Wombat Rex: YEAR 2 - HASS - Elaborate

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.

Elaborate - Present narratives, information and findings in oral, graphic and written forms using simple terms to denote the passing of time and to describe direction and location

Theme - PEOPLE

After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 2 ‘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, view the following two artworks:

Imants Tillers’ artwork is a combination of ideas based on The AIATSIS map of Aboriginal Australia, ABC Indigenous and Emily Kam Kngwarray’s artwork.

Have students examine Tiller’s painting and compare the original sources of inspiration. Ask students to explain what is similar and different about the two versions.

As a THINK, PAIR SHARE activity, have students develop an understanding of why the artist, Tillers, used these sources to produce the titled work, Terra incognita. Have students suggest an explanation for the meaning of the term, ‘terra incognita’, and also suggest how Emily Kam Kngwarray’s artwork influenced Tiller’s subject matter.

In pairs, ask students to find information and document examples of artworks about how Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples where depicted in the early colonial days of Australia (1788–1890). Explain that without cameras, artists were the only ones that left evidence of how people looked, and how people lived, in the past. Explain to students that these early artworks are considered primary sources if they were produced at the time. These depictions could be by European artists or by Aboriginal artists and/or Torres Strait Islander artists.

As a class, develop an online art exhibition of the images the class finds and have student order the artworks in chronological order. For example, examine the early colonial artworks of William Barak, Tommy McRae, T.S. Gill, Louise Bouvelot, Conrad Martins, William Dawes, and/or Joseph Banks, etc.

Have students explain how each artist has depicted the environment and people in the artwork. Encourage students to also think of a narrative about what is happening in the artwork and how it relates to how people lived in the past. Listen to stories of the past for inspiration, such as:

Play ‘Hot Seat Role Play’ in which students take turns in pretending to be an artist, botanist, or explorer from Australian history. Have students investigate some information about their selected character. Place a chair at the front of the room. Each student has a turn to sit in the chair at the front of the room. The other students can ask 5–10 questions about the character the hot-seat student is pretending to be and the student in the hot-seat responds in the role of their character. The other students need to guess who the character is.