Hopalong: YEAR 1 - Science- Explain

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.

Explain - Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables and through discussion, compare observations with predictions


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, navigate Google Maps to find the school and the region it is located in. Instruct students to select Satellite view. Using an overlay, or on a printout of the map, draw an approximate boundary around the school grounds. Cover the map with a grid (digital or with ruled squares on a printout).

A tutorial on making grids for Google Maps is a valuable resource and an alternative resource is Scribble Maps.

As a class, examine the map and discuss how the school area is a habitat, not just for humans but also for lots of species of animals, insects, birds, and reptiles, etc.

Have students count the squares and calculate the proportion of the school ground area (legend) that is taken up by either:

  • Trees
  • Grassy areas
  • Roads and parking areas
  • Buildings
  • Play grounds
  • Bush, water course, etc.

Have students enter the compass points and colour code of the grid squares for the different aspects of the ‘legend’, listed above, and count the areas devoted to each heading. Ask the students prompting questions such as:

  • Where is the shadiest spot in the school?
  • Where are the bright and sunny areas?

Take the class outside to make observations in the various locations. And have students use their map to check the location of the different areas. When the class gets to each of the locations, invite one student to measure the air temperature and other students to make observations of the smaller habitats within that area. Have the students observe how windy it is or how sunny, whether the habitat is warmer or cooler. Scratch the soil to see if it is moist or dry. Have students suggest whether plants could grow in the different habitats.

Ask students to work in a pair or small groups to find and mark on their map:

  1. sunny, dry locations where there is little or no moisture (concrete or dry earth)
  2. dark and shady locations and whether it is next to a building or under trees, etc.
  3. sunny, open and windy locations

As a class, discuss the students’ observations to see that all students had consistent findings. Ask students to suggest the types of animals, birds, insects, reptiles, fish, spiders, etc. that could live in the different habitats of the schools.