Territories: FOUNDATION - HPE - Explain

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’.

Explain - Identify personal strengths.


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.

In Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 12 ‘Territories’, the characters help each other in big and small ways. Have students identify the many situations when one character helps another – there are lots!

Direct the students to focus on the interaction/relationship between Little J and Big Cuz. The siblings had an argument about their individual ‘space’ or territory in the room they share but they worked together in order to solve a problem. Invite students to explain how this part of the story happened. Also, invite students to share their own stories of how they cooperated with their sibling, friend, or relative to solve a problem.

Explain that disagreement is normal in close relationships, and sometimes emotions and feelings are hurt. In pairs, have students identify and list things or situations that make them ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘angry’, ‘disappointed’, etc. Have the pairs list ways people can make them feel better and what they can do to make others feel better, such as: listening to the other person’s point of view and understanding why they feel the way they did; remaining calm and not getting defensive; and finding ways to work together to solve a problem.

The following resource provides examples of the different behaviours people express when they are experiencing conflict. Refer to Resolving conflict situations, People and Culture and Helping kids handle conflict, Kids Helpline

Activity: Making a bird mask that wards away fear and anxiety

Ask students to revisit the birds that they previously suggested (refer to 5E stages Engage and Explore) were strong and protective. Have each student choose one of those previously mentioned birds, find an image of their bird, and then draw the bird’s head as large as possible. Ask questions of the students so that they become more aware of the detail of the bird, such as the colour, feather pattern, beak shape and size, and other distinguishing marks or details.

Invite students to make their mask and decorate it accordingly. Suggested resources include:

Have all students wear their masks, and encourage the other students to guess the type of bird each mask portrays. Have students share with the class why they have chosen their bird as their protector.

Alternatively, students can make their own headgear like Little J and Big Cuz. The helmets are also representing a protective device, not just against magpies, but to defend the students against their own anxieties. They can choose to wear their helmet or mask when they feel they need protection.

Host a dance party where students can wear their protective helmets/masks and act out some of the cooperative, clever and compromising ways in which their animal protector might behave.