Right Under Your Nose: YEAR 1 - Science- Elaborate

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.

Elaborate - Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways


Revisit the Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 4 ‘Right Under Your Nose’, and draw students’ attention to the clam shell that Little J found buried on the beach. Ask students to explain what they know about a ‘clam’ and share stories of their experiences.

Explore how rare it is to find a large clam shell on the beach. Access an information clip about a giant clam and as a class, discuss where the clam’s natural habitat is, what may have happened to the clam, and why its shell might have washed up on a beach. Suggested resources:

Introduce students to the animal phylum: Mollusc. Explain how clams and other shell fish are categorised as such. These resources will assist:

Have students pose inquiry questions about what are living things are categorised as shell fish, and find examples of the animals that they identify, such as oysters, pippis, mussels, etc.

Introduce the term bivalve, and ask students what this term means – bi (two) & valve (open/close muscle). Demonstrate that bivalves have two shells that can open and close because the organism inside it acts like a muscle to open and close as a reaction to sunlight and to filter water for food.

Present students with a selection of shells and have them group the ones they consider as ‘bivalves’ and ‘other’. Explain the correct associations. Have students find any bivalve shells that can be matched as pairs.

Ask students to examine the non-bivalve shells, and group them according to similar shapes and structures. Introduce other classifications of shell fish/shells, such as gastropods, cephalopod and chiton. Access further information about molluscs, from:

Have students re-examine the shells by shape, size and structure, particularly the growth patterns. On a chart have students draw each of the different varieties of shells.

Shell illustration                  Mollusc classification                       Common name

                                                Bivalve (image)                                Oyster, mussel, pipi, clam, periwinkle, scallop

                                                Gastropod (image)                           Sea slug, sea snail

                                                Cephalopod (image)                         Octopus, cuttlefish, squid and nautilus skeleton

                                                Chiton (image)                                 All chitons have eight overlapping plates

Suggested teacher resources

When illustrating the shells, have students take note of the growth lines on the shell. Shells grow in layers and some grow in spiral shapes. View the video clip, A bivalve shell that grows and evolves, to see how the bivalve shell grows.

Introduce students to how Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander people harvest shell fish from the sea, using resources such as:

Invite a local Aboriginal Elder or acknowledged representative and/or Torres Strait Islander Elder or acknowledged representative to the school to talk about and demonstrate traditional ways of harvesting and cooking local shellfish. Invite students to share their favourite seafood recipe with the class. Compile the shell drawings and recipes into a class recipe book for the school community.

Have each student enter their shell chart and recipes into their Science Journal with other found images of sea shells and shell fish that are prevalent in their local area.

A Science Journal is a record of a students’ observations, experiences and reflections. Each entry is dated and annotated by the student. Annotations may include written labels, drawings, diagrams, charts, small specimens, photographs, and graphs. Student engagement and learning is evident in the science journal.