Activity Introduction

wwa-culture-language-photoframeQuick summary: This lesson is based on the film Who We Are: Brave New Clan – Culture. Students will explore the concept of culture and how our experience of culture affects who we are. The lesson will begin by students looking for the similarities and differences between their experiences of school and family culture. Students will then work in groups to compare their experiences of cultures. They will brainstorm the ways our experiences of school and family cultures affects who we are and why a diversity of cultures in valuable.

Narragunnawali logo 160This lesson is produced in partnership with Cool Australia and the Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education 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 culture?
  • What are some different types of culture?
  • What are some of the different cultures I belong to?
  • How does our experience of culture affect who we are?

21st century skills:

tuning in people 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.

Cross-curriculum priority:

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

Content descriptions:

Year 4 HASS

  • The different cultural, religious and/or social groups to which they and others in the community belong (ACHASSK093)

Year 4 English

  • Use interaction skills such as acknowledging another’s point of view and linking students’ response to the topic, using familiar and new vocabulary and a range of vocal effects such as tone, pace, pitch and volume to speak clearly and coherently (ACELY1688)

Year 5 English

  • Use interaction skills, for example paraphrasing, questioning and interpreting non-verbal cues and choose vocabulary and vocal effects appropriate for different audiences and purposes (ACELY1796)

Year 6 English

  • Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (ACELY1709)
  • Use interaction skills, varying conventions of spoken interactions such as voice volume, tone, pitch and pace, according to group size, formality of interaction and needs and expertise of the audience (ACELY1816)

Syllabus outcomes: EN2-1A, EN3-1A.

Relevant parts of Year 4 HASS achievement standards: Students describe factors that shape a person’s identity and sense of belonging.

Relevant parts of Year 4 English achievement standards: Students actively contribute to class and group discussions and listen for and share key points in discussions.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Students contribute actively to class and group discussions, taking into account other perspectives.

Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards: Students 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. One printed copy of My cultural Iceberg for each student. Butcher’s paper, textas. Sticky-notes (optional). 

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture, identity.

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


Teacher Worksheet

wwa-culture-language-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will understand what is meant by the term 'culture' and reflect on cultures they belong to. They recognise different cultures and how our individual experiences and ways of practising culture are different. Finally, students begin to understand how our experience of culture affects who we are.

Teacher content information: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are among the richest and oldest continuing cultures in the world. It is important to understand that ‘culture’ is referred to in the plural here, as Australia is home to not one but many distinct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural identities. Although there are some shared features, there is also significant variation in the specific customs, protocols and traditions of each unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ ways of life are uniquely expressed through distinct ways of being, thinking

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Student Worksheet


Think about what you learnt in this lesson and answer the following questions:

If you were to repeat the iceberg drawing activity, what other cultures would you include (such as peer groups, sports groups, art, music or drama groups, etc?)

How do your cultures affect who you are?

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