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HASS Lesson Plan – Life for Indigenous People Pre-European Arrival

Curriculum (Learning) Area of Lesson: HASS (History)

Year Level: 4
Unit & Lesson Theme: Migration and Song Lines
Time: 90 minutes

Learning Objectives: Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), 2010)
Content Descriptions:
HASS, Year 4
Knowledge & Understanding
 The diversity of Australia's first peoples and the long and continuous connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Peoples to Country/Place (land, sea, waterways and skies) (ACHASSK083).

Inquiry & Skills

 Questioning
o Pose questions to investigate people, events, places and issues (ACHASSI073).
 Communicating
o Present ideas, findings and conclusions in texts and modes that incorporate digital and non-digital
representations and discipline-specific terms (ACHASSI082).

General Capabilities
Critical and Creative Thinking, Level 3
Inquiring – Identifying, Exploring, and Organising Information and Ideas
 Pose Questions
o Pose Questions to Expand their Knowledge about the World

Cross Curriculum Priorities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
OI.5: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ ways of life are uniquely expressed through ways of being, knowing,
thinking and doing.

As a result of engaging with the lesson or task, students will:

understand that

1. Indigenous groups had, and continue to have, an intricate knowledge of the land and seas, which is reflected in practices in
daily life.
Know Be able to (do)
1. As part of travelling for seasonal or ceremonial reasons, 1. Acknowledge the Indigenous peoples’ connection to
Indigenous people used their vast knowledge of the land to their environments and appreciate the care taken and skill
create songs describing the land to navigate across the involved in navigation through song lines.
Formative assessment – Students will create their own (written) song lines to direct a partner to a spot around the school
grounds. They will evaluate the level of success their partner experienced in navigating according to their directions.
Lesson Plan Materials
Lesson Sequence

Introduction (8 minutes) – Teacher Directed

1. As a pre-assessment, students will complete a KWEL card each, detailing what they remember Post-it notes for
and what they have learned about Indigenous food and seasons. Have the posters they created KWEL chart
displayed in a spot that the students can access for memory recall. These will be displayed
alongside their posters in the library.

2. Open with Stimulus question – ‘If you wanted to travel to Sydney by car, how would you make
sure you got to the right place? if you didn’t have a map?’ Have this lead into an Inquiry question –
‘How would Aboriginal people be able to move from place to place without a map?’

3. Ask if students have any questions they would like to investigate. Add any questions to KWEL

Guided Discovery (12 minutes) – Teacher Directed

Colin Jones
4. Use Colin Jones’ (2013) video to explain to students why Indigenous groups would move around
the country (for ceremonial reasons or when an environment started to become depleted of food),
and how they used Song lines to navigate.
5. Show students a video example of a Song line, where an elder is teaching about how to follow the Discovery
path, according to history and geographical landmarks (Discovery Channel, 2015). Channel video:
Exploration (62 minutes) – Teacher Directed to Student Directed
6. Students will be introduced to their task: to design a written song line in order to guide a partner to
get from one place within the school to the other. They will need to use landmarks to guide their
partner, and can reference events that do or have taken place somewhere to describe a location
HASS books,
along the way. These will be written in their HASS books.
pencils, and
7. Students will swap song lines with their partner, and use the instructions to navigate their way to
their unknown end point.

Conclusion (8 minutes) – Teacher Directed

8. As a conclusion, students will compare their expectations with the results of where they/their HASS books
partner ended up, and write their assessment of their level of success in their HASS books.

9. Students will discuss how it might feel to have been a pre-European Indigenous person,
memorising song lines and following them in order to navigate.
KWEL cards
10. Students will complete a KWEL cards each as an exit card, detailing what they have learned
about the way Indigenous people travelled without European style maps or modern devices to tell
them how to get to their destination.