Right Under Your Nose: YEAR 1 - HASS - Explore

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.

Explore - Engage in discussions about observations and represent ideas


Revisit Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 7 ‘Right Under Your Nose’, and concentrate students’ attention on the sea environments and the efforts of people to protect them. Talk with students about their observations and experiences of ‘pollution’.

Encourage students to pose and respond to questions about pollution that occurs above the sea, on the beach, and under the sea. Questions could include,

  1. What is the major cause of pollution in waterways and oceans?
  2. What are some effects of pollution on marine animals?
  3. How does pollution affect the quality of marine plants, vegetation near the beach, and the water?
  4. What are some solutions that have been introduced to clean up marine and beach pollution?

Invite students to share their experiences of identifying pollution (rubbish) on the beach and/or in their local environment. Have students list the types of pollution they see around them every day in their community and school. Ask students to suggest what measures the community and school takes to enforce acceptable behaviours about not polluting the environment.

Discuss who makes the rules about not polluting the environment and why are these rules important. Examine the local council website to investigate any laws against pollution. Discuss what the laws cover and any penalties attached to breaking the laws.

Provide students with a variety of video news reports on sea/water pollution to view and discover some facts. Have the students select one issue to research more facts about and find images to support these facts. 

Students could create and present a photo story as a report on their chosen sea/water pollution issue, also offering one to two suggestions on how the problem can be solved.

Suggested examples of news reports on pollution include:

Plastic pollution chokes our waters and kills wildlife.

Litter is a serious pollution issue that affects our waterways, coastline and ocean. It - impact on wildlife and the marine environment.

Beachwatch was established in 1989 in response to community concern about the impact of sewage pollution on human health.

Household products in the water cause pollution.

Oil spills:

The Ocean Gyre and how it contributes to pollution:

Scavenger Hunt:

Organise an excursion to the local beach, or lake, or river, or creek, or waterhole to play Scavenger Hunt.

** Teacher note: Take care to choose a place that is not on or near any Aboriginal sacred site and/or Torres Strait Islander sacred site. Make sure the students understand that they should never remove objects from any Aboriginal sacred site and/or Torres Strait Islander sacred site.

Also, seek permission from the traditional custodians of the land before taking photographs of Aboriginal sacred sites and/or Torres Strait Islander sacred sites, on or near the beach, or waterway.

Divide class into pairs.

  1. Give each pair a list of objects to scavenge for. The list may include any or all of the following:
  2. Shells, litter, an object with a straight edge, a smooth object, a fuzzy object, a rough object, a round object, a water bottle with sand inside, a feather, seaweed, a piece of driftwood, 2 x rocks of different colours, etc.
  3. When a pair finds any object on their list, they take a photo of it in the location in which they found it. Any rubbish the students find should be removed and placed in the appropriate bins. The first group to collect photos of all objects on their list are declared the winners.
  4. Back in the classroom, ask students to place their found objects along a line representing the different zones of a beach – starting with the breaker zone (where waves curl and break in the water) and finishing with the dunes or ‘Berm’. Label each division. Suggested zones include:
  • beach: the area between the low tide mark and the upper most extent of sand
    • foreshore: the area between the lowest point of low tide and the highest point of high tide – it is characterised by being either underwater or exposed, depending on the tide
    • backshore: the part of the sandy beach that lies beyond the reach of waves under normal conditions – it is usually dry
      • wash zone: the area that is currently being washed over by waves – similar to the foreshore, except that the wash zone moves up and down the beach with the changing tide, while the foreshore definition remains static
    • breaker zone: the area of water, near the sandy beach, in which waves begin to curl over and ‘break’
    • wrack line: a line at the very top of the high-water mark where most debris is washed up after a storm.
  1. Using the students’ photos from the scavenger hunt as a guide, place each object on a position along the line corresponding to where they found it. The students may end up with many objects in a specific location. Ask students to reflect on what and where they found the objects; what were the most common items in the different zones; and why the objects ended up in this location.

Suggested teacher resources: