Wombat Rex: YEAR 2 - Science - Explore

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.

Explore - Participate in guided investigations to explore and answer questions


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 2 ‘Wombat Rex’, engage students with the following activities focusing on how living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves.

Ask students which animal category the dinosaurs belonged to. If students don’t know, have them research the answer. Discuss the reasons why the dinosaurs are now extinct: climate, habitat, food shortages, etc. List the students’ suggestions so that they can check these against their researched information.

Ask students to work in pairs and investigate the Ice Ages and what caused the decline and extinction of the dinosaurs. Each pair of students should explore what the earth was like in the time of dinosaurs: volcanoes, meteor showers, earthquakes, storms, glaciers, etc. and contribute a piece of information to build a complete scenario.

Have students find out whether an Ice Age happened in Australia and when this may have occurred. As a class, produce a simple timeline which displays the length of time that dinosaurs were living on Earth and compare it to how long humans have inhabited the Earth. Represent this length of time on a piece of string with different colours representing the time eras. Wrap the string around the class room and have students walk along the string to gain a sense of time.

As a class, view Wild Backyards, Queensland Museum, about planning a biodiversity assessment. Take a walking excursion in your local area to identify the effects of ancient volcanoes on today’s landscape. Have students identify different rocks and rock formations, minerals, sand and clay deposits, mountains and hills. Make a geological map of the walk and annotate the map with the types of interesting earth forms they find. Collect samples of soils, rocks and sands and label them as specimens.

As a class, view the film clip, The Changing Face of Australia, Australian Screen Online. Introduce the term ‘erosion’ and have students define this term and find out how erosion occurs. Have students look at the specimen collection from their walk and ask them to identify whether the rocks were affected by erosion. Suggest how this erosion occurred, for example, by the rain, rivers, wind, earth’s pressure or contemporary man-made means.

Look again at Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 2 ‘Wombat Rex’, and stop the animation at the shot of the fossil secured in the hill side. Ask students questions about why they think a dinosaur skull would be found in the hillside.

Take the timeline string and secure it from the ceiling of the room so that it hangs down to the floor and along the floor in descending time order. Suggest that for each year of life on earth, a small layer of soil is laid down on top of the earth. Therefore, when the dinosaur died the skeleton was eventually coved by layers of soils. Illustrate this by placing a layer of coloured soil/sand in a transparent jar. Place a dried bone on the jar and cover over with different layers of sands/soils to represent the time epochs. This exercise allows students to understand the causal effects of time on the earth and the effects of erosion to uncover the ancient past.

Access these resources to explain how the land is shaped over time: