Miss Chen: Being a good friend

Little J & Big Cuz is a Logie award-winning animated children's series that follows two Aboriginal children who live with their nanna and lovable dog. The 13 episodes explore the unfamiliar world of school and how, with the help of their teacher Miss Chen, Little J and Big Cuz navigate their first years of school life. In this regular blog, Miss Chen will be sharing some of the F-2 resources she's been using in her classroom, which are all available to download for free via the Little J & Big Cuz website.

Hi, my name is Miss Chen and I am a primary school teacher. Teaching is one of my greatest passions in life. In fact, my goal is to have my students enjoy school as much as I do! I'm the only teacher in my school so I have to work hard to ensure my F-2 program is dynamic and based around the children's interests.

While my father was born in South East Asia, my mother's family have been in Australia for generations. My mum taught me a lot about the land and the importance of Aboriginal culture, but I still have lots to learn, which is why I love working closely with Indigenous elders and other families in my community.

On this blog I'll be sharing some of the exciting resources I've been using in my classroom that are all free to download on the Little J & Big Cuz educator resource page.

In today's activity, we learned more about friendships by playing a game together.

As an early years educator, it's really pleasing to see that the children in my class are beginning to form friendships and learning to value the relationships they're making with their classmates. We still continue to have discussions about inclusion and ensuring that no one is left on their own.

These small group discussions are ‘intentional conversations' to explore topics of importance. In today's discussion, we explored ‘what makes a good friend?' Every child had time to think about their response and to share it with their peers.

They offered many different answers but perhaps the one most popular was ‘a good friend is someone who plays games with you'. We will often play games in class but this got me thinking about trying to incorporate more team-based, collaborative games into our lessons.

On this particular day, as a group we played a game of ‘moka bandi', a guessing game that means ‘to think' or ‘remember' in the Kaurna language of South Australia.

We went out in the school yard and I asked each of the children to spot an animal, plant or place, and keep that in mind for when it was their turn. Then, each child had the opportunity to ask ‘what am I thinking of?' The other players took turns to guess what it was and were given clues if it got a little too difficult.

Not only did this prove to be a great exercise in practicing and improving vocabulary, but the children all worked so wonderfully together. You should have seen once they correctly guessed the answer – there was laughter all around.

We concluded the lesson by reading one of our favourite picture books together as a group, Loongie the Greedy Crocodile by Kiefer and Lucy Dann. We will continue to explore and grow our understanding of friendship and play many different games from Yulunga.

The resource mentioned in this blog post is directly related to Little J & Big Cuz Episode 6 ‘Big Plans’. It is recommended that your students view the episode before engaging in the activities listed in the resource.

Visit the Little J & Big Cuz website to view the full suite of resources for each episode in the series.