Territories: YEAR 2 - HPE - 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 - Describe their own strengths and achievements and those of others, and identify how these contribute to personal identitiesIdentify and practise emotional responses that account for own and others’ feelings.


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.

As a class, explore the concept of ‘character’. Have students pose and respond to questions about the meaning of the word, ‘character’. Break the word up into syllables and emphasise the use of ‘acter’ in the word. Discuss that the word ‘character’ can apply to a :

  • (real) person, someone who has qualities and values that other people can perceive they have, such as, their personality, creativity, humour, trustworthiness, diligence, etc.
  • fictional (not-real) person or animal created for a theatrical performance, book, TV show, film, etc.

Explain to students that the origin of the word ‘character’ is from the ancient Greek language and it originally meant a ‘stamping tool’. Therefore, to identify one person from another person (who could not write their name) the Greeks used a ‘stamping tool’ as a distinctive mark, to insert their name/mark on something belonging to, or created by them. Buildings, artworks, coins, seals were all stamped. Suggested resource: Coin making in Ancient Greece.

Have students list the main characters in Little J & Big Cuz:

  • Big Cuz
  • Little J
  • Nanna
  • Old Dog
  • Miss Chen
  • Levi
  • Sissy
  • B-Boy
  • Uncle Mick

Divide the class into smaller groups and have each group select one of the characters. Have students discuss the character and suggest four descriptive words, such as kind, helpful, happy, etc., for the character, and share these with the other groups. Other groups can suggest other descriptive words to add to the ‘character’.

Download the Little J & Big Cuz Press Kit (www…………………..) and read to the class how the series producers describe the characters. Compare the two sets of words to see if the students perceived the characters the same way as the producers wanted the audience to see them.

Ask students to reflect on themselves as a ‘character’ in the animation series. Have the students suggest four qualities the producers/writers might use to describe them in the production’s Press Kit.. Pair students and have them share their own descriptive words with each other. Have the pair then add two more words to describe each other, so that everyone ends up with six descriptive words.

Create a Word Cloud of all the words that describe the students in the class. Alternatively, create a Word Cloud for each of the Little J & Big Cuz characters, and or the individual students.

Using the descriptive words as a guide, have students interpret the words through drawing a descriptive mark, e.g. a straight line for quiet, a thick jumping line for noisy, a zigzag line for talkative, locking circles for caring/kind, etc. This activity allows students to visualise their feelings/emotions.

Have students move their bodies to interpret their character. Encourage them to imagine that their bodies are the lines they drew. They have recognised themselves as four to six descriptive words, therefore, they should draw four to six lines, and make four to six movements. Play music to accompany students’ movements integrating the four to six descriptive movements.

Students can also design their own ‘stamp’ using a combination of the various lines.