Transformation:FOUNDATION - Science - Explore
In the backyard, Little J finds a Hawk Moth caterpillar on the Tar vine that he names ‘Sausage’. He wants to take Sausage 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 - Pose and respond to questions about familiar objects and events
Theme - TIME & SEASONS
After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 10 ‘Transformation’, engage students with the following learning activities to support their understanding about time, and seasonal change.
Organise the classroom so that students have enough space to stand in a circle during this activity. Ask the class to sort themselves chronologically from oldest to youngest according to their birthdays. Have students hold hands and slowly walk around into a circle, so that the last person in December can join hands with the first person in January. Ask each student to tell everyone the month of their birth, and repeat the circle of months 2–3 times so that students understand the concept of the cycle of the months.
Invite each student to say their present age in one cycle, and their next age in the year after this. Explain that the cycle of months are the spaces between one age and the next. Still in the circle, conduct a Think, Pair, Share activity: write on the IWB/board the four seasons of the western Gregorian calendar (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring). Ask students to think what season their birthday occurs in. Share their birthday season with the person to the left of them in the circle, and compare which seasons both students have identified.
Ask the class to find out between which months of the year the seasons (supposedly) change. List the seasonal months that the class suggests. Nominate certain students to explain their reasoning why they listed a particular season. Their reasons may include cultural and personal ideas, as well as different weather from one year to the next. Reveal the accepted months for the Australian seasons as per the Western calendar and compare how the students perceived the seasons for their birth dates compared to the actual dates/months of the year.
Introduce information about the various Aboriginal seasonal calendars and/or Torres Strait Islander seasonal calendars. Discuss how Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples 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 exploring the Aboriginal seasons and/or Torres Strait Islander seasons:
- Indigenous seasons across northern Australia
- 6 Seasons of Gariwerd
- Kaartdijin Noongar – Noongar Knowledge
- Kakadu seasons
- Season Wheel template
- Observing the seasons
Ask students to compare the differences between the Western seasons and the seasons of the local Aboriginal calendar and/or local Torres Strait Islander calendar. Have students learn the local traditional Aboriginal language names and/or Torres Strait Islander language names for the local seasons and their meaning (e.g. Poorneet – tadpole season or Buath guru – grass-flowering season), and find out which Aboriginal season and/or Torres Strait Islander season was occurring when they were born.
Introduce the inquiry questions:
- How and why do seasons change?
- How do seasons affect our daily lives?
Explain that different cultures at different times in the life span of humankind used different calendars depending on their needs. Introduce the idea that the start, middle, or end of seasons is celebrated with ceremonies or festivals, with different cultures celebrating in different ways, e.g.
- Japan’s Cherry blossom festival in Spring
- India’s festival of Navroze, or ‘New Day’, in Spring
- China’s Moon festival in Autumn
- Ancient Rome’s Saturn festival in Winter
- Sweden’s Midsummer festival in Summer
reating a personal card:
Working individually, invite each student to create a birthday card or a collage that can be for themselves, a friend, or family member. Encourage students to illustrate the card with symbols of the season that aligns with their birth date, either from the Georgian calendar or from an Aboriginal calendar and/or Torres Strait Islander calendar.
Encourage students to write the name of the month, and the season in both English and a traditional Aboriginal language and/or a Torres Strait Islander language.
Additional teacher resources:
- Keeping Track of Time – The way we measure time is influenced by our culture and religion
- The 24 solar terms
Have students enter their data and research about animals and their seasonal behaviours 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