Hopalong: YEAR 1 - 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 to explore and answer questions
Theme - HABITAT
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 a story that focuses on the habitats of Australian animals in Kakadu, for example,
- Lucas, D. E. & Searle, K. (2003). Walking with the seasons in Kakadu. Crows Nest, NSW : Allen & Unwin
- Bancroft, B. (2010). Possum and wattle: my big book of Australian words. Surry Hills, NSW : Little Hare Books (video)
And/or, access and explore information from Museum websites, such as:
Discuss and identify the different habitats within the story and the animals that live there. As a class, explore the meaning of the word ‘habitat’ (the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or another organism). Have students pose questions about why some animals live in certain habitats and other don’t. Encourage students to talk about which animals are ‘native’ to Australia and which animals are not (‘introduced/non-native’). Have students suggest what can happen to natural habitats when ‘non-native’ animals are introduced into the environment. As a class, read the following books to gain an understanding of the difference between native and non-native species:
- Baker, J. (1995). The story of rosy dock. Milsons Point, NSW : Random House Australia (video)
- Marsden, J. & Tan, S. (2008). The rabbits. Sydney: Hachette Livre Australia.
Divide the class into smaller groups to make a list of ‘concept habitats’, such as grassy plains, forests, deserts, coastline, the sea, etc. Using a graphic organiser such as a Venn or Fishbone diagram, have groups expand one concept habitat into more specific habitats for specific animals, for example, concept habitat: sea expanded to ‘clown fish – coral reef’, ‘Megamouth shark – deep sea’, ‘hermit crab – beach shallow’ etc.
Encourage the students to use descriptive adjectives to describe specific habitats, such as, dry grassland, thick rainforests, deep ocean or shallow bays. Ask students to close their eyes as you describe one of the habitats below.
- The deep ocean where it is always dark, and where amazing kinds of fish can be found. What sounds might you hear?
- A tropical rainforest, thick and lush and green, with clouds of mist and big tree ferns everywhere. The light is green and there is lots of water. What do you think it smells like?
- A tidal pool where the sea washes in and out, there are lots of little shellfish, fish and small sea creatures – there are even octopus and starfish. What can you taste?
- An open desert, with red sandy soil and small shrubs and trees. There might be ant nests and tracks of animals. If you were there, what would it feel like on your skin?
- A gum tree forest, with tall trees in every direction, thin pale trunks and leaves hanging down in the heat. What might you see?
Ask each group to develop four to five questions and answers about the concept habitat they researched, and submit it to a class guessing game, ‘Where am I? For example,
- I am a bright parrot eating delicious gumnuts and seeds – where would you find me?
- I’m a frog who eats lovely insects but I’d better not dry out because my skin needs to stay damp. Where would you find me?
- I am a cockatoo looking for a nice, safe nesting hole for my chicks. Where should I look?