Nothing Scares Me: YEAR 2 - HPE - Explore2
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 - Recognise situations and opportunities to promote health, safety and wellbeing
Theme - BELIEFS
After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 11 ‘Nothing Scares Me’, engage students with the following learning activities to support their understanding about phobias, and how to overcome them.
As a class, revisit the fears of Old Dog, Elly and Uncle Mick within Episode 11 ‘Nothing Scares Me’, and ask students to recall that Old Dog and Elly were fearful of goanna and Uncle Mick feared hermit crabs. Explore how students in the class are afraid of animals and have the students share their stories of why and how they became fearful.
Introduce students to the term ‘superstition’ and have students pose questions about what it means: a belief in something that isn’t true. Ask students to recall any superstitions attached to animals, such as:
- black cats bring bad luck (British)
- a cat in a baby’s cradle will drive away evil spirits (Russian)
- cats have nine lives
- a howling dog signifies that someone is about to die
- the lick of a dog can heal sores
- dogs lead the dead into the afterlife (Ancient Egypt)
- a rabbit’s foot brings good luck
- owls can bring good and bad luck
- bats are a sign of a happy long life (Poland and China)
but in other countries they are a sign of evil spirits
- butterflies and lady beetles can bring both good and bad luck
Suggested teacher resources:
- Animal Myths and Superstitions
- Animals, birds, reptiles, insect superstitions
- Animal, Insect, and Bird Omens and Meanings
As a class, discuss how a superstition can become believable if you don’t understand the science and behaviours about the animal. Have students nominate the animal they are most scared of, and ask students to build an animal profile that includes some of the following:
an image of the animal
- explanation of why it is feared
- which benefits the animal has to its environment and humans
- how to care for the animal
- its preferred habitat and food.
Invite students to share their animal profiles with the class. Display the reports.
Ask students to design and create a mask based on their animal, that they can use to ward off the evil spirits and dispel their fears. Alternatively, have students write and illustrate a story about the animal and how they would make friends with the animal.
**Teacher to note: Aboriginal stories and/or Torres Strait Islander stories are not classified as a ‘superstition’, in the way the western world interprets the term.
Introduce students to selected Aboriginal stories and/or Torres Strait Islander stories about animals and animal totems, such as:
- Guulaangga, The Green Tree Frog
- The Buyungurra who didn’t listen
- Baranjuk, Musk Duck, The Wally Cooper story
- Biladurang The Platypus
- Girawu The Goanna
- Mirram the Kangaroo and Warreen the Wombat
- How the crow lost its colour/why is a crow black/funny story
- Ceremonial carvings
- ‘Legendary Tales’ - Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines by David Unaipon
Have the class explain why they feel animals are a source of beliefs about good and bad luck. Encourage students to share their own tales of how an animal proved to be good luck for them.