Hopalong: YEAR 2 - 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


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 7 ‘Hopalong’, discuss that Hopalong is a baby kangaroo or ‘joey’ and that kangaroos are marsupials and their young are known as joeys. Similarly, a baby koala is also known as a joey.

Ask students to list other ‘marsupials’ that they know, e.g. Bandicoot, Bilby, koala, wombat, possum, kangaroo, wallaby

Have students hypothesise

  • What similarities do marsupials have (pouched mammals (the marsupials) and placental mammals)?
  • And, where do marsupials primarily live?

As a class, read the information about the development of a kangaroo joey:

Ask students to find the answers to these questions in the text:

  • What is the size of a joey at birth?
  • What does the mother kangaroo do to make it easy for the joey to get into her pouch?
  • When the joey reaches her pouch, what does it do?
  • What food does the joey need while in the pouch?
  • How long does the joey stay in the mother kangaroo’s pouch?
  • What food does the joey eat when it is out of the pouch?
  • How old is the joey when it is too big for the pouch?

As a class, search for images of how Aboriginal people represented kangaroos in their art. Access images on these websites to start:


Students measure themselves against a mature kangaroo to compare height, weight and strength:

Attach large pieces of butchers’ paper to the classroom wall. On one sheet, measure out the size of a mature kangaroo on each so that students can be compared in a ‘height chart’ (e.g. a mature Eastern Grey kangaroo would be about 1.5m tall). Make a mark for the height of the animal and label it. Draw a silhouette of the kangaroo (use a projector to cast the outline onto the wall sheet and draw around the outline). Add the long tail to one side.

On the other sheets of paper draw a silhouette of other Australian animals and add their adult heights and if relevant the eggs of selected species (e.g. an average emu egg is 13 cm long and 9 cm wide.)

Working in pairs, have the students measure their own heights and mark it on a ruler chart with all students in the class listed. Put this chart beside the animal height chart so students can compare the difference.

Discuss the differences in size and shape of Australian animals and the students. Assess the strength and weight of the animals also.