Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Kid/s will explore the ways that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have used and continue to use fire, before creating a pretend campfire to sit around, cook (pretend) food on and share stories. This activity is designed to give you an understanding of how to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into activities and to help you build your confidence in exploring this topic with your kids.

This activity is a great one to do together as a family.

Ideal for: Early Learning, Lower Primary.


  • playtime
  • think and connect

Time required: 20 minutes

Curriculum connections: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Literacy, Creative thinking.

Tips for Parents and Carers

The activities in this series have been designed to give you and your kid/s an opportunity to explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures through stories, games and arts and crafts. Before beginning this activity it would be useful to read through this information. There is also a list of resources to help you conduct your own research.

The benefits of embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives: 

  • For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids, exploring their culture plays a key role in their development, identity and self-esteem, and contributes to the overall well-being of the child.
  • For non-Indigenous kids, embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in their early education experiences is fundamental in creating inclusive and accepting attitudes, and positive race relations. These perspectives are also about celebrating different cultures and the uniqueness of individuals. It is enriching for children to experience the different perspectives and diverse human experiences other cultures can bring to the melting pot (source).

About this activity:

  • Like many other traditional cultures around the world, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may use stories to share knowledge of their Country, their culture, their history and the world around them. These stories may be told orally through song or stories or through movement, such as dance. In this activity, kid/s are encouraged to tell their own stories; telling stories can help kids make sense of the world around them while providing opportunities to connect with their families and carers.
  • This activity incorporates activities to support oral language development. To find out more, click here and here.

Lesson & Curriculum Details

Resources Required

  • Access to a device to share a clip
  • A book to read or story ideas to share around the campfire (check our list of suggested resources for some book ideas)
  • Materials for creating a pretend campfire, such as:
    • Sticks and leaves
    • Coloured paper or cellophane to represent fire
    • Stones to create a circular fire pit
    • Cooking equipment
    • Pretend food
    • Cushions for sitting on


This activity has been developed with the support of the Philipp Foundation and the Thyne Reid Foundation.


Teacher Worksheet

Activity Instructions

Part A: Discussion

Step 1. Begin this activity by inviting your kid/s to share what they already know about fire. You could use some of the following questions to guide you:

  • I wonder what you already know about fire?
  • I wonder if you know any stories about fire or that have fire in them?

Tip: Why use ‘I wonder..’ questions? Find out here.

You can then explain to your kid/s that for a long time in the past there was no electricity so people had to use fire to do these things. In Australia, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples used fire for thousands of years before electricity arrived and used it for all sorts of things. Fire still plays an important role in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; for example, fire is used for ceremonies, cooking, creating artefacts and tools, and managing landscapes through cultural burning practices.

Part B: Activity

Step 1. Explain to students although we always have to be careful around fire, s

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