Transformation: YEAR 1 - HASS - Explore

Little J finds a Hawk Moth caterpillar on the Tar vine in the backyard that he names ‘Sausage’. He wants to take it to school but the caterpillar has other ideas and disappears underground. Nanna teaches Little J the story about the Yeperenye caterpillar of the Arrernte people from central Australia. Sausage finally returns to give Little J a further lesson on life cycles. Sissy wants to perform a dance for the school with Big Cuz, but Big Cuz feels ‘shame’.

Explore - Collect data and information from observations and identify information and data from sources provided


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 10 ‘Transformation’, ask students to identify parts of the story focused on continuity and change and the Aboriginal Dreaming story about the caterpillars.

There are two Coomaditchie UAC: Dreaming stories (NSW), one about the origin of Mount Keira, Woolongong, and one story about the origin of butterflies.

As a class, read the first story, ‘The Story of Five Islands - (Oola-boola-woo)’.

Then discuss how these stories tell of the land formations, including mountains, creeks, rivers, islands. Access an image of the four islands off the coast across from Mount Keira:

As a class, discuss the names of the daughters and what we know of these names today: Mimosa, Wilga, Lilli Pilli, Wattle, Clematis and Geera. Ask students to find images of each plant associated with the daughter’s names. Have students pose questions about whether these plants are prevalent in the vicinity of Mount Keira.

Read the second story, ‘The Birth of the Butterflies’ to the class. Explore the plot and characters in this Dreaming story. Ask the class to respond to questions about how the story provides an explanation of what happens when ‘Spring’ (season), occurs. Have students predict which month/s each part of the story takes place, given that the caterpillars appear as butterflies at the start of spring in Australia. Explore how the Western seasonal calendar is not the same as Aboriginal seasons and/or Torres Strait Islander seasons in the different parts of Australia.

Access an Aboriginal seasonal calendar and/or Torres Strait Islander seasonal calendar to verify that the month the students predicted as the start of spring is the same or different.

Introduce information about the various Aboriginal seasons and/or Torres Strait Islander seasons. Discuss how these cultures based their seasons on their knowledge of the land, climate, plants and animals in their local areas, and how this information was important for survival.

Suggested resources for Aboriginal seasonal calendars and/or Torres Strait Islander seasonal calendars:

Examine the different calendars and have students choose which is more appropriate for their local area. Have students identify which seasons are the cold months, and when spring, or the equivalent of spring, arrives. A linear (page-per-month) calendar is less effective than a wheel of the months, because a circular calendar makes annual cycles more evident to children.

Use the wheel to explore the times of year that caterpillars are prevalent in the local area. Provide each student with a blank copy of The Indigenous seasons calendars (CSIRO) and working individually, ask students to mark the months of the year and decorate their wheel for the different seasons.

Take an observation walk in the school grounds or garden and record seasonal sightings on the wheel. Ask students to particularly record when caterpillars and butterflies are likely to be seen. Have students continually add to their seasonal calendar with other information about local plants, birds, insects (ants, mosquitoes, flies), snails, animals, etc.

Identify and investigate Spring Celebrations Around the World . Create rain dances to welcome the change of season and have students create spring hats to decorate with local bush flowers and plants, butterflies and moths.





Rio de Janiero


Sakura or Hanami (Cherry Blossom Festival)



Day of the Dead



Diwali & Holi



Moon Festival




Europe – try Ukraine

(northern) Spring