Hopalong: YEAR 2 - 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

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, discuss why Hopalong was lost. Have students provide suggestions why Hopalong was separated from its mother and the other kangaroos in its ‘mob’. Use prompting questions in respect to what may have happened to the joey if it had not been found by the family.

Access the following website and read the story about ‘How a wildlife carer raises a joey’:

Have students respond to the following questions:

  • What are the reasons why a joey may need special care?
  • If it is a very young joey, how does the carer replicate the mother’s pouch?
  • How does a carer estimate the age of the joey?
  • What special care does the carer give a joey?
  • When does the carer encourage the joey to leave the pouch?
  • How does the carer encourage the joey to stray for longer out of the pouch?
  • What age is the joey when it doesn’t need the pouch?
  • Why does the carer need to give the joey different types of milk?

View the following video about being a wombat foster carer:

Compare the care provided for joeys to the care for wombats. Ask students to consider what knowledge and skills a carer needs to have to look after the young of wild animals.

Individually or in groups, ask students to investigate these questions:

  • What are the main causes of orphaned animals?
  • Why do people want to rescue Australian animals?
  • How long does it take to raise an orphaned wombat?
  • Why do wildlife shelters release animals back into the wild?


Invite a veterinarian, veterinary nurse, wildlife ranger or wildlife shelter officer to visit the school or take the students to visit a local wildlife shelter.

For the class activity, access the following website resource (or a similar resource from a local wildlife shelter). Have students make cosy pouches to donate to local wildlife rescue shelters.

Have students evaluate the pouches for the needs of the animals they are making them for.

If permissible, students could raise money to donate to a wild life sanctuary by having a Science Quiz competition on the topic of Australian animals and their classifications. Invite students to write letters to a local wildlife shelter thanking them for their work and send them the hand-knitted pouches, and donations.