Lucky Undies: FOUNDATION - English - Explain

Little J feels lucky when he wears a new pair of yellow undies. After Old Dog destroys them, he loses his confidence. Big Cuz saves the day with the remnants of the undies made into a sweat band, and Little J finds confidence to play the basketball game and win the day.

Explain - Recognise that texts are created by authors who tell stories and share experiences that may be similar or different to students’ own experiences.


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, episode 1, ‘Lucky Undies’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding of Little J’s sense of luck and superstition.

Read the following story to the class:

Dreise, G. (2016). Mad magpie. Broome, Western Australia : Magabala Books:
(Mad Magpie tells the story of Guluu, an angry magpie who is being teased by a gang of butcher birds. The more he is teased, the angrier he becomes. When Guluu seeks advice, his Elders tell him to stay calm like the river, ignore the butcher birds.)

Before reading Mad Magpie, use the front cover to predict what the text may be about. Ask students why the magpie is mad and how can they tell he is angry. What other clues do they observe on the cover of the book that translates to the magpie being mad?—for example, the Aboriginal artwork.

Access Aboriginal texts and/or Torres Strait Islander texts about magpies (native and protected birds of Australia). Here are a few sources:

The magpie is an icon of ‘success’ for Aboriginal peoples in the Dreaming.

Ask students to decode and predict how encountering Maggie may have been an omen for Little J’s success on the day of the basketball match.

If appropriate for the class, discuss the meaning of the word ‘omen’ as a prediction of the outcome of a story. Find examples from other stories the students know, such as Cinderella, where the omen is the fairy godmother.

Ask students to create a cover design for a story about a magpie. They can create the image showing the magpie as a symbol of good luck or bad luck. Once completed, share their cover design with the class and explain how and why they have depicted the magpie in the design.