Right Under Your Nose: FOUNDATION - Science- Explain

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.

Explain - Share observations and ideas

Theme - FISH

After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 4 ‘Right Under Your Nose’, discuss with students their experiences of going to the beach and the name of the fish that Big Cuz caught –a Bluebone fish. Draw students’ attention to how the fish moved in the water, particularly the action of the fish swimming under water.

Provide students with a simple diagram of a fish, and have students list and label the parts of the fish they know, such as head, fins, tail, scales, gills, etc. Display a sample diagram of a fish to explain the parts they are unaware of.

If possible, bring a ‘fish in a bowl’ into the classroom and have students observe how a fish swims. Make sure all ethical and safe procedures are followed and use the necessary equipment to keep the animal safely in the school, as per The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 and The Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes, 2004, 7th Edition.

Discuss the movement of the fish’s tail from side to side and the side fins to propel the fish forward. Watch fish in the following video clips to examine and conclude how a fish moves. Access the following video clips to observe a fish swimming: 

Use the information in the following website, How do fish swim?, to develop the understanding that fish flex their body and tail back and forth by expanding and contracting the muscles on one side of their body, and relaxing the muscles on the other side.

As a class, compare how a fish swims to how a human, and other animals swim, e.g. dogs, platypus, jellyfish, etc.

Read/view a selection of picture books about fish and discuss how each story represents fish. Suggested titles include:

  • Pfister, M. & James, J. A. (1992). The rainbow fish. New York: North-South Books.
  • Leffler, D. (2012). Animals move: deadly reads for deadly readers. Broome, WA: Magabala Books.

View and discuss ways Aboriginal artists and/or Torres Strait Islander artists represent fish in their artworks, such as:

Invite students to observe how traditional Aboriginal ‘X-Ray’ paintings present the skeleton and internal organs of the fish. For example, have students observe and discuss what each of these paintings illustrate about the fish, and why the artists portrayed the fish in this way.

Provide materials for students to make and decorate their own moving fish. Attach the paper fish to strings on poles and display in the classroom.

Suggested resources: