Wombat Rex: YEAR 1 - HASS - Explain

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.

Explain - Compare objects from the past with those from the present and consider how places have changed over time

Theme - TOTEM

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.

As a class, watch one (or more) of the Dreaming children’s stories, such as:

Explain to students that each Aboriginal nations and/or Torres Strait Islander nations tells has developed songlines and stories about their beliefs on how the natural environment came into being. Individually, or in groups, ask students to imagine they are creating their own ‘nation’. They could suggest a name and select their own totem, animal or celestial object, e.g. a star, the sun, the moon, a comet, etc. As a group they can create a story about the power or origin of their totem.

Teach students about String Stories as they are an excellent way for students to observe storytelling in different cultures. The ‘Lizard and Snake’ from The Story Vine is a string story that can be used to portray aspects of Torres Strait Islands, Papua New Guinean, European and Marquesas cultures:

Demonstrate the string story, ‘Lizard and Snake’, and have students listen to and observe how the story is told, for example, Anne Glover – A super simple string story (video).

Discuss this way of storytelling and ask students:

  • What was this story about?  
  • Who was your favourite character? Why? 
  • How did telling the story with string help you to understand it?
  • How and why did this story remind you of another story that you know?
  • How is this story different to others that you have listened to or participated in? Why? 
  • What else would you like to tell me about this story? 

Invite students to share their ideas about how they can use the string- story technique to tell their own story. Ask students to choose one of the stories they have already heard, or a story they can tell themselves. Using the string, they present their story to the class.