Activity Introduction


Subjects: English 

Year Levels: Year 7 & 8

Topics: Land management, First Nations approaches, texts analysis.

Teaching Time: 70 mins.

Quick summary: In this English lesson, students will identify and explore ideas and viewpoints from two key texts: Victor Steffensen’s Fire Country (2020) and Bruce Pascoe and Bill Gammage’s Country: Future Fire, Future Farming (2021) and the website: ‘The Living Knowledge Place’.  Students will complete a silent conversation, and reflect on their learning. 

Learning intentions:

  • Students will build knowledge and understanding in relation to the history, culture, and heritage of First Nations peoples.

21st-century skills: 

  Critical Thinking   CommunicatingCommunity EngagementSocial Skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 English:

Identify and explore ideas and viewpoints about events, issues and characters represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1619).

Year 8 English:

Explore the interconnectedness of Country/Place, People, Identity and Culture in texts including those by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors (ACELT1806).

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-8D.

General capabilities: Literacy, Intercultural Understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures.

Relevant parts of Year 7 achievement standards:

Students explain issues and ideas from a variety of sources, analysing supporting evidence and implied meaning. They select specific details from texts to develop their own response, recognising that texts reflect different viewpoints. They listen for and explain different perspectives in texts.

Relevant parts of Year 8 achievement standards:

Students interpret texts, questioning the reliability of sources of ideas and information. They select evidence from the text to show how events, situations and people can be represented from different viewpoints. They listen for and identify different emphases in texts, using that understanding to elaborate on discussions.

 Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teachers are required to group students and explain parameters of Silent Conversation, then facilitate discussion at the end of the session.

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student
  • Text excerpts – enough for one copy per group of students.

Keywords: Fire resilience, traditional land management, First Nations, fire, cool burns, cool burning, a silent conversation, Bruce Pascoe, Bill Gammage, Victor Steffensen, fire response.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Minderoo_lesson_frame_lesson03Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ...analyse a text to build knowledge and understanding about First Nations people's history, culture, and heritage.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • and reflect on First Nations recounts of traditional land management
  • ...engage in a silent conversation in a small group
  • ...interpret texts, questioning the reliability of sources of ideas and information.

Teacher content information:

Handling Sensitive Topics:

While presenting the lesson, you may notice that students could develop heightened emotions as you uncover the physical and psychological effects of hazards and disasters. Resilience, rebuilding and hope are essential learnings from the lessons. Therefore, it is vital to create a psychologically safe place for students to discuss and debrief, shall they need to. The tasks can be activating for some students and could trigger old memories that some students may find challenging to revisit or proc

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Student Worksheet

Student Worksheet

1. First Nations Land Management - Fire
Note down the things that you SEE, THINK and WONDER when you watch the video/es:


2. Silent Conversations

  • What are the traditional practices
  • Who performs traditional land practices and management?
  • How are they performed?
  • Where can they be implemented?
  • Why are they important?
  • Is this a reliable text?
  • Can you select evidence from the text to show this?

3. Reflection 

I really like... 

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