Transformation: YEAR 2 - Science - Engage

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’.

Engage - Pose and respond to questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 10 ‘Transformation’, ask students to identify parts of the story focused on place, bush tucker and the seasons.

As a class, watch Barra, Rains Coming, 5 Seasons, Clip 3,from Australian Screen Online. The narrator, Tommy Lewis, a Murrungun man from the South-Eastern part of Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, tells the audience:

Even though our lives slow down in the rain – the Country is growing.

The trees, the bark are breathing.

The grasses they are growing before your eyes.

Everywhere, water.”

Ask the class questions about what the people in the clip are doing. Have students observe how Moses teaches children about blackberry or ‘yardagaga’, which goes from green to red and then to black, or ‘Dudumah’, before they are cooked.

’Moses holds a flower that is called ‘woodugu’ which tells the custodians that stingrays, sharks and everything have got fat’.

**Teacher note: Remind students that they should never eat anything in the bush that they don’t know exactly what it is. Many native plants have toxins that can be fatal to some people.

Discuss how the knowledge about ways of living on Country have been passed down from generation to generation and that the Elders teach the children through story (songlines) and experience to pass on their knowledge and language. Ask students to pose and respond to questions about what types of knowledge and skills the Elders would pass on to the children. Make an initial list of ideas and add to the list throughout the module.

As a class, explore the role of the Elder in Aboriginal communities and/or Torres Strait islander communities. Teacher resources to support the instruction of students about the role of Elders:

In the clip, Barra, Rains Coming, 5 Seasons, Clip 3, have students nominate which season and month of the year the clip is capturing.

“The different seasons mark different interactions with the land and different food sources. Barra season – October to December – is the time when foods such as yardagaga become available.”

Ask students to identify the seasons within a western calendar (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn). Introduce students to the various Australian Aboriginal seasons and/or Torres Strait Islander seasons:

Rewatch Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 10: ‘Transformation’, to explore and discuss how people experience the seasons of the year, particularly, the significance in the change of season/weather for the life cycle of the caterpillar, therefore, making a burrow and pupate (change) into a moth? (Rain!)

Use the I see, I think, I wonder strategy to imagine life in different seasons and in different locations of Australia. Access Google maps to randomly select a location for students to find out more information about the seasons experience here. Use a ‘Senses map’, and have students imagine what they SMELL, SEE, HEAR, FEEL and TASTE during the different seasons. Listen to the song ‘Kapi Pulka’ (Big Rain) by Aboriginal rock band, Coloured Stone, from South Australia and discuss the lyrics of the song and how it makes the students feel.

Encourage students to read books about Aboriginal seasons and/or Torres Strait Islander seasons, and exploring how the Country changes in different parts of Australia. A selection of books could include:

  • Baker, J.  (1989). Where the forest meets the sea.  London:  Walker Books. (animation, or video)
  • Burarrwanga, L. & Ganambarr, R. & Ganambarr-Stubbs, M. & Ganambarr, Ba. & Maymuru, D. & Wright, S. & Suchet-Pearson, S. & Lloyd, K.  (2013). Welcome to my country.  Crows Nest, NSW :  Allen & Unwin.
  • Christophersen, J. & Christophersen, C.  (2007). Kakadu calling: stories for kids.  Broome, WA:  Magabala Books.
  • Germein, K. & Bancroft, B.  (2002). Big rain coming.  Camberwell, Victoria:  Puffin Books. (video)
  • Big rain coming: Weather watching - Science (VicDET) (pdf)
  • Kwaymullina, E. & Morgan, S.  (2011). My country.  North Fremantle, WA:  Fremantle Press.
  • Lalara, R. & Lalara, A.  (2014).  Yirruwa Yirrilikenuma-langwa : when we go walkabout.  Crows Nest, NSW:  Allen & Unwin. (bilingual video: )
  • Lucas, D. E. & Searle, K.  (2003). Walking with the seasons in Kakadu.  Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin. (Teachers’ Notes)
  • Morgan, S. & Kwaymullina, E. & Smith, C.  (2014). Going bush with grandpa.  Parkside, SA:  Omnibus Books. (Teachers' Notes PDF: )
  • Murphy, J. & Kennedy, L.  (2016). Welcome to country.  Newtown, NSW:  Black Dog Books, an imprint of Walker Books Australia Pty Ltd.
  • Oodgeroo Noonuccal. & Bancroft, B.  (1999). Stradbroke dreamtime.  Pymble, NSW:  Angus & Robertson.
  • Wheatley, N. & Searle, K. & Huggins, J.  (2011). Playground: listening to stories from country and from inside the heart.  Crows Nest, NSW:  Allen & Unwin

Have students enter their data and research about seasons and seasonal changes, and how the Elders identified when it was appropriate to harvest seasonal foods 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