Right Under Your Nose: YEAR 2 - HASS - Elaborate

When 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 - Present narratives, information and findings in oral, graphic and written forms using simple terms to denote the passing of time and to describe direction and location


Revisit Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 4 ‘Right Under Your Nose’, and concentrate students’ attention on the places explored in the episode: the beach, the sea, the sand, the tidal pool. Have students consider the three questions (below), and how they relate to Little J, Big Cuz and Nanna.

  1. What is a place?
  2. How are people connected to their place and other places?
  3. What factors affect my connection to places?

Ask students if they were given the opportunity to build an ecosystem for a beach environment, what living and non-living elements would they include.

Conduct a Think, Pair, Share: Have students develop ideas for an imaginary ecosystem based on a local area or an imaginary beach. Provide students with prompts for what they should consider, such as:

  1. (1) a fish, (2) a mollusc, (3) a crustacean, and (4) a bird that can be interdependent in an ecosystem
  2. In a process diagram, model how the four animals are interdependent on each other, e.g. the fish (Bluebone fish) feeds on a crustacean (hermit crab); the crustacean (hermit crab) feeds on the mollusc (sea snail) and inhabits its shell; the mollusc (sea snail) feeds (cleans and filters the waters) on the excrement of the seagull; the seagull feeds on small fish such as the young of Bluebone fish.
  3. Map a cross-section for a type of beach that supports this ecosystem, such as a:
    1. Barrier beach (the usual beach – long sandy break between the vegetation and the water)
    2. Mainland beach (a short beach where the land meets the sea)
    3. Spit beach (a beach separated from the mainland by a strip of water)
    4. Pocket beach (exposed bedrock nestled between rocky coastal outcrops).
  4. Illustrate and label the type of (beach and sea) vegetation, such as mangroves, seagrass, kelp, palm trees, etc., which is needed to support the ecosystem.

This activity can be adapted for the learning abilities and needs of students. The objective is for students to understand the interdependence of living and non-living organisms within a specific place. A substitute scenario could use the school ecosystem, or a waterway ecosystem in the local area.

Have students also consider any threats to the ecosystem, such as pollution, overfishing, and greenhouse or climate effects.

Ask students to find examples (artworks and stories) of traditional Aboriginal fishing techniques and technologies and/or Torres Strait Islander fishing techniques and technologies that can be included as ways humans relate to, and within, the ecosystem.

Have each pair present their ideas to the class, and display their (imaginary) ecosystems and beaches.

Suggested resources: