Nothing Scares Me: YEAR 2 - Visual Arts - 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 - 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 video clips of a Gecko, particularly taking note of the shape, size, colour, texture, patterns, etc. Have students also note the variations of patterns and colours of the gecko. Resources for students, include:

Have students talk about their experiences with finding geckos in the house, and the noise they make. Discuss the size of the animal and the physical characteristics that make the gecko recognisable from other lizards.

Compare the gecko artworks of Chern-ee Sutton and Rachel Saunders and ask students to suggest how the purpose of the artwork determines the type of design to be used.

Discuss with students about representing the gecko in a realistic version, like a photograph, and how an artist interprets the physical aspects of the animal as a simplified version, sometimes exaggerating the features so that it is more recognisable. View the stereotypical designs of geckos found at Gecko Stock Vectors, Clipart and Illustrations.

Provide each student with three large gecko shapes cut out of cardboard. Students can glue a coloured paper background to each, or roller paint each a bright flat colour. Examine the different patterns/designs of the various species of geckos. Have students experiment with different designs to make the three geckos.

Have students also experiment with varied materials (fabric, newspaper/magazine images & print, alfoil, paper clips, wool, ribbons, string, etc.) and explore how combinations of these materials can create various patterns. Show students various painting and techniques using cotton buds to make dots, paddle pop sticks and pencils to draw patterns in think paint, sponging, splattering, spraying thin paint, sewing stitches and buttons onto paper, etc. The more options the better. Each student should build up a selection of ten or more patterns using a variety of techniques. Demonstrate for students how to apply or glue combinations of different patterns to their three gecko shapes.

Have the class create a gecko mural using all the geckos. The students can decide on their placement to create a movement pattern across the classroom wall. If using an outside location, use varnish to coat the gecko designs in order to protect them from weathering. Have the student develop a story about their geckos and include the story with the mural.

Invite students to share their ideas of why and how they created the different patterns, and encourage students to identify and describe artworks using key art and design terminology such as the shape, texture, and pattern in their compositions.

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’.