Nothing Scares Me: YEAR 2 - HPE - Elaborate2

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 - Recognise similarities and differences in individuals and groups, and explore how these are celebrated and respected 


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 11 ‘Nothing Scares Me’, engage students with the following learning activities to support their understanding about personal and social strengths, such as resilience and understanding emotions.

As a class, revisit Little J’s story within Episode 11 ‘Nothing Scares Me’, and ask students to recall the events of his day and suggest what was similar for all characters and what was different. Everyone had a fear of something but everyone had a different fear.

Read and/or view either of these books:

  • Marsden, J. & Tan, S.  (2003).  The rabbits.  Vancouver, BC:  Simply Read Books.
    version 1: video, music by Michael Carroll
    version 2: movie in Part 1 & Part 2, music by Bernard Kotze
  • Tan, S.  (2006).  The arrival.  South Melbourne :  Lothian Books.
    version 1: video, music by Frederik Vorndran)
    version 2: movie in Part 1 & Part 2, music by Eloise McIntyre

Discuss how each of the books presents people, animals and places as very different and strange. Talk about how, when we travel somewhere different, we aren’t as comfortable as being at home. Have students recall when they first started school, and how they felt in strange, new surroundings, and with new, unfamiliar people.

Foxes and Dingoes

  1. Divide the class into two groups: The Foxes and The Dingoes.
  2. Separately, each group decides on four rules that all members of the tribe agree on, for example
    1. when someone wants to speak to the others, they must wear a hat
    2. when one person sits down, everyone sits
    3. when three designated people in the tribe stand, everyone else lies on their stomachs on the ground, etc.
    4. When the leader of the tribe walks forward, the other members follow the student, but walk backwards, and vice versa for the leader walking backwards, the others walk forward.
    5. The group only speaks ‘their’ special (made-up) language
  3. Each group trades three members of their tribe to the other tribe.
    The members of each tribe need to behave within the rules they originally set, and the three new members need to work out the rules so they fit in.
  4. Play the game for about 15–20 mins and gauge the frustration of the new members of each tribe.

Replay the game with different tribes, rules and foreigners so that all students get to experience the feeling of not understanding the customs and language of their new tribe.

  1. As a class, draw conclusions about how communities have different values, behaviours, ways of communicating, and expectations of behaviour. Discuss how, once people know the language and the social and cultural traditions, it makes it easier to fit into a community and be accepted.

Suggested teacher resources:

Have students suggest and list ways that these understandings can be applied in daily life about families, school communities, ethnic communities and friendship groups.

As a class, watch The Encounter, My Place, Episode 23 “1788:Waruwi”, which explores how an Aboriginal girl encounters a cow for the first time (1788). Ask students to imagine how Waruwi would know what the cow is, and what to do with it.

Have students develop a story of their own where they encounter something strange for the first time. Invite students to illustrate a three-frame storyboard that follows the action in the story. Display and publish the stories.