Territories: YEAR 2 - 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 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.

Have students identify and list what each character feared in Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 12 ‘Territories’. Some examples are:

  • Old Dog feared that the possum was invading his territory
  • Little J feared that he would get into trouble at school, or be shamed since he forgot his snake skin for ‘show and tell’
  • Big Cuz feared that she didn’t have time to remake her broken art project to the standard she wanted for her assessment
  • They all feared being hurt by the swooping magpie.

Draw the students’ attention to the fact that everyone feels ‘fearful’, and some fears are small and fleeting while some fears seem large and overwhelming. Using Kahoot, poll the class on which fears the class feels are the least and the worst. Only display the collective results and not the individual responses. Some fears to poll include:

  • forgetting to do my homework, or not completing an important project
  • climbing a ladder
  • wetting my pants
  • not being chosen in a team
  • falling asleep in class
  • losing my favourite toy
  • speaking in front of the class/school
  • encountering a spider, grasshopper, snake, etc.
  • storms,
    • among others …

**Teacher note: Be aware that Aboriginal students and/or Torres Strait Islander students may not place the same values on owning/losing particular belongings/objects/toys.

Provide a selection of reading books that contain stories of characters who overcome their fears, such as:

  • Daddo, A. & Whatley, B. & Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  (2010). Monster.  Pymble, NSW :  ABC Books
  • Mayer, M.  (1987). There's an alligator under my bed.  Melbourne :  J.M. Dent (video – told by author)
  • Polacco, P. & Stevenson, N. (1990). Thunder cake. Philomel Books, New York (video – read by Patricia Polacco)
  • Scott, A. H. & Coalson, G., (ill.) (1996). Brave as a mountain lion. Clarion Books, New York
  • Snicket, L. & Klassen, J., (ill.) (2013). The dark. New York, NY Little, Brown and Company  (video reading & animation)
  • Watt, M (2008). Scaredy squirrel. Kids Can Press, Toronto 

As a class, discuss how the characters in the books overcame their fears.

In pairs, have students complete a chart that matches the ‘fears’ on the left and ‘solutions’ for overcoming fears on the right.

View ‘I Think’ – Lost, ACTF (Scootle: TLF R6083) and discuss the types of fears and concepts of loss explored in the animation clip.

Have students form pairs and each pair should develop three to four strategies for overcoming their fears.

Invite students to develop their own story, with illustration/s, about overcoming a fear using one of their suggested strategies. Compile the stories into a class book.

Introduce students to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and discuss their work in supporting Aboriginal communities and Torres Strait Islander communities with literacy projects. Contact the Foundation to inquire about how the class can be involved in a project, and perhaps send the Foundation a copy of the class book to share with their communities.