Nothing Scares Me: YEAR 2 - Visual Arts - Explain2

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.

Explain - Respond to visual artworks and consider where and why people make visual artworks, starting with visual artworks from Australia, including visual artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.


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.

Revisit the visual design elements: line, colour, shape, texture, space and form and to the visual design conventions: a combination of the design elements used to create balance, perspective, space, contrast, etc. Refer to The Arts Glossary in the Australian Curriculum for definitions of each term:

Explain how most artworks incorporate two or more of the design elements and conventions to compose an art image and/or an art object.

Examine a selection of Aboriginal artworks and/or Torres Strait Islander artworks depicting a gecko, and have students:

  1. explain how the artist has emphasised one or more design element/s
  2. explore how the artists have used line, shape, colour, texture, balance, perspective, and contrast in their artworks.
  3. explore how the artists combined the elements and conventions in their artworks.

Suggested resources:

In pairs, use the 'I see, I think, I wonder' visual thinking strategy, and have students pose questions about the shape, size and different perspectives of the gecko/s. Source the cultural stories that align with the images, and any Aboriginal Dreaming stories and/or Torres Strait Islander Bipo Bipo Taim (Beyond Beyond Time) stories about geckos.


Invite a local Aboriginal Elder/recognised representative and/or Torres Strait Islander Elder/recognised representative to visit the class to describe the traditional painting and carving techniques, materials and technologies their people use to record traditional stories, including those about animals. Have students ask specific questions about the stories and beliefs of the tribe.

Following the visit, discuss the stories the guest speaker told and revise the messages and/or morals. Ask students to find other Aboriginal artworks and/or Torres Strait Islander artworks that provide a message about animals in the Dreaming stories and/or Bipo Bipo Taim (Before Before Time) stories.

Investigate the Dreaming story about how Ilipari became Kulpai the Gecko spirit of the Kalkadoon people (north-west Qld)

View and discuss a range of examples of Aboriginal art and/or Torres Strait Islander art and 2-Dimensional (2D) or 3-Dimensional (3D) design art. Have students explain the differences for each of the artworks, and apply their understanding to the purpose of each. Examples of 2-D and 3-D artworks include:

Talk about the artists and their artworks as having different perspectives on representing the gecko. Display and discuss pictures of Australian animals focusing on how and why they are depicted in Aboriginal art and/or Torres Strait Islander art.