Old Monster Dog:YEAR 1-Design & Tech-Engage

Little J is initially scared to approach the ‘monster’ in the back yard. Encouraged to face his fears, he vows to catch the frilly-necked monster and sets about building a monster trap with the help of Levi.

Engage - Identify how people design and produce familiar products, services and environments and consider sustainability to meet personal and local community needs.

Theme - TOYS & GAMES

Ask students to bring from home, or select from the school collection, an ‘interesting’ or ‘unfamiliar’ toy. Place the group of toys in a circle. As students to select and examine a toy they haven’t played with previously. Ask students to think about and/or respond to the following questions:

  • What is the toy?
  • What purpose does it meet?
  • What child’s age is the toy intended for?
  • How does it work? How do I know this?
  • What material is it made from?
  • What do I like or dislike about it?

Have students share their responses with a pair. Have the pair swap toys and examine both toys together to make sure they can answer each question. As a pair, they can present their findings to the class.

Have students look at the information tags or packaging (if available) on each toy to find out where the toy was made and what materials the toy is made from. Ask students to think about, if the toy is a cultural toy from a particular country, or is it a toy that was only manufactured in the nominated country. Write a list of countries featured as the toy makers. Examine the list and find out what country features most and if any toys were manufactured in Australia. Ask students whether they know of a toy that is designed and produced in Australia. Have students examine at least ten toys at home to see whether they can find and bring in Australian made toys.

Access one or more of the following websites to find information and illustrations about traditional Aboriginal toys:

Team quiz

Using the Aboriginal Spinning top and the Pandanus balls as examples, develop a set of questions that the class can answer.

Divide the class into two teams. In teams, quiz students with these questions (as a sample) about the two toys:

  • Which toy is made from plant material?
  • Which toy is made from a gourd?
  • Which toy is made by folding or plaiting?
  • Which toy used bees wax as a glue/adhesive?
  • Which toy is painted in red and yellow ochre?
  • Which toy is used in a throwing game?

Have students document the traditional Aboriginal toys and any Western-made toys in a Design journal (physical or virtual). The Design journal should contain an illustration of the toys, with each toy labelled with its name. Students could also list the materials the toy is made from. Then ask the students to enter into the journal another toy that they like playing with.

If age appropriate, students could make their own paper spinner: