Where’s Aaron: FOUNDATION - Science - Engage

The class is taking turns hosting ‘Aaron’ the class mascot. It is Little J’s turn so Little J, Nanna, Big Cuz, and Old Dog take Aaron on Country to look for mica rock, and along the way they photograph the expedition. Distracted by the events of the day, Little J loses Aaron and the family enrols the help of Uncle Mick, a Search and Rescue officer, to return him.

Engage - Pose and respond to questions about familiar objects and events 


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 8 ‘Where’s Aaron?’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about natural materials and  processed materials, local rocks and minerals, and their observable properties. Materials and tools.

Provide a large tub of different  natural materials and  processed materials, such as hard and flexible plastic, wood off-cuts and wood laminate, tree bark, cork, stones, ceramic tiles, metals, rubber matting, fabric, and other materials as available. Using two hoops laid on the floor, labelled ‘natural materials, and ‘ processed materials. Explain what each label means, and demonstrate choosing an example for each hoop. Invite students to select one object from the tub and place it in the hoop that they believe is the correct label for their object.

Once all the objects in the tub have been sorted, ask students to consider if the objects are all in their correct categories. Ask the class how and why they would change the position of any on the materials to another hoop. If a student wishes to do this, they must state why, and the rest of the class needs to agree with the move. When the class is satisfied with the arrangement, examine each object and reveal if the class has all its selections correct.

 As a class, view the video ‘What material is that? and discuss how materials are defined and their properties:

Place two more hoops on the floor, and change the labels on the four hoops to:

  1.  processed materials, hard
  2.  processed materials, soft
  3.  natural material, hard
  4.  natural material, soft

Pile all materials back in the tub, and ask each student to select one object and to categorise it by placing it into one of the four hoops.

Repeat again, expanding the number of hoops and change the labels of the properties of each group of materials. The groupings and labels could include observable properties of the objects, such as ‘natural material, and ‘processed materials’ plus any of the following:

  1. hard – soft
  2. flexible – rigid
  3. strong – weak
  4. weight (light – heavy)
  5. transparent – dense/ opaque
  6. absorbent – repellent

Conduct a ‘Materials Search’ around the classroom. Invite students to imagine they are a materials detective who needs to find evidence of where various materials have been used in the environment (e.g. glass, metal, concrete, plastic, fabric, rubber, etc.). Provide pairs of students with a map of the classroom/teaching block and have them mark on the map where they locate the various materials.

Have students start a Science journal (virtual or physical) and collect small specimens (or images) of various materials to label as ‘natural materials’ or ‘processed materials)’, and ‘hard’ or ‘soft’, ‘strong’ or ‘weak’. Have students also enter a copy of the classroom map of materials they detected.

Students could test and learn about other materials and their properties by playing science games, such as:

Additional teacher resources

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