Quick summary: This lesson is based on the film Who We Are: Brave New Clan – Culture. Students will think about why languages are important for fostering a sense of belonging. They will look at the different languages spoken in the classroom, and then at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. They will be asked to think about how colonisation has affected the survival of these languages, and will explore how these languages are being maintained, revitalised and revived around Australia. Students are then asked to write a letter to a local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander group asking them for advice about how to learn about local languages.
This 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.
- Why is language important to identity and a sense of belonging?
- What different languages do we speak in the classroom?
- What languages do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders speak?
- How are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages being maintained, revitalised and revived around Australia?
21st century 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.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures OI.4 – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies have many Language Groups.
General capabilities: Intercultural Understanding, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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)
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 contribute actively to class and group discussions.
Topic: Who We Are: Brave New Clan
Unit of work: Who We Are: Brave New Clan – Culture.
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. Poster making materials. You can view this language map on the ABC website or purchase it to display in your classroom from the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). There is also an alternative, interactive language map available at First Languages Australia. Extension: Paper ‘leaves’ for students to write on (cut pieces of paper into the shape of leaves). ‘Tree’ for sticking leaves onto – this could be made of cardboard or could be a tree drawn on the board. Materials for sticking leaves to tree, such as glue, Blu-tack, sticky tape, tacks, etc.
Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.
Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture, language.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.