In this unit, students engage with the Wamba Wamba multi-touch book and explore both Muyi Mir and Pondi stories. With a focus on Nurayill (the Wedge Tailed Eagle) and Pondi (the Murray Cod), students gain an understanding of animal characteristics, habitats and behaviours. They research food chains, create artistic visual representations of the animals from the stories, and develop an appreciation for the cultural significance of native animals. This unit aims to enhance student understanding of the delicate balance within ecosystems and the profound connection First Nations peoples have to Country.


At the heart of Jajoo Warrngara are the communities that lead the work on Country. We would like to acknowledge the Wamba Wamba Custodians who proudly shared this story, and pay our respects to the Elders past and present. SharingStories thanks Wamba Wamba Traditional Custodian Uncle Ron Murray for sharing these cultural knowledges.


First-person Cultural knowledge has been generously shared by Wamba Wamba Traditional Custodians and Elders, Aunty Stephanie Charles, Uncle Ron Murrary and Sandra Kropinyeri in order to create tailored Classroom Protocols. The Protocols are designed to guide educators to share the stories and cultural knowledges in the most appropriate way, thus supporting the cultural safety of both educators and students while sharing the story Muyi Mir and Pondi in classrooms. It is strongly recommended that educators read the Classroom Protocols prior to teaching this unit.

Essential Questions 

  • How do animals contribute to maintaining the delicate balance within ecosystems, and why is this balance crucial for environmental health?
  • What is a food chain, and what are the key terms associated with it?
  • What significance do the animals in the stories hold for the Wamba Wamba people?
  • In what ways can understanding animal characteristics, habitats, and behaviours contribute to appreciating and protecting native wildlife?
  • How does the profound connection to Country, as expressed through the stories of Muyi Mir and Pondi, influence our understanding of ecosystems and our role in maintaining their balance?
Links to Resources

Cultural Protocols

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Teacher Resources

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Nurayill, Curlew, Platypus, Pondi! Lesson 1

  1. What were your initial thoughts and feelings about the stories? 
  2. What observations did you make about the story's landscape? How does it differ or compare to the landscape in the Country your/our school community is located? 
  3. Which characters or animals stood out to you in the stories, and why?
  4. What geographical features were formed in these Creation stories? E.g How did Pondi create the Mile (Murray River) and Lake Alexandrina? How did Nurrayil's actions and the Wamba Wamba people change the landscape of Muyi Mir (Lake Boga)?


  • In notebooks, students answer the following comprehension questions and respond to one or both of the stories in a written reflection.
  1. What happened when Nurrayil, the Wedge-Tail Eagle, swooped down and took the toddler across the water to his nest?
  2. Why did the curlew's call become sad and mournful after the incident with Nurrayil?
  3. What did the Wamba Wamba people decide to do to protect their children from Nurrayil, and how did they carry out their plan?
  4. Reflecting on Pondi's story, what do you think Pondi's transformation into a constellation symbolises or represents? How does this part of the story make you feel or think about the connection between nature and the sky?


Reflect on the Wamba Wamba stories of Muyi Mir and Pondi. Consider the characters, landscapes, and events. How did these stories make you feel, and what thoughts did they evoke? Feel free to share your favourite parts, any surprises, and how these stories connect to the world around us. Consider the actions of the characters and their impact on the environment. Express your reflections in a written response and share with a buddy.

Mark as complete

Nurayill, Curlew, Platypus, Pondi! Lesson 2

  • Prior to the start of the lesson, designate sections on the walls for the names of the  animals from the Muyi Mir or Pondi stories. Try to find the local language word for the animal to display it next to the title and add a photograph or image of the animal. You can do this by reaching out to local Custodians via Local Aboriginal Land Councils, Traditional Owner Groups or Cultural Centres. 
  • To begin the lesson, start with a whole-class discussion on the concepts of animal classification, behaviours, and habitats. Define each term, providing simple and relatable examples.
  • Break the class into pairs and ask each team to choose an animal from the Muyi Mir or Pondi stories. 
  • Guide students to research and gather information about their animal's classification, behaviour, and habitat.


  • Students research information on their chosen animal and record this in the Animal Fact Sheet
  • This can also be done electronically on devices if preferred. 
  • Students present their Animal Fact Sheets by adding them to the corresponding animal section on the wall. 
  • At the end of the lesson, invite students to go on an animal gallery walk! If done on devices, invite students to do a virtual tour. Provide an opportunity for students to discuss each animal's attributes as they explore.


  • Reflect on how understanding animal habitats and behaviours contributes to appreciating and protecting our native wildlife. Explore how these factors contribute to the delicate balance of ecosystems, and consider the impact of colonisation. 
Mark as complete

Nurayill, Curlew, Platypus, Pondi! Lesson 3

  • Begin with a brief overview of food chains, explaining the concept of energy transfer from producers to consumers and the roles of herbivores, carnivores, and top predators. Emphasise how disruptions in this chain can impact the entire ecosystem. Some links to support the introduction of these concepts include:

Food Chain




  • Divide the class into small groups and assign each group a specific ecosystem, such as a forest, river, ocean, or grassland. Explain that each student in the group will represent a different organism within the assigned ecosystem.
  • Within each group, designate roles for students, such as plants, herbivores, carnivores, and top predators.
  • Students are to represent how living things get their energy and nutrients in an ecosystem and the flow of energy within the food chain.


  • Students arrange themselves in a line according to their roles, physically demonstrating the flow of energy within the food chain. Encourage students to discuss and decide the order of the chain within their group.
  • Each group presents their food chain to the class. 
  • As they present, students explain interesting facts about the chosen organisms, their roles, and the overall structure of the food chain.
  • After the discussion, in the same groups, using strips of paper, students are to construct paper chains to represent the food chains they observe in the multi-touch book. 

E.g. Murray Cod "Pondi" food chain as follows: 

Strip of Paper 1 is a Producer (Plants) ie. Waterweed, Algae etc 

Strip of Paper 2 is a Primary Consumer (Herbivores) ie. Smaller fish or aquatic insects like mayfly, caddisfly larvae etc. 

Strip of Paper 3 is a Secondary Consumer (Carnivores)ie. Medium-sized fish that prey on smaller fish and insects like Golden Perch

Strip of Paper 4 is the Top Predator (Top Carnivore) ie. The Murray Cod


  • How did the different roles in the food chains contribute to the overall balance of the ecosystem and what happens if one element in the food chain is disrupted or removed?
  • Consider the role of human activities in disrupting natural food chains. How might human actions affect the delicate balance observed in ecosystems?
Mark as complete

Nurayill, Curlew, Platypus, Pondi! Lesson 4

  • Following on from the last lesson, discuss the significance of the animals in the Wamba Wamba stories such as Nurrayil and Pondi. What native animals might be of particular significance in the area in which your school is located? How might you find this out?
  • Introduce the idea of creating giant paper mache representations of significant animals from the Wamba Wamba stories and those that are in your local area. 
  • It is recommended to do so using recycled materials or by creating a giant paper mache. Discuss the basic steps of creating paper mache such as forming a base structure with wire or newspaper, applying layers of paper and glue paste, and allowing it to dry. Emphasise the collaborative nature of the task.


  • Divide the class into small groups and assign each group an animal to create. Provide materials such as wire, newspaper, glue, and paint for planning and executing their sculptures.
  • Encourage students to draw upon their research of the physical characteristics and features of their assigned animals to ensure accuracy in their representations.
  • In their groups, guide students in the construction of their giant paper mache animals. Highlight the importance of teamwork, creativity, and attention to detail throughout the process 
  • Important  Note: it is very important to consider inviting local Elders to share their insights about these sacred native animals, seek permission for the use of language words, and involve the school community to foster a deeper connection to these representations.
  • Once complete, consider inviting families to come and learn about the stories and the animals and to admire the animal art exhibition. 


  • How might this project inspire future initiatives that celebrate and respect local cultures?
Mark as complete



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