Nothing Scares Me: YEAR 2 - Visual Arts - 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 - 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, and form; and to the visual design principles/conventions: a combination of the design elements used to create balance, perspective, space, contrast, etc.  Refer to the The Arts Glossary, Australian Curriculum v8.3.

Explain how most artworks incorporate two or more of the design elements and principles/conventions to compose an art image and/or an art object. Select a couple of the artworks listed below and have students explore how the artists have used line, shape, texture, space and contrast in their artworks.

As a class, brainstorm ideas and create a concept map about the environments/habitats where geckos live. Have students collect, draw and source ideas and images about a gecko from websites, brochures, wildlife posters, YouTube video clips, etc. Display these ideas as stimulation for students to consider their design options. Some sources include:

Explore visual, auditory and tactile stimuli. Use Think-alouds strategies and discuss:

  • What is the subject matter of the material collected?
  • What specific physical characteristics does the animal have?
  • How do you know this is a gecko?
  • What lines, shapes, textures and colours can be seen?
  • How have these elements been used to show concepts such as pattern, contrast, balance, movement, composition?

Ask students to draw/sketch the gecko from different angles—front, left-hand-side, right-hand-side, top, underneath, and from the back. Have students explore how the shape of the animal changes in the different perspectives. Have students suggest which image is recognisable as the animal and which is least recognisable. Have students view images of artworks that envision different perspectives and discuss how each artist incorporates different views into the one composition

Suggested resources

Have students copy a different view of the gecko onto an OHP (Overhead transparency sheet) or transparent plastic sheet. Overlay the transparent sheet on top of the original drawing and secure them together. Have students discuss how the image of the animal now changes what the audience would expect to see about the appearance of the gecko.

Display the student artworks and invite students to share their ideas with the class. Students should begin to use the language of the visual design elements and conventions to justify 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 ‘image/object’.