Wombat Rex: YEAR 2 - 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 - 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.

In episode 2, ‘Wombat Rex’, Little J and Levi are fooled by the false tracks that Big Cuz makes for the ancient Diprotodon (Wombat Rex). Nanna explains how important it is to be able to track the ‘proper’ way.

Have students investigate noted non-Indigenous explorers of the Australian continent. Divide students into pairs and provide a list of explorers that each pair can choose from and select an explorer to investigate and present a short biography of their achievements.

Explorers to research may include:

  • George BASS (1763–1803?)
  • Gregory BLAXLAND (1771–1852)
  • Matthew FLINDERS (1774–1814)
  • William LAWSON (1774–1850)
  • Phillip Parker KING (1791–1856)
  • Thomas MITCHELL (1792–-1855)
  • William Charles WENTWORTH (1792–1872)
  • Charles STURT (1795–1869)
  • Ludwig LEICHHARDT (1813–1848)
  • Edward John EYRE (1815–1901)
  • Robert O'Hara BURKE (1821–-1861)
  • William John WILLS (1834–1861),
  • among others …

**Teacher note: Be aware that Aboriginal students and/or Torres Strait Islander students may not be allowed to view images of people who have died.

Ask students to:

  • select an explorer relevant to the locality/state in which they live
  • present a map of their chosen explorer’s explorations to discuss with the class
  • document the names of the Aboriginal nations and/or Torres Strait Islander nations that these explorers entered along their expedition routes
  • research if these explorers used Aboriginal trackers to assist with their expeditions. If so, document who these trackers were and find images of them to add to the biography.

Suggested resources:

Compare the maps made by these explorers to the maps of Country produced by Aboriginal artists by viewing these Australian Screen Online video clips:

Ask students to respond to the following questions and also suggest questions of their own:

  • What they learnt from the clips about how Aboriginal artists represent their Country?
  • What they learnt about the maps these Aboriginal artists created which are reflective of their culture, past and present?

Have students draw their own map of their suburb, street or block where they live. This map can be in the style of an explorer’s map, or a symbolic picture map like those created by Aboriginal artists. Invite students to a display their maps and explain how and why they represented their family/ and or culture through the map.

Suggested reference for maps:

  • Wheatley, N. & Rawlins, D., My Place, 2008, Walker Books Australia