Night Owl, Morning Magpie: YEAR 1 - Maths - Elaborate

One night, Little J hears the nocturnal Barking Owl and becomes fascinated by how the owl stays awake at night. In the morning, he is woken by the carolling of magpies and on the way to school, he is swooped by Maggie, the magpie. Miss Chen teaches the class about nocturnal animals.

Elaborate - Give and follow directions to familiar locations


Revisit Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 13 ‘Night Owl and Morning Maggie’, and draw students’ attention to the time the Barking Owl was heard, and Little J’s attempt to stay awake like a nocturnal owl. Have students predict the time the owl woke Little J, and how long, in hours and minutes, Little J stayed awake.

Design a Treasure Hunt map

Have students access the game, Pirate treasure hunt: Eight challenges, in which they use the map to work through the obstacles one by one and in the correct order.

Discuss with students the way they succeeded in the game, that is, by following the correct sequence of steps to find the objects. Have the class list/present the correct sequence as the steps 1 to 5.

Introduce students to the traditional Aboriginal children’s game Koabangan. Basically, it is a game of hide and seek to find an object. The game was observed being played in the early 1900s by the Kokominni boys of north Queensland. The object commonly used was a goanna claw, but other objects were also used. A player hides an object in a designated area and the other players attempt to find it.

Ask the class to observe the similarities and differences in playing the Treasure Hunt and the Koabangan game.

Have the students think about the Mathematics needed to play both games, e.g. identifying the number of objects to be found; the sequence of finding the objects representing the steps in the process of the hunt and the game; the number and pattern of steps that can also be repeated.

Divide the class into groups of between four and six students. Have each group design a game based on a treasure hunt. The group is to select one or more objects to be found, and create a map or list of instructions to find the objects. Have the groups consider the steps or clues players need to find the objects. The instructions must include

  • the number of steps to take and the direction of the steps, e.g. turning left or right;
  • how to negotiate obstacles along the way;
  • the number and sequence for collecting the objects.

If the objects are pieces of a puzzle, then the participants must also solve the puzzle. Each group can swap with another group to play their game.

As an option, individual students can create their own board game such as Snakes and Ladders, Mouse Trap and/or Dominoes, to develop their understanding of counting, matching/pairing, pattern and sequence.

Suggested resource

Ask students to relate the board game to the content of Episode 13 ‘Night Owl and Morning Maggie’, for example, as a nocturnal/diurnal game, find the magpie nest/eggs, etc.

Access the Little J & Big Cuz game, ‘Little J’s Collection’, to assist with counting skills.