Wombat Rex: YEAR 1 - HASS - Engage

One night, Nanna teaches Little J, Big Cuz and Levi about the star constellations through stories of the past. At school, Ms Chen encourages the students to investigate the evidence of dinosaurs. Little J and Levi set out to find evidence of dinosaurs themselves, happening upon the fossil of Diprotodon, also called Wombat Rex.

Engage - Pose questions about past and present objects, people, places and events

Theme - STARS

After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 5 ‘Wombat Rex’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding of continuity and change of, and about, living things; place and space; and perspectives.

Review the start of Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 5 ‘Wombat Rex’, particularly when Nanna and the children are around the camp fire in the backyard. Ask students to identify constellations and in particular, any constellations that are named after animals, e.g. scorpion, bear, crab, lion, etc.

As and information reference on Aboriginal astronomy and Torres Strait Islander astronomy, have students watch the first section of the ABC TV program, First Footprints, ABC that refers to Dreaming stories about constellations.

Refer to the list of modern constellations and the ones that were named after animals, e.g.

Refer to the list of star constellations identified by the Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. As a class, make a list of ten Aboriginal animal constellation names. Discuss why ancient cultures, particularly Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, would have named the constellations after animals. Have students pose questions about why the people of different countries connected animals as constellations in the night sky, and if these animals were significant to their understanding of each people’s cultural and spiritual world.

Examine the posters on the sky and seasons found at the Kaartdijin Noongar – Noongar Knowledge

website, and explore how the seasons related to hunting particular animals and travel to hunting grounds.

As a class, listen to the following video clip about how Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people used their knowledge of the sky: Aboriginal Skies (audio). Ask questions of the class about the facts that the clip reveal, particularly focus on: the navigation techniques used by Aboriginal peoples, and how and why Aboriginal peoples navigated their way ‘on Country’.

Observe the stars at night, either at school or on Country, or at a Planetarium. Have students identify any animal constellations they find, draw their own interpretations of animal constellations, and name them. Have students share their drawings and ideas about how the constellations are used by people past and present.

Invite students to view the video clip Day and Night