Old Monster Dog:YEAR 1-Design & Tech-Explain2

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.

Explain Explore the characteristics and properties of materials and components that are used to produce designed solutions and use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to safely make designed solutions.


Explain to students that in this activity they will explore techniques used in constructing products for meaningful purposes, particularly how materials are joined and combined.

Ask students to list different techniques that they know about or use to connect two materials or objects together, for example: gluing, stapling, tying, wrapping, banding, binding nailing, soldering, tacking, sewing, etc.

Divide the students into smaller groups and ask each group to find examples of objects that have been produced using different joining techniques. Have each group make a PowerPoint® or slide display of at least eight example images. Combine the eight slides from each group into one ‘jumbled’ presentation. Use this presentation to quiz the groups on which construction techniques are used in each product.

Set up tables of materials that can be joined using different techniques. Ask students to produce five samplers of joining techniques, for example:

  • Sewing two different pieces of fabric together to make a pocket/purse
  • Gluing paddle-pop sticks with wood glue to construct a 3D box
  • Nailing tacks onto felt to join it to a ply board backing to make a pin board
  • Stapling coloured paper together to make a flip book
  • Wrapping coloured wool around cardboard tubes to join them
  • Among other ideas…

Have students enter their samples into their Design journal.

Suggested teacher resources for additional design activities:

  • Primary Connections: On the move 
    This comprehensive teacher resource explores push and pull forces used to move objects, in ways such as sliding, bouncing and spinning, through a series of collaborative inquiry-based learning activities. Investigations are conducted to observe and gather evidence about rolling objects and explore the idea of fair testing. Seven structured lessons are included, with comprehensive lesson plans, student handouts and additional teaching support material. The unit is based on the 5Es learning model for teaching science, and includes literacy and numeracy focuses to support learning in these areas and assessment strategies relevant to various stages of the teaching unit. The resource is part of a complete series from Foundation to Year 6.
  • Primary Connections: Push-pull                                                                                This comprehensive teacher resource explores pushes and pulls through a series of collaborative inquiry-based learning activities. Observations and evidence are gathered about how these forces (pushes and pulls) act in air and water, and on the ground, and the effect of the pull of gravity is covered.

Conduct a virtual visit to Museum Victoria Collections, Bunjilaka exhibition resources:

Explore the collection of traditional Aboriginal cultural objects and tools. Ask students to think about the shape, size and design of each object and suggest responses to the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the object?
  • What material/s is/are the object/s made from?
  • How is the object constructed?
  • What is used to hold the materials together?
  • How effective is the design and construction for its purpose?

View the clip, ‘Water’, from Episode 25: Bunda, My Place for Teachers website:

Ask students to notice what considerations Bunda and his brother Garadi made to design and construct their water containers. Discuss as a class the advantages and disadvantages of each design.

Ask students to design their own water container using natural materials found in the local environment. The students will need to make design decisions about materials and joining techniques. Test the designs and have students assess their suitability for purpose. Suggested resources include: