Quick summary: Students explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander seasons and their relationship to cool burning practices. Students begin by exploring their prior knowledge around seasons, before conducting research into the seasons of the traditional custodians in their area. They then explore the practice of cool burning, and how cool burning and bushfire seasons differ. Finally, students produce a communication piece to share their research with an audience.
We’ve taken elements of this lesson and adapted them for remote learning. You can find this activity here.
- Students understand that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have deep connections to Country and a detailed understanding of the environment, including seasons
- Students recognise that cool burning is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land management practice.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 5 Science
- Scientific knowledge is used to solve problems and inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE083)
- Communicate ideas, explanations and processes using scientific representations in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS093)
Year 6 Science
- The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
- Scientific knowledge is used to solve problems and inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE100)
- Communicate ideas, explanations and processes using scientific representations in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)
Year 5 Geography
- The influence of people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, on the environmental characteristics of Australian places (ACHASSK112)
- Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sources (ACHASSI095)
- Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions (ACHASSI105)
Year 6 Geography
- Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sources (ACHASSI123)
- Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions (ACHASSI133)
Syllabus outcomes: GE3-4, GE3-2, GE3-3, ST3-4WS, ST3-7PW, ST3-11LW.
General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Intercultural Understanding, Literacy.
Relevant parts of Year 5 Science achievement standards: Students discuss how scientific developments have affected people’s lives, help us solve problems and how science knowledge develops from many people’s contributions, and communicate their ideas and findings using multimodal texts.
Relevant parts of Year 6 Science achievement standards: Students describe and predict the effect of environmental changes on individual living things. They explain how scientific knowledge helps us to solve problems and inform decisions and identify historical and cultural contributions, and construct multimodal texts to communicate ideas, methods and findings.
Relevant parts of Year 5 Geography achievement standards: Students identify and describe the interconnections between people and the human and environmental characteristics of places. They locate, collect and organise data and information from a range of sources to answer inquiry questions. They present findings and ideas using geographical terminology in a range of communication forms.
Relevant parts of Year 6 Geography achievement standards: Students locate and collect useful data and information from primary and secondary sources. They present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of communication forms that incorporate source materials, mapping, graphing, communication conventions and discipline-specific terms.
Topic: Cool Burning, Indigenous Education.
Unit of work: Cool Burning – Primary.
Time required: 120+ mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate class discussions, oversee research, lead students in analysis of research and presentation of ideas.
- Device capable of presenting a website to the class
- Devices with internet access for students to conduct research
- Materials for communication piece, such as poster-making materials or desktop publishing programs
- Student Worksheet – one copy per student.
Related professional development:
Keywords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, seasons, environment, land management, cool burning.
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.
Cool Australia would like to acknowledge the support of the Bennelong Foundation in updating these lessons.
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.