Spike - Teacher Resources

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By Little Wing Puppets
Teachers’ Resources
Image: Spike, image by Giovanni Fusetti
The 2014 Education and Families Program is
Proudly Supported by:
TABLE OF CONTENTS............................................................................................................................... 2
ABOUT THIS RESOURCE .......................................................................................................................... 3
ABOUT REGIONAL ARTS VICTORIA.......................................................................................................... 3
EDUCATION & FAMILIES TEAM ............................................................................................................... 4
CURRICULUM LINKS ................................................................................................................................ 5
INTRODUCTION TO THE PROGRAM ........................................................................................................ 7
BIOGRAPHIES OF CAST AND ARTISTIC TEAM .......................................................................................... 8
LIST OF SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES BEFORE THE SHOW.............................................................................. 9
LIST OF SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES AFTER THE SHOW .............................................................................. 10
LESSON PLANS: SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES BEFORE THE SHOW............................................................... 10
History of Shadow Puppetry Research Activity
Investigating Shadows
Shadow theatre laboratory
Monster Shadow puppets
Hand shadow puppetry
LESSON PLANS: SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES AFTER THE SHOW ................................................................. 14
1. “What’s Inside the Egg” sheet music
Song by Mal Webb, SeiniTaumoepeau and the Middle Primary class at
Ti Tree School, Northern Territory.
Echidna Paper Plate Puppet
Echidna Fun Fact Sheet
Egg Laying Creatures Mind Map
Bullying Resource Activities
Reflections on the show
Bully Town Imagination exercise
Bullying Discussion Questions
Bullying Role Play
6. Video Links for Shadow Puppetry
APPENDIX .............................................................................................................................................. 19
“What’s Inside the Egg” sheet music
Song by Mal Webb, SeiniTaumoepeau and the
Middle Primary class at
Ti Tree School, Northern Territory.
Image: Spike, image by Anand Kumar
This resource has been created to provide teachers with some preliminary ideas as to how to
extend their experience of Spike beyond the stage and into the classroom. The activities are
designed to be open-ended and multi-ability. They may need differentiation for your specific
The performances and workshops included in the Education & Families program are designed to
offer students engaging performing arts experiences with strong links to AusVELS. Each Education & Families performance varies in its content and as a result the scope for integration across
the curriculum varies. Please feel free to contact the Education and Families team on (03) 9644
1808 or at [email protected] if you have any questions about this resource, its content or its
implementation within your classroom!
Regional Arts Victoria is the peak Victorian agency resourcing and supporting contemporary and
innovative regional cultural practice. In the more than 40 years since its establishment, RAV has
demonstrated a long-term commitment to the concept that art practice is critical to building
capacity and self-determination in communities. It is proud of its reputation as a contemporary,
inventive and responsive organisation working with vision, passion and a strong understanding of
the challenges and aspirations of the communities that form its regional constituency.
Regional Arts Victoria initiates, facilitates and celebrates the arts in regional Victoria through
Creative Communities Victoria, Education and Families, Performing Arts Touring and Regional
Arts Development programs.
We do this by:
Working with artists and regional communities to create high-quality art.
Playing a major role in developing regional arts networks, tours, projects, programs, skills
development, and funding.
Providing leadership and support to our networks in regional Victoria.
Celebrating the diversity of cultural experience in regional Victoria.
Collaborating with partners in business, local, state and federal government, sponsors
and education organisations.
Striving for excellence through benchmarking and continuous improvement processes.
Performing Arts Touring (PAT) is Regional Arts Victoria’s tour coordinating program that works to
broker agreements between presenters and producers resulting in tours of a diverse range of
performing arts productions.
Touring forums such as Long Paddock and Showcase Victoria introduce presenters to a diverse
range of producers and their work, offering new Australian drama, theatre classics, children’s
theatre, contemporary dance, comedy, musical theatre, physical theatre, world music, circus,
opera, ballet and classical music.
Working side-by-side with PAT is Education and Families, Regional Arts Victoria’s program for
children and young people. Each year we take a variety of arts experiences on the road across
Victoria, from Mallacoota to Murrayville and Heywood to Corryong, reaching over 25,000 young
Regional Arts Victoria provides young people across Victoria with the opportunity to experience,
engage with and participate in high-quality live performing and visual arts. Our school incursion
program is an inspiring, contemporary, and educational way to promote the value of the arts to
young people within communities.
Regional Arts Victoria’s Education & Families team pride ourselves on providing relevant and exciting
activities for children and young people that are complementary to both Victorian and Australian curriculums. All
of our tours come with a free set of education resources to further enrich your arts experience.
Our team is available to provide local contacts and links to research, and offer advice on how to make the most
of the arts at your school or centre. Our office is a resource for Victorian teachers, so we encourage you to make
use of us!
We also provide significant subsidy assistance (up to 50% of program costs) to eligible remote and
disadvantaged schools. Your school may be eligible so please contact us to find out more!
Suzi Cordell
Education & Families
Ph: (03) 9644 1805
Mob: 0402 460 080
Email:[email protected]
Kate Vigo
Education & Families Coordinator
Ph: (03) 9644 1808
Mob: 0405 722 789
Email: [email protected]
Jo Chapman
Education & Families Administrator
Ph: (03) 9644 1819
Email: [email protected]
The Arts
Creating & Making
exploration of effective ways to use arts elements such as colour,
sound or shape to communicate imagined ideas (F .5)
exploration of ways that shapes, colours, images and/or sounds can
be repeated to communicate an idea or observation (F .5)
identification of features of performing and visual arts works they and
others have made (F .5)
planning of ways to combine movements and/or actions (Level 1)
use of arts language in discussion about why they and others have
chosen to arrange aspects of arts works in particular ways (Level 1)
use of arts language in discussion about why they and others have
chosen to arrange aspects of arts works in particular ways (Level 1.5)
awareness, based on investigation of other works, of how effects can
be created when selected arts elements, principles and/or
conventions are used and combined (Level 2.5)
awareness in their own work of techniques and/or features drawn
from other people’s works (Level 2.5)
planning for arts works that is informed by an understanding of ways
other artists have used and combined selected arts elements,
principles and/or conventions to achieve specific effects (Level 3)
responses to feedback about the application of techniques and the
use of selected media, (Level 3.5)
Exploring & Responding
awareness of ways they and others express ideas, feelings and
purpose in arts works (Level 2.5)
identification, using appropriate arts language, of key features of their
own and other people’s arts works (Level 2.5)
contribution to discussion about the cultural and historical contexts of
their own and other people’s arts works (Level 2.5)
identification of selected arts elements, principles, skills, techniques,
processes, media, materials, equipment and/or technologies in their
own or other people’s arts works (Level 3)
documentation of an investigation of the cultural or historical contexts
of their own or other people’s art works (Level 3)
commentary on ways specific arts elements, principles, skills,
techniques, processes and/or use of media and materials
communicate ideas in their own or other people’s arts works (Level
identification of, key features of arts works from their own and other
cultures and times that shows emerging understanding of contexts
(Level 3.5)
Science as Understanding
Describe everyday changes in biological, chemical, earth and space,
and physical science contexts.
Analyse how changes in biological, chemical, earth and space, and
physical science contexts may both benefit and harm society. (Level
Science as a Human Endeavour
Identify science activities occurring in the local community (Level 2.5)
Explain how science can be used to inform personal actions. (Level
Science Inquiry Skills
generate questions and make predictions about possible or likely
outcomes related to familiar situations and phenomena (Level 3.5)
Building Social Relationships
The Individual Learner
Knowledge of the possible causes of general feeling states such as
happiness, sadness, anger, peacefulness, fear and safety (F.5)
Knowledge of the link between choice, behaviour and consequences;
for example, choices between generous or selfish, inclusive or
excluding behaviour (F.5)
Behaviours that contribute to friendly play, and avoidance of those
behaviours that may alienate or lead to conflict (F.5)
Awareness of how personal behaviour influences the feelings of
others (Level 1)
Reflection on the consequences of their behaviour in social
relationships (Level 1)
Knowledge of behaviours that promote positive social relationships
(Level 1.5)
Reflection on the appropriateness of their behaviours in different
contexts (Level 1.5)
Knowledge of the personal attributes that contribute to friendship
(Level 2.5)
Inclusive behaviour that recognises similarities and acknowledges
difference (Level 2.5)
Respect for different needs when maintaining harmonious social
relationships (Level 3)
Use of strategies for adapting their behaviour in response to the
needs of others (Level 3.5)
Use of strategies for bonding with others in the development of
friendship; for example, providing them with appropriate feedback
(Level 3.5)
Use of strategies for responding to different needs when attempting
to maintain harmonious social relationships (Level 3.5)
Awareness of how diversity can influence social behaviour (Level 4.5)
Knowledge of behaviour that constitutes bullying (Level 4.5)
Awareness of perspectives of others (walking in their shoes); for
example, through storytelling (Level 5)
Respect of diverse traditions and practices; for example, different
religious beliefs or celebrations (Level 5.5)
Knowledge of the consequences of bullying behaviour (Level 5.5)
With teacher direction, use of prior knowledge as an important source
for learning (Level 2.5)
Preparation for learning; for example, organisation and concentration
(Level 2.5)
Knowledge of the role of questions in learning (Level 2.5)
Interest in the feelings, needs, ideas and opinions of others (Level
Creation and sharing of considered questions to explore and
elaborate on their own and others’ ideas (Level 5)
Spike is the third show by Little Wing Puppets. Little Wing specialises in puppetry performances
and workshops for children, using a range of different performance techniques – physical
comedy, shadow and hand puppetry – and is always finding inventive new ways to tell stories.
In Spike, Artistic Director, Jenny Ellis, who brings
together a background in environmental education
and experience in puppetry, delivers another show
that is both educational and entertaining. Spike also
features the ebulliently eclectic music of Mal Webb,
combining beatboxing, African thumb piano, brass,
strings, as well as a song composed especially for
the show with Seini Taumoepeau and Aboriginal
children from the Middle Primary class at Ti Tree
School, Northern Territory.
Image: Spike, image by Giovanni Fusetti
Spike has been created under the mentorship of two
great artists who have dedicated their careers to
evolving the artform of shadow puppetry: Australian master puppeteer, Richard Bradshaw OAM and
Fabrizio Montecchi of Italy’s Teatro Gioco Vita. Both have been recognised internationally for their
contribution to the development of shadow theatre.
The development of the show was made possible by Regional Arts Victoria and the generous
support of the Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation, part of the legacy of the pioneering
performing sisters, Joan and Betty Rayner, who brought live theatre to over 2 million Australian
children from 1948 onwards.
Content: What it is about?
Spike is the story of a young echidna who, hatching from his egg, finds himself lost and alone. He
has no spikes yet and no idea of who or what he is or where he belongs. He finds himself in turn
in the nest of a crocodile, an emu, a lyrebird and a pelican, where each time he is in danger. He
meets a young girl playing alone in the bush. She is alone because she is being bullied by other
children. She is shy, clumsy and awkward and, like Spike, feels lost and rejected, but she helps
him discover where he belongs. Spike finds his place in the world in a story that parallels her
Context: Themes and Cultural Significance
Bullying and Difference; Puppetry; Shadow Theatre; Australian Animals; Environmental Education
Value: How it aims to impact student learning
Spike has three main areas for student learning which are expanded in the educational
1) An exploration and demonstration of contemporary shadow theatre techniques.
2) A catalyst for a discussion about bullying, difference and belonging.
3) Environmental education about the remarkable biology of Australian animals.
Jenny Ellis – Producer, Writer, Designer, Puppet maker, Performer
Jenny Ellis, the Artistic Director of Little Wing Puppets, has been a puppeteer for over fifteen
years. She has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Puppetry from the Victorian College of the Arts, and a
Bachelor’s degree in Social Ecology, with a major in Environmental Education. In 2011, she
received a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to study with master shadow puppeteer
Richard Bradshaw as part of the national Jump Mentoring program. In 2012 she received a
Major Travel Fellowship from the Mike Walsh Foundation to research contemporary puppetry in
Europe. Jenny has recently completed the one-year program at the Helikos International School
for Theatre Creation in Florence, Italy. She has performed to over 40,000 school students since
2008, as well as at numerous theatres and festivals across Australia.
Work examples: www.littlewingpuppets.com.au
Richard Bradshaw – Puppetry Mentor
Richard has performed with his shadow puppets for audiences of children and adults in Europe,
North America and Asia, making some 40 overseas tours. His puppets have featured on The
Muppet Show and were the basis of a one-hour documentary made by Jim Henson in Sydney in
1984. He has given shadow-puppet workshops for puppeteers in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy,
Ireland, Poland, U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. He has contributed a chapter on
making shadow puppets to a book published in Germany in 2001. From 1976-83 Richard was
Artistic Director of the Marionette Theatre of Australia based in Sydney. In 1986 Richard received
the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) “for services to the arts as a puppeteer” and in 1987
he shared the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award“ for sustained excellence in the field of
Fabrizio Montecchi – Puppetry Mentor
Fabrizio Montecchi is an Italian stage director and set designer. In 1977, he started collaborating
with the Teatro Gioco Vita Company, a collaboration which consisted in increasing and developing
shadow theatre. He has contributed to almost every production of the company, and organized
collaborations with lyrical and theatrical institutions like La Scala Theatre in Milan, the Fenice de
Venice, the Verona Arena, Rome Opera and the Piccolo Teatro in Milan. Since 1985, he has
directed more than 25 shows of the company. He has conducted workshops and seminars in
Germany, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Scotland, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Norway,
Poland, Portugal and Sweden.
Anne Brooksbank – Script Editor
Anne Brooksbank has written a number of scripts for children and has won two AWGIE Awards for
children’s screenwriting. In 1985 her script entitled On Loan was produced for the Winners
television series by the Children’s Film and Television Corporation. The produced film won a
Media Peace Award, and she subsequently adapted the script into a novel which was reprinted
eleven times by Penguin and is still widely borrowed from school libraries. Since then, she has
gone on to write five more books for children and young adults. Her book Mother’s Day was listed
as Highly Recommended in the Family Therapists’ Association Awards in 2006. Sir Katherine was
listed as a Notable Australian Book in the Children’s Council Book Awards in 2008. Father’s Day
was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Children’s Literature in 2012.
Jacob Williams – Puppetry Director
Jacob Williams is the co-director of Lemony S and is an award winning puppeteer, maker and
actor with over twenty years experience in the arts. He has toured nationally and internationally
with many companies such as Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Polyglot Puppet Theatre, Black Hole Inc.
and Walking with Dinosaurs were he starred as the T Rex. Jacob is a graduate of Victoria College
of the Arts Drama School in Animateuring (theatre making). He was Assistant Puppetry Director
for the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony as well as puppeteered on the children’s
television show New McDonald’s Farm for Channel 9. During 2009, he was part of the creative
team behind The Flying Fruit Fly Circus’s The Promise which won a Helpman award for the Best
Presentation for Children. Jacob was ‘Kong Captain’ for King Kong – Live on Stage and was
recently awarded a Helpman Award with the team for the operation of Kong.
Mal Webb –Composer
Around the world vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentist and looping beatboxing songwriter Mal
Webb uses all sorts of vocal techniques, guitar, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic
harmonica and a loop recording pedal. A founding member of the Oxo Cubans, Sock and Totally
Gourdgeous, Mal did all the music for the Lano and Woodley TV show and Wogs Out of Work,
played mbira and sang "Eagle Rock" with Ross Wilson on John Safran's Music Jamboree on SBS
and has done a few spots on Spicks and Specks (ABCTV). Mal was also the composer for the
recent ABC TV series Woodley.
Lauren Redpath – Puppet maker
Lauren is a puppet designer and fabricator working in theatre and film. Lauren completed a
Bachelors Degree in Production at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2007. Lauren has worked
with the Creature Technology Company on the internationally successful Arena Spectacular
shows Walking with Dinosaurs and How to Train your Dragon.
Freya Pitt - Puppet maker
Freya completed a Visual Arts Degree at Edith Cowan University, WA in 2006, and combines the
creative areas of textiles, papercut and installation, shadow puppetry and animation. She now
lives in Melbourne and is currently completing a Master of Art in Public Space at RMIT University.
See below for lesson plans.
1) History of Shadow Puppetry Research Activity
2) Investigating Shadows
3) Shadow theatre laboratory
4) Monster Shadow puppets
5) Hand shadow puppetry
Image: Spike, image by Jenny Ellis
See below for lesson plans.
1) “What’s Inside the Egg” sheet music
Song by Mal Webb, SeiniTaumoepeau and the Middle Primary class at Ti Tree School,
Northern Territory.
2) Echidna Paper Plate Puppet
3) Echidna Fun Fact Sheet
4) Egg Laying Creatures Mind Map
5) Bullying Resource Activities
Reflections on the show
Bully Town Imagination exercise
Bullying Discussion Questions
Bullying Role Play
Image: Spike, image by Anand Kumar
6) Video Links for Shadow Puppetry
1. History of Shadow Puppetry Research Activity
Suggested Activities:
Divide the class into small groups and ask them to research shadow puppetry in each of the
following regions:
South-East Asia: Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia
Turkey and Greece
Ask the groups to prepare a small presentation for the class based on the following
What is the name for shadow puppets in these different places?
What kind of materials were the puppets made from?
Were the puppets colourful or plain coloured?
What kind of light did they use?
Can you find any pictures of these puppets?
Where did they hold the stick or rods? Were they horizontal or vertical?
Can you tell us about any typical stories or characters from these shadow puppetry
Suggested Links
General information about world shadow theatre on Wikipedia:
Chinese Shadow Theatre: www.chineseshadowpuppetry.com/#!history/cjg9
Turkish shadow theatre: www.allaboutturkey.com/karagoz.htm
South east Asian Shadow Theatre
A Short World History of Shadow Theatre
Chinese Shadow Puppetry
The oldest known story about shadow theatre is over 2000 years old. According to legend,
Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty in China became so sad after his favourite concubine died that
he lost his desire to rule the empire. One of the officers saw some children playing with the
shadows of their dolls. Inspired by this, he carefully recreated the silhouette of the beloved
concubine, cutting her shape out of donkey leather. All her limbs were jointed and she was
dressed in painted clothes. One night, using an oil lamp and a curtain, he brought the figure of
the concubine back to life. The Emperor was delighted, and returned to health and resumed his
Indian and South-East Asian Shadow Puppetry
Shadow puppetry travelled throughout South-East Asia as means to tell the Hindu epic stories
such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, which originated from India. It is known that on the
island of Java, people have been making shadow puppets for at least 1000 years. When Java
converted from Hinduism to Islam in 1550, Islamic art forbade depicting humans, so the puppets
became more stylized and unrealistic. Shadow puppetry from this Indian heritage is still common
today throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia. In Bali puppets are made from
buffalo leather with vertical rods. They are highly decorated because it was the tradition that
people sat on both sides of the screen, watching both the puppet and the shadow.
Turkish and Greek Shadow Puppetry
Shadow puppets in Turkey are called Karagöz and in Greece they are called Karagiozis, and the
origins of this style of puppetry are said to be two real people, Karagöz and Hacivat. The story
goes that they were construction workers in on a mosque in Bursa, Turkey, in the 12th century.
They were apparently so funny that they distracted other workers, slowing down the construction
of the mosque. The Sultan became so angry that he ordered their execution. The other
construction workers never forgot them and cut out figures out of camel leather in their image
and told their jokes over and over again. In this way the adventures of Karagöz and Hacivat
became one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the Ottoman empire.
European Shadow Puppetry
Shadow puppetry in France is still known as Ombreschinoises, "Chinese Shadows," and owes its
name to French missionaries in China, who first took shadow puppets back to France with them
in the mid 18th century. This form of puppetry soon became popular in the famous nightclub
district of Montmarte in Paris, especially in the cabaret Le Chat Noir, The Black Cat. In 1926
German shadow puppeteer Lotte Reiniger made the first full length animated film, The
Adventures of Prince Achmet, using beautiful hand-cut silhouettes made from cardboard and
Contemporary Shadow Puppetry
Contemporary shadow puppeteers today are experimenting with a range of materials and lighting
sources. They combine various materials, including paper, plastics, found objects and fabrics,
with moving or reflected lights. Many of these methods have been pioneered and refined by
Australian puppeteer, Richard Bradshaw and Italian puppeteer, Fabrizio Montecchi of Teatro
Gioco Vita. Both were mentors on the development of Spike, which demonstates, in part as a
result of this, a range of both contemporary shadow puppetry and hand puppetry techniques.
2. Investigating Shadows
What you will need:
A torch;
Plastic and glass bottles;
Plastic bags with various colours and thicknesses.
Lesson Plan:
What is a shadow? Are there shadows where there is no light?
When the sun is behind you, where is your shadow? In front or behind you?
When an object gets closer to a light source does it get bigger or smaller?
What will make the darkest shadow: a piece of paper or a pencil?
Find two more objects which are translucent (some of the light can still pass through) and
two more objects which are opaque (the light cannot pass through).
6) Find a tree in the playground. Draw pictures of its shadow in the morning, at midday and
in the afternoon. Describe how it changes. Does it change sides during the day? Does it
change shapes? When is it longest? When is it shortest?
3. Shadow Theatre Laboratory
What you will need:
Black plastic or dark fabric;
Large sheets of paper or light-coloured fabric;
Various materials (see suggestions below)
Various light sources (see suggestions below)
Lesson Plan:
1) Darken the classroom using black plastic or dark coloured fabric to minimise natural
light coming through the windows.
2) Set up a range of light sources. What seem to have the clearest shadows? Why do
think they do?
Desk lamp with a halogen globe;
A torch;
An overhead projector (with clear plastic over the glass to prevent from scratching);
A frosted light globe vs a clear light globe;
A fluorescent tube light.
3) Gather a range of materials.
Different kinds of plastics such as kitchen wrap and plastic bags;
Various thicknesses and coloured paper;
Found objects such as cutlery, toys or mesh;
Fabrics such as lace and chiffon;
Leaves, grasses and flowers;
Sand and grains.
4) Set up “screens” around the classroom.
A large piece of paper hanging so students can see both sides;
Sheets or different fabrics;
A clear wall;
A whiteboard.
5) Allow time for the students to experiment in small groups with different light sources
and materials.
6) Class reflection on their discoveries:
Which light sources seem to make the clearest shadows?
Why do you think they do?
Which materials created the most interesting shadows?
Divide the materials into two categories: opaque and translucent.
What happened to the shadows when you moved them closer and further
away from the light?
What happened when the object remained still and the light moved?
Did you see any kind of characters in the materials?
What materials would you use to make a landscape?
What materials would you use if you wanted to make a monster?
Which “screen” did you like the best?
4. Monster Shadow Puppets
What you will need:
Clear plastic overhead transparency sheets or acetate;
Various materials (as listed above) ;
Overhead projector or another light sources (as listed above);
Glue sticks and clear tape.
1) In groups of two ask students to work together to create a landscape with a dragon or
a monster in it using various materials.
2) Attach those materials to the acetate using glue sticks and clear tape.
3) Darken the classroom. Ask each group to present their creation to the class using an
overhead projector or another light source against a “screen”.
4) Ask the students to explain what they liked about the different qualities of the
5) Ask each group to talk about the character or their monster and why they chose those
particular materials to express that character.
6) Display finished “Monsters” in the classroom windows.
5. Hand Shadow Puppetry
Humans have been playing with their shadows and using them to tell stories since ancient
times. Sitting around open fires watching their shadows being cast onto cave walls, or by
candlelight, people have always been fascinated by the shapes and movement of shadows.
Hand shadow puppetry could be considered to be one of the oldest forms of entertainment,
and in a sense the earliest version of cinema. See attached “Hand shadows” handout. Ask
students to practice and present one hand shadow to the class.
Source: Troussetencyclopedia, Paris, 1886 - 1891.
1. “What’s Inside the Egg” sheet music
Song by Mal Webb, Seini Taumoepeau and the Middle Primary class at Ti Tree School,
Northern Territory. (See attached PDF)
1) Echidna Paper Plate Puppet
What you will need:
Paper Plates
Paints, Crayons or Coloured Pencils
Glue sticks
Image: Spike, image by Jenny Ellis
Step 1: Fold paper plate in half
Step 2: Cut out shape of an echidna, including nose and spikes
Step 3: Glue the two sides of the nose and face together.
Step 4: Colour and decorate your echidna
Step 5: Glue on buttons for eyes.
2. Echidna – Fun Fact Sheet
The echidnas and the platypus are the only members of very small family of
animals called “Monotremes,” which are found only in Australia and New Guinea.
What makes them special is that they are the only egg-laying mammals in the
Approximately 2.5 million years ago there were giant echidnas living in Australia.
They were about 1 metre long and weighed over 30 kilos.
There are two kinds of echidnas: the Short-nosed Echidna (Tachyglossus: meaning
fast tongue), commonly found throughout South Eastern Australia, and the Longnosed Echidna (Zaglossus), found only in New Guinea.
The Short-nosed Echidna is a solitary, shy animal which likes to avoid hot weather
and so often moves around at night. It mainly eats ants and termites which it
catches with its long tongue. This tongue is covered in spines and can protrude
from its nose more than 18cm. From its snout the echidna can sense the electrical
signals coming from insects’ bodies. This helps it to find ants underground or in the
It takes about 10 days for an echidna egg to hatch, and echidnas start to develop
spikes when they are about 55 days old. Until then, they are smooth and called
Puggles, and live with and are suckled by their mothers until they are about 7
months old. An echidna’s spikes are made out of keratin, the same material as
our fingernails.
If confronted by a predator, such as a dog, feral cat, fox or an eagle, an echidna will
roll in a ball or dig very fast to get away. Other dangers to echidnas are cars,
bushfires and droughts,
Echidnas like to live in rotten logs, burrow or under rocks and bushes, and are
perhaps surprisingly, quite good swimmers.
Links for more information:
Traditional Kunwinjku Aboriginal Dreamtime Story about Echidnas, as told by Leslie Nawirridj,
from Gunbalanya (Oenpelli), Western Arnhem Land, Northern Territory: www.kunwinjkuaboriginal-art.com/kunwinjku-dreamtime-story.html
Animal fact guide: www.animalfactguide.com/animal-facts/short-beaked-echidna/
State of Tasmania’s Department of Primary Industries & Water Echidna Page:
3. Egg Laying Creatures Activity:
Step 1: Take a large piece of paper and draw an egg in the centre.
Step 2: Brainstorm all the different types of creatures that lay eggs (eg: for types of insects, birds,
reptiles and monotremes).
Step 3: Ask students to each pick one to draw
Step 4: Cut the drawings out and stick them on the paper grouped in their categories (see above)
all connected by lines to the egg in the middle.
4. Bullying Resource Activities
a) Reflections on the show:
Ask the students to recount the events and themes of the show of Spike, especially the
relationship between Spike and the other animals, and the Girl with the older children.
Can you remember what kind the other animals and children said to Spike and the
What impact did those words and actions have on Spike and the Girl?
Would you describe this behaviour as bullying?
b) “Bullytown” Imagination exercise
We are going to take a moment to imagine what it would be like to live in a place where noone did anything to stop bullying. Close your eyes and listen carefully to what I say. Keep your
eyes closed until I tell you to open them. Create a movie in your mind about what I’m saying.
(Pause between sentences to allow students to form the images.)
Imagine this:
You have just moved to a new town, it’s far, far away from here. All the buildings and
everything around the town is almost the same. You move into your new house and
you have just started to attend the new school. You start to notice that bullying
happens all the time, in the playground and after school. The adults don’t help at all, if
they see something in the playground they just turn and walk away. The other kids
don’t do anything about it either. Sometimes they stand around and watch and do
nothing. Sometimes they even join in. It’s as if everyone thinks that being mean to
other people is normal. In this town, bullying goes on all the time—nobody does
anything to stop it!
Ask the following questions:
What is it like living in this new town?
What is it like to go to school there?
How do older students treat younger students?
How do you feel about living there?
Give students 30 seconds to continue forming images, then ask them to open their eyes. Ask
the students to discuss their answers to the questions.
c) Bullying Discussion Questions
Ask the following questions and brainstorm the answers, writing student responses on the
Question 1
“Put up your hand if you’ve ever seen a
bullying situation. How did you feel when you
watched it?”
Possible responses:
Image: Spike, image by Giovanni Fusetti
Question 2
“Imagine that you were being excluded from a game and people were making fun of you.
Several other students were watching without saying anything. What would you think and
Possible responses:
I’d think that everyone is against me, and that no one will help me.
I’d feel hurt and lonely.
Question 3
“What might the person who is doing the bullying think if there are people watching but not
saying anything?”
Possible responses:
What I’m doing is okay.
Everybody agrees with me and is on my side.
Question 4
“What might happen if no one takes responsibility for bullying?”
Possible responses:
Bullying could continue and possibly get much worse.
The person who gets bullied may never learn to change.
Someone could get really hurt.
More students would probably end up getting bullied.
People could become afraid to come to school.
The person who has been bullied might get into more trouble later in their life.
The person who has been bullied may have trouble making friends and fitting in at
Students who are not being bullied fear they will be bullied next.
Question 5
“What are some things people do that are part of the bullying problem rather than being part
of the solution?”
Possible responses:
Standing by and watching the bullying happen.
Encouraging the person who is doing the bullying.
Ignoring the bullying when it is happening to someone else.
Repeating a rumour.
Laughing at the person being bullied.
Question 6
“What happens when other students just stand by and watch bullying happen? Why would
this be part of the problem?”
Possible responses:
Someone watching might laugh at or further embarrass the person who is being
They’re not doing anything to stop the bullying.
They’re not helping the person being bullied.
An audience gives the person bullying more power and encourages him/her to keep
doing it.
Question 7
“What is the special role that older students have in helping to stop bullying?
Possible responses:
Younger students learn from watching older students.
Older students can show younger students how to respond to bullying safely.
Older students can help protect younger students from bullying.
Older students can be role models for younger students by showing them how to
d) Bullying Role Play
Ask students if they are willing to share a story of when they witnessed bullying.
Suggest they to change the names of the people involved and tell the story as clearly as
they can.
Students can role-play the event, including any bystanders.
Ask different children to propose ways in which the bystander can help to stop the
Various students can step in to act out these solutions.
Brainstorm various ways that the class could set a good example for the younger students in the
school. What kind or respectful actions can help decrease bullying?
General messages:
A place where bullying continues is probably an unhappy place to live or go to school.
Students and adults both have responsibility to make their school a safe, respectful, and
caring place.
We’re all part of the school community, and we need to watch out for each other.
Children who bully use power unfairly. When they get other children to gang up on
someone, it’s unfair because it’s many people against one.
The people watching also have power. How they use that power can either help stop
bullying or make it worse. There’s a saying that goes: “If you’re not part of the solution,
you’re part of the problem.”
Older students can set a good example for younger students.
Sources, References and Links:
Bullying. No Way! Safe Australian Schools together: www.bullyingnoway.gov.au
National Crime Prevention Council: www.ncpc.org
Playworks. Harnessing the power of play: www.playworks.org
Committee for Children: Skills for Social and Academic Success, Steps to Respect program:
5. Video Links for Shadow Puppetry:
Raymond Crowe -What a Wonderful World by an Australian performer. A great example of hand
shadow puppetry: www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8yb4hnA2dI
Richard Bradshaw, - A funny shadow puppetry skit by Australian puppeteer which appeared on
the Muppet Show in 1976: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNsJ6kDVbfk
Pilobolus Dance Theatre – Shadowland, USA. A fantastic example of shadow theatre using fullbody silhouettes. NB: There may a giggle when the dancers come out from behind the screen,
due to their scantily clad outfits. I recommend stopping the video at 4mins 20 secs. There are
many other videos of their work available, but this is a nice length version.

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