Lucky Undies: YEAR 1 - 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 - Compare different kinds of images in narrative and informative texts and discuss how they contribute to meaning


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.

Deconstructing text

Draw the students’ attention to Little J’s new, yellow undies. Question students about how they know the ‘yellow undies’ are important to the story, e.g. they are mentioned in the title, they glow when Little J shows them to Levi, etc.

iscuss why the writer chose ‘undies’ as a symbol of luck and good fortune. Examine whether the undies are lucky because they are ‘yellow’—is there any superstition, cultural meaning, relationship to national identity, or something else that is special about the colour yellow? Analyse the humour attached to having undies as a good luck charm. Decide whether the Dinosaur design is significant to understanding the luckiness of the undies. Compare the symbolism of the yellow undies to the red and white striped sock on the clothes line. Have students predict when the yellow undies became ‘lucky’ and what happened to make them so.

Invite students to share stories of how they feel when they are ‘lucky’, particularly describing events they consider give them luck, e.g. winning a sporting prize, being given a present unexpectedly, finding money on the ground, finding a sweet or cake in your lunch box instead of fruit, etc.

Develop a class set of words and phrases that describe being lucky (age appropriate choice), e.g. chance, fortune, success, good outcome, positive energy, kismet, fate, godsend, etc. Develop a set of words that mean the opposite of lucky, e.g. unlucky, unfortunate, unsuccessful, etc.

Suggested resources to build alternative word lists:

Invite students to rewrite the title of the episode removing the element of luck, and showing understanding for the plot and events of the story, e.g. The fortunate sock, Nana’s gift, Little J scores, Basketball star, etc. Question students about which of the suggested new titles was most affective in attracting an audience. Use Kahoot to poll the opinions of the class.

Have students design a new pair of undies for Little J that are luckier, or unlucky. Ask students to consider what colour and what motif they would use in the design.