Territories: FOUNDATION - HPE - Elaborate

A possum disturbs Old Dog, and a ‘cranky’ magpie swoops at anyone who steps into the backyard. Little J and Big Cuz share a room and when Little J steps on Big Cuz’s art project, a disagreement over territory ensues. The result is a clear dividing line to mark their individual territory. But they discover they have to compromise on a shared space, and cooperate in order to move in and out of the room, and to get past the swooping magpie in the backyard. Their joint, inventive solution wins high praise from the class at ‘show & tell’.

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.


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 12 ‘Territories’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about cooperation, sharing, resilience and safety.

The successful solution of designing and constructing the protective helmets to defend again the magpie attack, came about because the cousins, Little J & Big Cuz, cooperated with each other. Discuss with students what they feel ‘cooperation’ means, and the ways in which they cooperate with others in their daily lives. Refer to Cooperative Games for Younger students, from the Responsive Classroom.

  • The following games build the skills of cooperation, sharing, compromise, and encouragement, all of which are essential for developing a sense of community. To achieve in these games requires cooperation, and so everyone can become a ‘winner’, The objective of each game is not for individuals or teams to ‘win’, but that everyone cooperates to achieve the set objective. Games include:
    • Cooperative Hoops
    • Hoop Pass
    • Triple Free Tag
    • Look Ma, No Hands!
    • Balloon Bop

Have students discuss what essential ingredients are required for completing all the tasks, such as building relationships, communication, and trust.

Introduce students to the following books, either reading them as a class, or individually. As a class, discuss how each story portrays family relationships and what the class can learn from these stories.

  • Blabey, A.  (2009). Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley. (video) Camberwell, Victoria :  Penguin
  • Hashmi, K. & Marshall, F.  (1998). You and me, Murrawee.  Ringwood, Victoria :  Viking
  • King, S. M.  (1998). Henry and Amy: (right-way-round and upside-down).  Sydney :  Scholastic Australia
  • Morgan, S.  (2015). Sister heart.  Fremantle, Western Australia:  Fremantle Press
  • Morgan, S. & Kwaymullina, E. & Smith, C.  (2014). Going bush with grandpa.  Parkside, SA :  Omnibus Books
  • Wagner, J. & Brooks, R.  (1977). John Brown, Rose and the midnight cat. (video)  Harmondsworth, England :  Kestrel Books
  • Wheatley, N. & Searle, K.  (2013). Going bush.  Sydney:  Allen & Unwin

Additional teacher resources

Challenge students to cooperate in groups. Set up four tables with four different puzzles or tasks. It is important for all students to contribute to the task with ideas and skills.

Each group of students will have 5 minutes to solve the puzzle at their table. After 5 minutes, each group rotates to the next table until they have all tried to solve each task.

Table 1: Build the highest tower using only a packet of straws, sticky tape and a piece of string, in 5 minutes.

Table 2: Build the highest tower using stacked plastic cups, in 5 minutes.

Table 3: Build a bridge over a shallow tray using Lego or other connecting blocks, in 5 minutes.

Table 4: Make a lever using cardboard strips, rubber bands, and a piece of string to lift and move a small stone from one spot on the table to another, in 5 minutes.

(Teachers should adapt the speed and test games, listed above, to suit the abilities of their class)As a class, evaluate how well the groups worked cooperatively to complete each task, and which tasks were easier than others.

Additional resources and ideas for cooperative games can be found through: