Territories: YEAR 1 - HASS - Engage

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’.

Engage - Pose questions about past and present objects, people, places and events.


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 12 ‘Territories’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about place, maps and boundaries.

Have students pose questions about the meaning of the word ‘territory’. List the suggestions and circle the ones that are close to the meaning, such as land, area, region, zone, place, space, state, country, etc. Ask students to consider what ‘territory’ or ‘territories’ they belong to. Responses could include their bed, room, house, garden, street, community, suburb, town, city, state, country, etc. Have students develop a concept map where they are the centre and the more personal ‘territories’ are at the centre and the global ‘territories’ are at the outer limits.

Ask students to work in pairs and list five things or people they would defend against a threat. Share all the different suggestions with the class and have the students guess which suggestions were the most common responses.

Alternatively, create a Kahoot poll to analyse the responses. Ask students to create another concept map with the people/objects that they would defend against a threat, with the student at the centre of the map, those closest to the centre the most likely to be defended, and the outer circles being the least likely to be defended.

Poll the students on the most common reasons for defending their territory. The students’ reasons may include defending a food supply or threat of destruction. Have students consider how animals react when they are under threat.

View the following clips to introduce the concept of what happens to bird numbers and species when their territory is under threat:

Remind students that the magpie in Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 12 ‘Territories’ was defending its territory against the ‘human invaders’. Have students retell how the magpie defended its young and nest. Discuss how the bird and the humans would see the interaction from the two different perspectives.

Examine the concept of ‘perspective’ and/or ‘point of view’ from familiar examples, such as sibling rivalry or disagreements with friends, etc. Personal attachments and ‘perspectives’ and/or ‘point of view’ make our understanding of situations more subjective.

Ask students if they can identify who in the community needs to have an objective ‘perspective’ and/or ‘point of view’ of situations, such as a journalist, police officer, judge, etc.

Play a role-play game where the students are in groups of three. One of the group is the magpie, one of the group can be Big Cuz, Little J or Old Dog, and one of the group is either a journalist or a police officer, who is interviewing the two opponents about the incident. Each player provides their own side of the story with reasons why they are aggrieved, and the journalist or police officer will report an objective version of the stories to the class. As an extension, the interviewer could develop a news article and/or report to share with the class.