Transformation: YEAR 1 - Science - Explain

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 Arrente 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’.

Explain - Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables and through discussion, compare observations with predictions


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 10 ‘Transformation’, ask students to examine an image of a Yeperenye caterpillar and predict what the Yeperenye moth may look like.

Direct students’ responses to the colour and patterns on the moth, and any distinguishing features, e.g. the horn. Provide students with a moth template and have students draw and colour what they imagine as the adult Yeperenye moth.

Support resources:

Visit the CSIRO’s catalogue of Australian insects, CSIRO Identification Resources Online. This catalogue holds images and details for Australian moth species.

  1. Navigate to the moth family ‘Sphingidae’, Yeperenye caterpillar, then find page 2, the sub-class, ‘Hyles livornicoides’
  2. Allow students to explore the varieties of moths by clicking on the ones they like the best, then examining the family of the same moth, and clicking on a member of the family to examine it further.
  3. Ask students to explain the similarities and differences of the features of the moths in the family (genus) of their choice as compared to a different family. Explain that all living things are related into families because of their similarities.

The classifications for sorting moths are, and an example,

  1. Family – Sphingidae
  2. Sub-family – Macroglossinae
  3. Species – Hyles livornicoides

The equivalent classifications for sorting the Human family might be:

  1. Brown-Black
  2. Brown
  3. Amber

Ask students to list the three scientific names of their favourite moth, and make an accurate drawing of it. Make a 3-D model of the moth using cane and/or modelling wire and tissue paper. Construct the body form with the cane and then create the surface using tissue for Papier Mache. When dry, paint the pattern of the insect.

The ‘order’ Lepidoptera includes butterflies, moths and skippers. Butterflies are diurnal and moths are nocturnal. As a class, view the images by scientist and photographer, Linden Gledhill, which are close-up photos of moth and butterfly wings. Explore moths and butterflies in the family called Lepidoptera, which means ‘scaly wing.’ Discuss what scales are and how they make a strong, flexible material that can bend around a curve (such as on a snake or a crocodile).

Create flip books of a flying moth or butterfly, starting with the caterpillar stage, moving into a chrysalis, and emerging into a moth/butterfly. Follow the steps from the video clips:


Encourage students to create their own colourful moths by using coloured paper shapes to create a repeated pattern of scales.

  • Access outlines of moths or print a large image from CSIRO’s Australian Moths Online and trace the outline.
  • Students draw patterns on the wings (zig zags, stripes, waves).
  • Glue repeated overlapping shapes onto their moth using their pattern to help overlap them.

Have students enter their data and research about moths, their classification and class into their science journal.

A science journal is a record of a students’ observations, experiences and reflections. Each entry is dated and annotated by the student. Annotations may include written labels, drawings, diagrams, charts, small specimens, photographs, and graphs. Student engagement and learning is evident in the science journal.”

Sourced from: Primary Connections, Linking science with literacy