Hopalong: YEAR 2 - HPE - Explain2

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 - Recognise similarities and differences in individuals and groups, and explore how these are celebrated and respected


In Little J and Big Cuz, Episode 7 ‘Hopalong’, both B-Boy and the joey are separated from their own mob. Being separated or leaving home allows people to reflect on how much they value home and belonging.

As a class, view this film clip:

  • 5 Seasons
    Tom E Lewis introduces the concept of five seasons over the footage of an overflowing Rose River, Victoria– the land inundated with water, followed by a montage of a dry riverbed. Lewis describes the wet season over images of Aboriginal men hunting birds, fish and a turtle. Lewis tells us that the people sing songs to the land, rivers and sea. They sing to the spirits of the animals that are hunted. ‘Everything has a cycle, and we are guided by this cycle’, says Lewis.

Have students offer their observations about: What are the people doing? And, why are they doing it together? In the film clip, the narrator, Tom E Lewis states:

Every season has a song, and we sing to the country which feeds us. We have to sing to the spirits of the animals who we are hunting. We sing to the spirit of the land, the rivers and the sea. And everything has a cycle. We are guided by the cycle. This is what we like to share.

Use the ‘I See, I Think, I Wonder’ visual thinking strategy to have students suggest what the narrator is describing about his Country which sustains him both physically and spiritually.

Ask students to explain the importance of singing together and being together on Country for camping, fishing or hunting.

Have students complete a KWI analysis using the film clip as a starting point. Ask students to respond to the following questions:

  • What do they Know about belonging to Country?
  • What do they Want to know about belonging to Country?
  • What do they Infer from what they saw in the clip?

Ask students to interview their parents or carers, and/or grandparents and extended family, about which Country or Countries their ancestors came from, and any information about when their ancestors migrated to live in Australia.

**Teacher to note: Use of the term family may be problematic for some Aboriginal families and/or Torres Strait Islander families, as communities don’t really differentiate between close and extended families. Children in kinship/care arrangements will still have these layers but they will be called something else, e.g. Layer one: immediate care givers, Layer two: extended care givers.

In these situations, refer to:

Make a class timeline for the years from 1788 up to today. Divide the timeline into 25 year blocks (25 years is generally accepted as a generation). List the information and dates from each of the students on the timeline and have students estimate what generation Australian they are. Those whose families arrived in the last 25 years are first generation, those whose families arrived in the 25 years prior to that are second generation, etc. Naturally, Aboriginal students and/or Torres Strait Islander students will have ancestry prior to 1788, and these students should list their related family groups as ‘Beyond 10th generation’.

Ask students to list the town/city in which they were born. Locate these places on a map of Australia, or a map of the world. Overlay the Australian map with AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia. Ask students to identify the names of the language group on whose Country they were born. List these Country names.

Ask students to use either of these sources to learn how to greet someone in a local language:

Working individually, have students use words and images to express what belonging to a place and a group of people (their community) means to them.