Nothing Scares Me: FOUNDATION - Visual Arts - Elaborate

Old Dog and Elly fear goannas, Ms Chen fears geckos, and Big Cuz fears the dentist. Little J boasts he isn’t scared of anything, but this may not be true. When Mick, Ally, Little J and Old Dog go to the beach, Little J discovers that his hero, Mick, is scared of Hermit crabs. Together, on the cliff, Mick and Little J overcome their shame of being afraid and help each other to be brave.

Elaborate - Create and display artworks to communicate ideas to an audience.


Revisit the events of Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 11 ‘Nothing Scares Me’, and have students concentrate on the animals that the characters were afraid of, such as a goanna, a gecko, and hermit crabs. Quiz students on why these animals were feared – their appearance and physical features, size, behaviours, colour, texture, or potential to harm a person if frightened themselves.

Have students view images and/or videos of a Goanna, particularly taking note of the shape, size, colour, texture, patterns, etc. Have students also note the tracks a goanna makes on the land.

Resources for students include:

Play the Goanna song, and have the students role-play being a goanna, moving and dancing around the room pretending to be a goanna.

Making goanna prints

Have students develop their own illustrative design of a goanna, simulating the body shapes, movements, surface textures, colours and patterns of the goanna. This design will be the basis of a print design.

  1. Instruct students to copy their goanna design onto a Monoprint or Styrofoam plate (using a wooden paddle-pop stick),
  2. Using thick (tacky) paint or printers ink, roll the ink thinly over the engraved plate surface. Float a piece of blank paper over the inked plate, apply pressure to the back of the paper so that there is very close contact between the ink and the print paper.
  3. Peel the print from the plate to see the impression of the drawing left as a print, then leave it to dry. Students can ‘pull’ multiple copies of their goanna drawing that they can reuse, decorate, and colour, etc.

Suggested resources

Using the multiple copies of the goanna, students can create a composition that tells a story about the goanna.

Display the framed, goanna print compositions in the classroom and have students share their stories. Encourage students to talk about their ideas on how they used shape, texture, and pattern in their composition.

Keep each student’s stimulus images, experimentation with media, composition options and the final design (or photos of the final design) in their own visual diary/folder. Explain to students that, when artists develop their ideas, they keep their initial ideas so they can recall different ways of exploring and thinking about an ‘object’.