later investigation, for example, if students are not sure what an animal is or whether to add it to a group in their sorting. Display the word and/or image cards on a wall in the categories that the students suggested and label the categories.

Access the Australian Museum website to view the full complement of Australian animals again and ask students to find information to suggest answers to the following questions:

  • What food does each animal eat?
  • Where does each animal live?

If time permits, have students hypothesise the answers to any questions that came out of the ‘Sorting and Categorising game’.

Ask students to sit in a circle on the floor. Tell them that the circle is their dinner party (or dinner plate, whichever suits the students best). Ask each student: ‘What’s for dinner?’ The student responds with an appropriate answer for their animal, e.g. ‘I’m an echidna and my dinner is ants!’