Right Under Your Nose: FOUNDATION - HASS - Engage

When the power goes off, Big Cuz, Nanna, Little J and Old Dog go to the beach. They use bread to catch hermit crabs, which in turn are used to catch a ‘bluebone’ fish. Big Cuz learns how to fish, Nanna makes a fire to cook the fish, and Little J finds a large clam shell to take to school the next day.

Engage - Pose questions about past and present objects, people, places and events


Revisit Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 4 ‘Right Under Your Nose’, and concentrate students’ attention on the beach environment. Discuss with students if they have visited a beach and what physical characteristics they observed about a beach. List the suggested characteristics, e.g. the sea, sand, sea animals, palm trees, waves, rock pools, etc. Ask students what time of the year they usually visit the beach, and when is the best time to walk on the beach. Have students share personal stories about going to the beach.

Provide a map of the local area and highlight the closest beach to the school. Use Google Maps (satellite view) to focus on the beach profile and examine the terrain and vegetation (beach berm) where the beach is located.

Have students who have been to a beach, describes the type of beach it is, for example, a sandy beach, a rocky beach, a pebbly beach, a coral beach, a mangrove beach, etc.

View the following artworks about the beach and discuss the type of beach the artist has portrayed, and the activities the people on the beach are doing:

Have students suggest other activities that take place on the beach, e.g. fishing, swimming, surfing, sunbaking, wind surfing, sailing, etc. And have each student propose which activity they like to do best. Invite students to imagine they were at the beach and to produce an illustration of life at the beach.

Introduce students to the concept of tides, and ask them to imagine what life is like on the beach at low tide. Have the class view a selection of video clips showing marine animal activity, such as:

Ask students to list the types of marine animals that were living in the rock pools, e.g., starfish, pippis, sponges, seaweed, crabs and other crustaceans, small fish, barnacles, sea cucumbers, sea anemones, etc. Invite students to share their experiences of rock pool marine animals and if they have ever held any of the animals found in rock pools. Have these students describe the surface texture, size and colour of each animal they have held, and the temperature of the water (hot, warm, cool, cold).

If possible, take students on an excursion to the beach at low tide to explore the rock pools. Alternatively, visit an Aquarium, and have the education staff talk with students about rock pool marine animals. Or, create a class rock pool at school using a recycled plastic tube, (beach) sand, shells, pebbles, and plastic fish, starfish, crabs, etc. Invite students to add to the rock pool found or made objects of animals they would find there.

As a class, have students pose and respond to questions about life in the rock pool, such as, what happens to the animals during high tide, do animals survive if they are taken out of the water, or are the presence of marine animals seasonal, etc.

Encourage students to read story books about the beach and rock pools to find the answers to their questions, such as:

  • Baker, J.  (1989). Where the forest meets the sea.  London:  Walker Books. (animation or video)
  • Grandpa Honeyant Sotrytime My Mob Going To The Beach
  • Fowler, A. (1996). Life in a tide pool. New York: Children's Press.
  • Fox, L. & McGowan, S. (2009). 10 little hermit crabs. Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW
  • Fredericks, A. D. and Dirubbio, J. (2002). In One Tidepool: Crabs, Snails, and Salty Tails. Nevada City: Dawn Publications.
  • Fylling, M. (2015). Fylling's illustrated guide to Pacific coast tide pools. Berkeley, California: Heyday publications.
  • Harvey, Rd.  (2004). At the beach: postcards from Crabby Spit.  Crows Nest, NSW :  Allen & Unwin
  • León, V. & Foott, J. (2006). The secrets of tidepools: The bright world of the rocky shoreline. Montrose, Calif: London Town Press.
  • Tibbitts, C. K., & Garrow, L. (1996). Seashells, crabs, and sea stars. Minocqua, Wis: Northword Press.
  • Turner-Jensen, N. & Skelton, C.  (2009). The sand symbols.  Glen Waverly, Vic :  Sid Harta
  • Whatley, B.  (1992). Looking for crabs.  Pymble, NSW :  Angus & Robertson

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