Right Under Your Nose: YEAR 2 - HASS - Explore

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.

Explore - Collect data and information from observations and identify information and data from sources provided


Revisit Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 4 ‘Right Under Your Nose’, and concentrate students’ attention on the sea environment.

As a class, read/view,

  • Base, G.  (2013). Uno's garden.  Melbourne, Victoria:  Penguin Group (Australia)
    Discuss with students how and why the ‘garden’ grew, died and regrew.


Divide students into groups and ask each group to suggest the meaning of the word ‘ECOSYSTEM’. Write the word on an IWB/Board as “ECO – SYSTEM”. Using the broken word allow students to see the association of ‘ECO’ meaning ecology or environment, and SYSTEM meaning a connection of parts that make something work. Examine an example of an ecosystem, as illustrated in the books listed above or an example of a marine ecosystem located on the National Geographic website, Marine Ecosystems.

Have students think about a beach, ocean or water ‘ecosystem’ which may be familiar to them. Ask each group to list the ‘living’ elements for their ecosystem in a column, and the ‘non-living’ elements in another column. Have the students draw a line connecting elements they assume are related. Then, ask the group to suggest how the living and the non-living elements are interdependent.

Take students out into the playground and ask them to locate what they think might be a micro-ecosystem. Remind students that they need to be able to identify both living and non-living components to make it an ecosystem. Ask students to list what they find and where they find it, and to take photographs of the micro-ecosystem as reference. Using the photographs, have student groups produce a poster showcasing their micro-ecosystem, naming the living and non-living elements and explaining the interdependence of living and non-living elements. Display the posters in the classroom for future reference.

Introduce the terms ‘micro’ (small), ‘messo’ (medium) and ‘biome’ (large) and define each in respect to ecosystems. Have students suggest an example for each in respect to a beach, e.g. micro–a tidal pool, messo–a foreshore break, biome–the offshore ocean. Ask students label their selected ecosystems appropriately.

Have students consider what ecosystem they belong to. Since they are an individual that means asking themselves: which family they belong to, which community, which state/territory, nation, etc. Use this expansion of identity to explain the organisation of the natural environments.

As an extension activity, introduce the term ‘level of organisation’ and define it with an example of a fish, hermit crab or clam:

  1. Individual – one organism
  2. Population – many of the same species
  3. Community – many organisms with similar needs inhabiting a space at the same time
  4. Ecosystem – living and non-living elements dependent on each other in an environment
  5. Biome – multiple sets of ecosystems existing in an environment
  6. Biosphere – large communities of human, animal, plants and non-living organisms

Using a graphic organiser of concentric circles to six levels, have the student groups develop an organisation chart for a marine animal of their choice. Encourage the groups to share their mapping of ecosystems with the class.