Activity Introduction

wwa-country-holistic-belief-system-photoframeQuick summary: This lesson is based on the film Who We Are: Brave New Clan – Country/Place. This lesson focuses on the holistic belief systems of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and how these systems translate to a spiritual and intellectual connection to the land, seas, skies and waterways. Students begin by exploring the concept of Dreaming and Dreamtime and the relationship of Dreaming concepts to Country. Students closely examine a number of Dreaming stories and learn that these stories contain information about significant or sacred sites on Country. Finally, students are asked to think about the significance of local places and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander custodianship of significant places.

Narragunnawali logo 160This lesson is produced in partnership with Cool Australia and the Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning team at Reconciliation Australia. We acknowledge and pay respect to the past, present and future Traditional Owners, Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We respectfully caution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that this resource may contain images and names of people who have passed away.

Essential questions:

  • What is Country?
  • What is the Dreaming?
  • How are Dreaming stories and Country related?
  • Why are some places significant or sacred to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?

21st century skills:

wwa skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

The films and lessons presented in Who We Are: Brave New Clan have been designed to align with the organising ideas of the Australian Curriculum’s cross-curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures. Use of the film in a classroom setting will build teachers’ and students’ knowledge of, understanding and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, contributions and ways of life.

General capabilities: Intercultural Understanding, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority:

Content descriptions:

Year 4 HASS

  • The diversity of Australia’s first peoples and the long and continuous connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to Country/Place (land, sea, waterways and skies) (ACHASSK083)
  • The custodial responsibility Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have for Country/Place, and how this influences views about sustainability (ACHASSK089)
  • The different cultural, religious and/or social groups to which they and others in the community belong (ACHASSK093)

Year 4 English

  • Discuss literary experiences with others, sharing responses and expressing a point of view (ACELT1603)
  • Create literary texts that explore students’ own experiences and imagining (ACELT1607)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts containing key information and supporting details for a widening range of audiences, demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features (ACELY1694)

 Year 5 English

  • Identify aspects of literary texts that convey details or information about particular social, cultural and historical contexts (ACELT1608)
  • Create literary texts using realistic and fantasy settings and characters that draw on the worlds represented in texts students have experienced (ACELT1612)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704)

Year 6 English

  • Make connections between students’ own experiences and those of characters and events represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1613)
  • Create literary texts that adapt or combine aspects of texts students have experienced in innovative ways (ACELT1618)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)

Syllabus outcomes: GE2-2, GE2-3, EN2-11D, EN2-10C, EN2-2A, EN3-8D, EN3-7C, EN3-2A, EN3-7C.

Relevant parts of Year 4 HASS achievement standards: Students identify the interconnections between components of the environment and between people and the environment, and describe factors that shape a person’s identity and sense of belonging.

Relevant parts of Year 4 English achievement standards: Students create texts that show understanding of how images and detail can be used to extend key ideas, and actively to class and group discussions.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Students create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts for different purposes and audiences, and contribute actively to class and group discussions, taking into account other perspectives.

Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards: Students create detailed texts elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences, and and contribute actively to class and group discussions.

Topic: Who We Are: Brave New Clan

Unit of work: Who We Are: Brave New Clan – Country/Place.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee discussion, lead students in activities.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Dreaming story that tells the creation of a place in your local area or of a special landmark (visit your school library or look online for a Dreaming story. Dust Echoes: Ancient Stories, New Voices is a good resource). Poster making materials.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Country, culture, Dreaming, Dreamtime.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

wwa-country-holistic-belief-system-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will understand that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have holistic belief systems and are spiritually and intellectually connected to the land, seas, skies and waterways. Students will understand what is meant by Country and recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have different ways of talking about and feeling connected to Country.

Teacher content information: While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples share a spiritual connection arising from belonging to the land, seas, skies, waterways, people, and to one's culture, the form and expression of spirituality differs between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups across Australia. Aboriginal spirituality mainly derives from the stories of the Dreaming, while Torres Strait Islander spirituality draws upon the stories of the Tagai.

The Dreaming or Dreamtime

The Dreaming or Dreamtime describes the complex network of knowledge, f

...
 
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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Where is your special place in the world?

Watch this Who We Are: Country/Place film and answer the questions below. As you are watching, make a note of new, interesting or important keywords.

Who We Are: Country/Place (http://bit.ly/1WBeOCM)

Keywords:

What did you find most interesting about this film?

What did you want to know more about?

Why is the site where Josh is sitting significant to him, his family, and other Wiradjuri people?

What are some of the specific features Josh mentioned when describing the site?

Reflection

Think about what you learnt about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Country and answer the questions below:

I used to think ...

But now I think ...

...
 
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