Where’s Aaron: FOUNDATION - Science - Explain

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.

Explain - Engage in discussions about observations and represent ideas


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

As a class, watch the video ’Aboriginal use of rocks and minerals, about how Aboriginal peoples used stone, and read a Fact sheet: Aboriginal grinding stones of the video’s main points.

Have students ask questions and respond to the information about the properties of various rocks (and minerals), and how certain rocks were traditionally used for a variety of purposes. For example, Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples traditionally used soft ground ochre and wet clay for paint, and sharp-edged flint stones (quartzite) were used for cutting and making fire; and rough, hard stones were used for grinding and crushing seeds into flour.

Explain that traditional building materials made from rocks and minerals are still used today, e.g. concrete, a mixture of cement (binder), sand and gravel;

  • glass, made from molten sand;
  • render, made from cement, sand, and coloured ground-up rock;
  • bricks, made from clay and shale.

Draw students’ attention to the use of the flat grinding stone in the video. Introduce students to a stone mortar and pestle, used to grind organic materials into powder or flour. Use the pestle (grinder) and demonstrate for students the grinding motion that rubs the grains in the mortar (the bowl). Have students touch the texture of the grains and compare it to the texture of the flour in the mortar. A slightly rough mortar is best for grains. Food Culture: Aboriginal Bread (Australian Museum) has examples of Aboriginal grinding stones.

Making flat bread

Invite students to take turns in grinding grain, to make small flatbreads.


¾ cup whole-wheat flour

¼ cup plain flour

¼ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ cup plain Greek yoghurt

1 tsp water combined with 1 tsp olive oil

olive oil


  1. Stir the dry ingredients together, make a well in the centre and add the yoghurt.
  2. Stir and knead the dough until it is flexible and can stretch without breaking.
  3. If the ingredients will not come together into a dough, add the water/olive oil mix to the flour.
  4. Roll pieces of dough into little balls, flatten and roll them out.
  5. Organise for an adult (tuckshop) to cook the flatbreads in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat with 1–2 tbsp olive oil.
  6. Keep the flatbreads warm in the oven in a pocket of foil until they are all ready to serve. 

Have students enter information about traditional Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander use of rocks/minerals, along with the list of rocks and minerals still used in the building industry today, and the recipe for flatbread science journal(virtual or physical). Students should also collect small specimens (or images) of various rocks, minerals and seeds from the local area.

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