Right Under Your Nose: YEAR 2 - HASS - 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 - Interpret data and information displayed in pictures and texts and on maps


Revisit Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 4 ‘Right Under Your Nose’, and concentrate students’ attention on the sea environment. In particular, explore how the family was fishing for their dinner.

Ask students if they have fished, and what did they catch. Have students share their stories of fishing and draw students’ attention to the restrictions imposed on a ‘catch’, that is, the size of the fish, the variety of fish, the number of fish, etc. Explain how marine ecosystems need to be protected and hobby fisherman, as well as commercial fishing companies, need to protect the ecosystem and understand what is protected.

As a class, re-read/view, Uno's garden:

  • Base, G.  (2013). Uno's garden. Melbourne, Victoria :  Penguin Group (Australia)

Discuss with students how and why the ‘garden’ grew, died and regrew.
Have students suggest what could have been done to protect the garden in the beginning.

As a class, watch A Little Fish Story (animation and discuss with students how the size of the fish protected it from being caught in the nets. Access and introduce information for the class about the impact of overfishing on ecosystems.

Review the following ‘Cause and Effect’ table about the fishing industry, and mix-up the related ‘Impact’ and ‘Reason’ sections.

Working in pairs, have students match the ‘Impact’ with the ‘Reason’. Ask students to suggest some solutions to each problem. Either have students add their solutions to the chart in the relevant squares, or provide the solutions listed here, and have students match them with the Impact and Reason rows. Share the students’ ideas with the class.

For example,



Solution (suggested)

Ecosystem destruction

If the food chain is disrupted due to increase and decrease of natural predators and supply of food, fish will die out or leave the environment.

Constantly monitoring the ecosystems and educating people on the need to protect species.

Loss of revenue or industry

Too many fisherman harvesting the same type of fish means the depletion of fish numbers.

Restricting the licensing of fisherman and reducing their catch quota.

Extinction of species

Commercial fisheries taking more than is needed for consumption decrease the natural supply of fish

Enforcing a quota of fish and monitoring the amount of fish caught.

Ghost fishing

Drifting and unattended nets left in the waterways trap un suspecting marine animals.

Develop ‘biodegradable’ nets


Rubbish and chemicals make the water toxic and the fish die.

Fine people for rubbishing the waterways

Divide the students into pairs, and have each pair find an Australian fish/marine animal that is threatened or endangered. Have the pairs prepare a short report on the fish/marine animal, particularly where its habitat is, what species and ecosystem it belongs to, and why is it considered ‘endangered’. Marine animals to research could include: the Grey nurse shark, Murray cod, Dugong, Coral polyps, Curlew Sandpiper, etc.

Resources to start the search include:

Investigate the traditional ways of fishing by Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples. Invite a local Elder or recognised representative to talk with students about traditional methods of fishing.

Suggested resources include:

Encourage students to pose and respond to questions about the sustainability of traditional methods of fishing. Students could design and build their own fish trap using cane, wire, wool, string and/or dried grasses, emulating the traditional methods.

Invite students to play a selection of games about fish and fishing: