Nothing Scares Me: FOUNDATION - Visual Arts - Explore

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.

Explore - Use and experiment with different materials, techniques, technologies and processes to make artworks.


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.

Introduce students to the visual design elements: line, colour, shape, texture, space and form. Refer to The Arts Glossary in the Australian Curriculum for the definitions of each term.

Explain how, in most artworks, two or more of these design elements are combined to make an art image and/or an art object. Select a couple of the artworks below and have students explore how the artists have used line, shape and texture in their artworks.

Experimenting with texture

Provide students with a sheet of paper with 12 squares drawn on it. Invite students to experiment with ways of making textures, such as collecting ‘rubbings’ from hard surfaces, making different marks to describe textural feelings, such as, spikey, scaly, bumpy, etc., and sewing or gluing actual textures from found materials, such as buttons, paper clips, plastic bags, gladwrap, dry leaves, sand, or scratching aback into a painted surface or crayon drawing the reveal what is below, etc. Have students evaluate which materials and surfaces provide the most interesting surfaces, and which drawing materials capture the most effective representations of texture.

Have the students replicate the different textures and surfaces in their own drawings, assessing which ones were close to matching the scaly skin of a goanna.

Ask students to draw three large shapes of the goanna and fill the inside of the shape with their chosen textures. Students can use assorted colours and patterns to fill their shapes. Photocopy the textured shapes of the goannas so that students have the three originals and the three copies. Invite students to manoeuvre the six shapes into a composition. They can overlap the shapes, or place them side by side, etc.

As a class, discuss and analyse the decisions each student made to create their artwork, how they created ‘meaning’ through the image/s, and therefore what story they attach to the image.