Activity Introduction

climate-changeQuick summary: This lesson provides the opportunity for students to explore their current knowledge, attitudes and values. Students build thinking and questioning skills by watching a series of videos about the land management strategies of Indigenous Australians and then making a link to climate change.

Learning goals: 

  • Students build an understanding of Indigenous Australians’ land management strategies.
  • Students explore the concept of climate change.
  • Students describe the interconnections between people, places and environments, and identify the effect of these interconnections on the characteristics of places and environments.
  • Students build their thinking and questioning skills.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

This ‘Tuning in’ lesson can be used with all the learning areas of the Australian Curriculum.

Topic: Cool burning

Time needed: 15 minutes

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – allow students to explore the topic independently.

Resources required: Internet, laptops and earphones, Student Worksheet.

Key words: savanna, tropical, climate, weather, distribution, monsoon, adaptation, vegetation, fire, mean, conservation, species

Special thanks to:

Fish River Station, John Daly, Dr Jeremy Russell-Smith, Peter Jacklyn, Peter McConchie, Dr Tommy George, David Claudie, Dale Musgrave, Carolyn George and Victor Steffensen.

Made possible by:

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum. There is great diversity in histories and cultures among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia. This resource includes investigations into and information about some of them. It has an emphasis, but not an exclusive one, on the histories and cultural practices of the Aboriginal peoples of the Northern Territory. It is underpinned by consultation with Aboriginal communities in various parts of Australia. 




Teacher Worksheet

fireTeacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: Students build their thinking and questioning skills by watching a series of videos and draw connections to climate change.

Teacher content information: In Australia, many kinship groups exist among Indigenous people. Within each group, people are united by family ties, connections to Country and language. Each of these kinship groups represent a distinctive nation, and each have their own unique cultural identity. Collectively, they are called 'Indigenous Australians'. Most of the groups from Australia's mainland also identify themselves as 'Aboriginal Australians' or 'Aborigines'. A separate group of Indigenous Australians, with a unique heritage that has its origins in Melanesian culture, are the people of the Torres Strait Islands. Torres Strait Islanders, like mainland indigenous people, are not all of one nation. They do not view themselves as a single cultural group, and historically lived as independent people groups. When refer

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Student Worksheet

Tuning-in activity

1. Before watching the video ...

What would influence the natural frequency and seasonality of fire in Australia?

2. While watching the video ...

How have Indigenous Australian people used fire in the past?


What does cool burning have to do with climate change?




How do Indigenous Australians work with scientists?

3. After watching the video ...

What are some potential outcomes from cool burning?


Write down three questions about traditional land management practices that you would like to have answered.


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