Nothing Scares Me: FOUNDATION - Visual Arts - Elaborate3

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 Hermit crab, particularly taking note of the shape, size, colour, texture, patterns, etc. Have students also note the different types of shells the hermit crab inhabits. Resources for students, include:

Have students examine the different shells appropriate for hermit crabs to inhabit:

Talk with students about the type of shell house a hermit crab needs to live in. An important fact is that as the hermit crab grows, it needs bigger houses, and therefore over the period of its life, it will live in various shells of different shapes and sizes, with different patterns and colours.

As a class, view the videos:

Discuss with students how the artist designs and constructs different houses for her pet hermit crabs to inhabit. She titles her artworks as ‘shelters’ which suit the needs of the hermit crab.

Have students imagine different ideas for the shelters they would design for a hermit crab. As a class, discuss the shape and size of the hollow the hermit crab would need to live in, and the consideration of weight for the hermit crab to carry the new shelter. Discuss options for what they would line the inner hollow with, and what types of materials they would use to build up the shell. Have students develop their initial ideas in their visual diaries, looking at the shell from different perspectives (front, back and two sides).

Use a small inverted plastic container as the base of the shell or mould a papier-mache dome/shell shape, and provide students with a variety of found materials to build three new shelters for a hermit crab. The three varied sizes of the shells would accommodate the hermit crab over its lifetime and be reflective of the needs of the crab as it gets older.

As an element of ‘display’, students could consider the ideas of Joe Lindsay (Sale) in ‘Kokosu/Hermit crab’. Have students design and construct a beach scene for the hermit crab shelters to sit on. In Joe Lindsay’s work, he used expressive and strong lines around the crab to represent the hole the hermit crabs emerge from on the beach.

Invite students to share their ideas with the class, and explain the intentions and meaning of their hermit crab shelters. Have students start to use the terminology of art and design to describe their artworks.

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 diverse ways of exploring and thinking about an ‘object’.