Where’s Aaron: YEAR 2 - Science - Elaborate

The class is taking turns hosting ‘Aaron’ the class mascot, taking him on adventures. 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.

Elaborate - Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 8 ‘Where’s Aaron?’, engage students with the following activities to support their investigation of observable properties of minerals and how minerals are used in Australian households.

Revisit information about mica: what it looks like, how it flakes into sheets, what happens when we shine light on little pieces of mica, and how it was traditionally used by Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Make available for the class a selection of crystallised stones (minerals) for students to touch and directly observe. Choose a mineral and view it from every angle.

Introduce the term ‘properties’ of minerals and have students predict what this term means (hardness, lustre, colour, density (streak, fracture and cleavage).

While handling/observing the crystalline minerals, have students compare five stones. Create a comparison chart with the names of the five stones and have students enter a mark on a scale to assess the properties of each.

Explain the use of the term ‘crystalline’ and have students observe the crystal structure of each stone. Crystals might be formed near the surface of the earth or deep underground as molten rock (magma) from a volcano cools. Each crystal has a different structure and this is what determines its light-reflecting properties (including lustre and colour), the shapes it breaks into, and its hardness.

Explore images of crystals and gemstones from around the world on websites such as:

Provide students with a box containing a variety of building blocks, including blocks similar to Lego, foam balls and tooth picks, different shapes or counters, etc. and have students create an imaginary crystal structure. Make sure that students understand that once they have a simple structure with three of the same objects joined, they need to repeat the same structure, attach them to each other to complete the crystal shape.

Students select and arrange a dozen or more blocks or counters into a repeating pattern.

Ask students to experiment with making different repeating patterns and discuss how there are many ways these simple building blocks or shapes can be combined.

Have students investigate the Opal as a unique crystal found in Australia. Introduce students to Opal and its significance for Aboriginal peoples and the opal-producing arid areas of Australia.

Suggested resources

Alternatively, have students grow their own crystals.

Salt Crystal Experiment

  1. Prepare a saucepan of boiling water and remove it from the heat.
  2. Using appropriate safety precautions, add table salt to the saucepan of hot water and stir. Keep adding salt until it becomes cloudy.
  3. Allow the liquid to cool slightly.
  4. Pour the liquid into clear glass jars or beakers.
  5. Place a pencil across the mouth of each jar, with a string and a weight such as a small rock tied to the end of the string. The string should hang in the water in the middle of the jar – this is where the crystals will form.
  6. Set the jars aside somewhere where they can safely cool and evaporate.
  7. Check the experiment every day for a week, making observations and noting when crystals first start to appear.

Suggested resources

Have each student enter the information about the significance of the Opal to Aboriginal peoples into their science journal, along with the properties of minerals, their predictions, procedures and evaluations for making crystals and the meaning of crystalline, and any accompanying images and diagrams about crystals and minerals. The journal records all the observations, research, evaluations and reflections a student has about the science they discover.

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