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EEO410 Learners learning about and for their world Human Disciplines

Inquiry Unit on People in our World


Year Level: 3/4
Duration: 10 weeks (7 lessons)
PLACE UNIT TITLE: History and Culture of Indigenous Australians
STUDENT NAMES: Nick Cantlon

Inquiry Question
Who are the Indigenous Australians and why is their
history, culture and lifestyle significant to Australia?

BIG ideas
Indigenous history, culture and lifestyle
Captain Cook and his discovery of Australia
The First Fleet and interaction between settlers and the
Indigenous people

Learning intentions

Key skills

At the end of this unit, students will understand that:


1. Understanding Indigenous history
2. Art forms of the Indigenous people are tied to their
surroundings
3. Learning about the Dreamtime
4. Captain Cooks life and discovery of Australia
5. The First Fleet and interaction between settlers and
Indigenous people
6. How Indigenous people interact with the land
7. Indigenous cooking, hunting and the foods they ate
*Please note that learning intention 1 will branch into most
weeks. Most of these intentions will also be applicable in Stage 3
of the unit as the end of unit assessment will cover these areas.

At the conclusion of this unit students will:

Have an understanding of Indigenous history, culture and


lifestyle
Understand the importance of different perspectives
Be able to collect information and produce a response, visual
or text
Be able to conduct research in small groups
Be able to work as a class to develop a project

Teaching proposal
In this unit students will be learning about Australias Indigenous people, their culture and their history. They will be
introduced to the beliefs of the Aboriginal people, their interaction with the land and contact with white settlers. They will
also be learning about Captain Cook and his journey to Australia, and the voyage and arrival of the First Fleet. In week 7,
students will be travelling to Red Bluff in Sandringham for a tour with an Aboriginal elder.
As stated in the Victorian Curriculum history rationale and aims (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2016a),
students need to develop an understanding of the past and present experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
peoples, their identity, and the continuing contribution and value of their culture. A variety of areas in the curriculum,
geography and history in particular, identify the need of learning about Indigenous cultures and their history (see level 3
curriculum (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority 2016b)).
Carven (2003, cited in Price 2012) suggests that Australia as a nation needs to recognise that our roots as a nation lie firmly
in Aboriginal culture (p.152). She calls for the need to recognise that Australia was an inhabited nation before 1770 and that
unless we learn about Australia as a whole we have no foundation to build a nation on (p.152). Hoepper (2016) writes that
an awareness of history is an essential characteristic of any society, and that historical knowledge is fundamental to
understanding ourselves and others (p.179). He also suggests that such awareness promotes the understanding of societies,
events, movements and developments. This is why I feel it is important for students to learn about Indigenous culture, their
way of life and the history of Australia from their perspective.
Gilbert and Keeley (2016) contends that Indigenous people have a strong cultural affinity and resilient social relationships
that have remained despite a history of dispossession and destruction of traditional society and relationships (p.351). They
state that the challenge the curriculum faces is to ensure this history and its consequences are understood, that its
damaging effects are appreciated, but that the strength of contemporary Indigenous communities and relationships is
emphasised. This why I aim to put an emphasis on Indigenous culture while still acknowledging the past.
Cousins (2006) states that there are certain Australian stereotypes and cultural and national symbols that many recognise as
Australian but questions whether these really reflect the everyday reality of living in Australia (p.15). They note that Over

time, political and social ideology has shaped views on morality, character, race, values and religion, which in many cases
has led to active discrimination and a subversive writing out of certain sections of society from our national history (p.16).
Because of this I feel that it is very important that students learn about the Indigenous peoples history in Australia so that it
is not written out and they learn to value the contributions their culture has made to our society, as well as to promote a
sense of equality between all Australians.
Assessment Evidence

Informal notes of students prior knowledge of Indigenous people


A Dreamtime story, corrected typed up (and an illustration for early finishers)
Illustrations of Captain Cooks arrival in Australia and the flora and fauna they might have documented
A short recount of the excursion to Red Bluff
A whole class display of an aspect of Indigenous culture that they have researched

Australian Curriculum areas covered in this inquiry unit related to Humanities


Discipline

History

Knowledge & Understanding

Code

The significance of Country and Place to


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
who belong to a local area

(VCHHK072)

The diversity and longevity of Australias first


peoples and the significant ways Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander peoples are
connected to Country and Place (land, sea,
waterways and skies) and the effects on their
daily lives

(VCHHK078)

The journey(s) of a significant world navigator,


explorer or trader up to the late eighteenth
century, including their contacts with and
effects on other societies

(VCHHK079)

The nature of contact between Aboriginal and


Torres Strait Islander peoples and others, for

(VCHHK081)

Skills

Code

Sequence significant events in chronological


order to create a narrative about one
navigator, explorer or trader and Australian
settlement

(VCHHC066)

Describe perspectives of people from the past

(VCHHC068)

Identify and explain the causes and effects of


European settlement and exploration

(VCHHC070)

example, the Macassans and the Europeans,


and the effects of these

Geography

The many Countries/Places of Aboriginal and


Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout
Australia, and the custodial responsibility they
have for Country/Place, and how this
influences views about sustainability

(VCGGK080)

Similarities and differences in individuals and


groups feelings and perceptions about places,
and how they influence views about the
protection of these places

(VCGGK083)

Economics &
Business
Civics &
Citizenship
CROSS CURRICULUM PRIORITIES
Indigenous

Asia
Sustainability

Organising ideas
The significance of Country and Place to
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
who belong to a local area

code
(VCHHK072)

The diversity and longevity of Australias first


peoples and the significant ways Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander peoples are
connected to Country and Place (land, sea,
waterways and skies) and the effects on their
daily lives

(VCHHK078)

Organising ideas
The nature of contact between Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples and others, for
example, the Macassans and the Europeans,
and the effects of these

code
(VCHHK081)

GENERAL CAPABILITIES
Intercultural
capability

Critical and creative


thinking

Compare their own and


others cultural practices,
showing how these may
influence the ways people
relate to each other

(VCICCB005)

Describe what they have


learnt about themselves and
others from intercultural
experiences including a
critical perspective on and
respect for their own and
others cultures
Investigate different
techniques to sort facts and
extend known ideas to
generate novel and
imaginative ideas

(VCICCB006)

Investigate a range of
problem-solving strategies,
including brainstorming,
identifying, comparing and
selecting options, and
developing and testing
hypotheses

(VCCCTQ012)

(VCCCTM020)

Personal and social


capability

Ethical capability

Demonstrate skills for effective


participation in group tasks and use
criteria provided to reflect on the
effectiveness of the teams in which
they participate

(VCPSCSO023)

Stage 1: IMMERSION - establishing what we want to find out: Posing questions and planning inquiry
Learning
Activity & Resource
Intention:
1
Indigenous introduction
Our focus for the lesson will be introducing students to Indigenous culture. I will first ask the students what they
already know about Australias Indigenous people and their responses will be written on the whiteboard. We
will then watch a brief video on Aboriginal people in Australia. The students will then be asked to compare their
own lifestyle with that of the Indigenous people, noting the similarities and differences. This can done in their
workbooks by diving a page into two halves and with the headings similarities and differences written at the
top of the page. We will discuss what information the students would like to learn. We will end the lesson by
finding the traditional land owners of the local area.

VC links
(VCHHK078)
(VCGGK083)
(VCICCB005)

Resources:
Brief Introduction to Australian Aboriginal Culture 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6xlUg7i1gs
AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia (AIATSIS 2016) http://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/articles/aiatsis-mapindigenous-australia
Assessment:
Notes and student responses written on the whiteboard.
2

Aboriginal Music and Papunya Tula Painting

(VCHHK078)
(VCHHK078)

Dreamtime Stories
The focus of this lesson will be on the Dream Time and its importance in Aboriginal culture. The will start with a
class discussion about the Dreamtime and I will play a video of one such Dreamtime story. After the video, the
children will be allowed to read through a few Dreamtime story books. They will then be given the task to write
their own Dreamtime story. The books will be present in the room and the students can look through these will
planning and writing. They will complete this during literacy and will be given time to correct and type up their
story over the next few weeks. Over the following weeks, we will be reading more stories from the book
Stradbroke Dreamtime. Early finishers can draw an illustration to accompany their story.

(VCHHK072)
(VCHHK078)
(VCHHC068)
(VCCCTQ012)

Resources:
How the Kangaroo got its pouch 2011 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sWFAGGWvUA
How the Tasmanian Tiger Got Its Stripes (Maynard 2004)
The Echidna and the Shade Tree (Green & Lofts 1984)
Stradbroke Dreamtime (Oodgeroo & Bancroft 2002)
Assessment:
Dreamtime story piece, corrected and typed.

Stage 2:ORGANISE, INVESTIGATE, FIND OUT- Collecting and analysing evidence


Learning
Activity & Resource
intention:

VC links

Captain Cook
The focus of this week is Captain Cooks life and his discovery of Australia. We will start the lesson by asking the
students what they already know about Captain Cook and other explorers. We will then read the book I Wish Id
Sailed with Captain Cook which outlines the life of Captain Cook and his discovery of Australia. The students will
be given the task of drawing an illustration of Captain Cook (and his crew) arriving at Botany Bay in their
workbook or on a sheet of paper. They will also draw some of the flora and fauna he documented while
mapping the east coast of Australia.

(VCHHK079)

Resources:
I Wish Id Sailed with Captain Cook (Young & Riddle 2012)

(VCHHC070)

(VCHHK081)
(VCHHC066)
(VCHHC068)

Assessment:
Illustrations of Captain Cooks arrival in Australia
5

The First Fleet

(VCHHK081)
(VCHHC068)
(VCHHC070)
(VCCCTR015)

Excursion Preparation
The focus of this lesson is preparing for the excursion next week. The lesson will start by explaining where we
are going and why. I will then open a webpage which provides information about the area and its relation to the
Indigenous people. The students will then write a short piece on what they hope to learn and what they think
they might see on the excursion. Leaving the webpage open on images of the area will help the students when
considering what they might see.

(VCHHK072)
(VCHHK078)
(VCGGK080)

Resources:
Costal Indigenous Trail (Bayside City Council 2010)
http://www.bayside.vic.gov.au/things_to_see_and_do/walksandtrails_indigenoustrail_boonwurrungpeoplepeninsula.htm

Red Bluff Excursion


This lesson is the excursion to Red Bluff in Sandringham. The reason for this location is that it offers the
experience for students to go on a tour of the area with an Indigenous elder. The remains of Aboriginal middens
can also be found scattered along the beach and cliffs. The students will write a short recount of the excursion
either when they return or later in the week. This will include what they learned on, what they saw and any
other interesting information. Early finishers can draw an illustration to accompany their recount.
Here I am at Red Bluff, Sandringham. You can reach the beach after a short walk
down one of the many walking tracks. Indigenous people did not have the luxury
of such tracks, and would have to carefully walk down steep slopes through the
trees and undergrowth. If you look carefully in the sandy cliffs, you might find the
remains of an Aboriginal midden.

Here is an example of what might be an Aboriginal midden. A midden is a place


where the Aboriginal people broke open shellfish and cooked a variety of seafood.
Middens are generally hidden in the undergrowth and the remains can be found in
the walls of the cliffs while walking along the beach. Students will need to be
looking very closely to find one.

(VCHHK072)
(VCHHK078)
(VCGGK080)

While the cliffs are rather sheer the beach itself remains rather flat. There has been
considerable erosion over time and it is very unlikely the beach looked like this
thousands of years ago. Living on the coast was ideal as it provided a reliable
source of food.

I found this nice vantage point after a short climb up a hill. The land begins to
flatten out more and the cliffs become less sheer. The vegetation also becomes
closer to the water. You can find a variety of vegetation along the beach and cliffs
including coastal wattle, banksia and teatree.

Resources: Indigenous elder

Stage 3: CELEBRATE/INNOVATE -What do we do with what weve found?


Concluding, reflecting on and responding to the inquiry
Learning
Activity & Resource
intention:
Planning and preparing for Indigenous Culture Day
7
The students will start preparing for an Indigenous culture day that will act as the last piece of assessment for the unit.
This will involve all 3/4 classes, with each covering a different aspect of Indigenous life/culture. Examples include hunting
and weaponry, food and cooking, beliefs and the Dreamtime, society and interaction with the environment. The teachers
will have a meeting prior to the lesson and share which topic they have selected for their class to cover. The students w ill
research their area and each provide a write piece of text or create an illustration or diagram. These will all be combined
into a display set up in that grades classroom. Students should be encouraged to look at the work they have done so far in
the unit as it will be beneficial to this process, and could also be included in the display.

VC links
(VCHHK072)
(VCHHK078)
(VCHHK081)
(VCGGK083)
(VCCCTQ012)

Resources:
Students work.

(VCCCTM020)

Preparing for Culture Day

(VCHHK072)

(VCHHK078)
(VCHHK081)
(VCGGK083)
(VCCCTQ012)
(VCCCTM020)

Indigenous Culture day


This lesson acts as a conclusion to the unit and as a celebration of all the students hard work. The class will set up their
displays first thing in the morning. During this lesson the students will rotate through each of the rooms and observe the
displays set up by the other grades. As each grade has a selected aspect to cover, each display will have unique
information. This means the students will have an opportunity to learn about the other areas their grade did not cov er.
Parents are welcome to come along to see their childs work. The displays could be put in a communal space after the day
so the students continue to admire the displays.

(VCHHK072)

Resources:
Students work and displays.

(VCICCB006)

(VCHHK078)
(VCHHK081)
(VCGGK083)

(VCCCTQ012)
Assessment:
The final display presented by each grade.

(VCCCTM020)

Bibliography:
Include references AND images if appropriate here:
AIATSIS 2016, AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia, AIATSIS, , retrieved 2 May 2016,
http://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/articles/aiatsis-map-indigenous-australia
Bayside City Council 2010, Coastal Indigenous Trail, Bayside City Council, retrieved 2 May 2016,
http://www.bayside.vic.gov.au/things_to_see_and_do/walksandtrails_indigenoustrail_boonwurrungpeoplepeninsula.htm
Brief Introduction to Australian Aboriginal Culture 2014, YouTube, Haldarr Jones, 13 February, retrieved 28 April 2016,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6xlUg7i1gs
Cousins 2006, National Identity, in Healy, J (ed.), Australian identity and values, Spinney Press, pp. 15-17, retrieved 23
Spetember 2015, http://equella.deakin.edu.au/deakin/file/83d8de3f-ba7a-66e1-a6fe-b35e7b1cd30e/1/scannationalidentity-cousins-2006.pdf
Gilbert, R & Keeley, K 2016, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, In Crabb, A (ed.), Teaching
Humanities and Social Sciences: History, Geography, Economics & Citizenship in the Australian Curriculum, Cengage Learning
Australia, South Melbourne, Vic, p.344-369.
Green, M & Lofts, P 1984, The Echidna and the Shade Tree, Scholastic Australia, Lindfeild, NSW

Hoepper, B 2016, History in the Australian Curriculum, In Crabb, A (ed.), Teaching Humanities and Social Sciences: History,
Geography, Economics & Citizenship in the Australian Curriculum, Cengage Learning Australia, South Melbourne, Vic, p.197222.
How the Kangaroo got its pouch 2011, YouTube, Cloudskipper Dreaming, 6 January, retrieved 28 April 2016,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sWFAGGWvUA
Maynard, L 2004, How the Tasmanian Tiger Got Its Stripes, Scholastic Australia, Lindfeild, NSW

Oodgeroo & Bancroft, B 2002, Stradbroke Dreamtime, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, NSW

Price, K 2012, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies in the classroom, Price, K (ed.), Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander education: an introduction for the teaching profession, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Victoria,
pp.151-163
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority 2016a, History Rationale and Aims, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment
Authority, retrieved 25 April 2016, http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/thehumanities/history/introduction/rationale-and-aims
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority 2016b, Level 3, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, retrieved
25 April 2016, http://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/level3
Young, L & Riddle, T 2012, I Wish Id Sailed with Captain Cook, Weldon Kids, Warriewood, NSW

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