A Sense of Place - HSIE Stage 2
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Welcome! This Scoop-it site is home to a range of effective resources that can be used within a Stage 2 classroom. It focuses on two outcomes within the K-6 HSIE Syllabus; ENS2.5 - Describes places in the local area and other parts of Australia and explains their significance; and ENS2.6 - Describes people’s interactions with environments and identifies responsible ways of interacting with environments; as well as the specific subject matter “groups associated with places and features, including Aboriginal people". 

This Scoop-it site predominately provides resources that both emphasise and explore the significance of certain places in relation to people. Teachers will be able to use these resources to provide students with a range of meaningful and engaging activities. Many of these resources contain indigenous perspectives. Students will investigate the inquiry question, “Why are places important to people?”

References:
Board of Studies. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Board of Studies. 

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Dreaming Stories - YouTube

Learn about the unique links that Aboriginal people have with the land.

Alexandra Benetel's insight:

This video is an effective way for students to be introduced to the concept of Aboriginal People’s unique connection to the land and the significance of the Dreaming Stories. It is also an excellent way to generate discussion within classrooms about the significance of places to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. The video does not contain vocabulary that is too difficult and as it is a visual resource, supports students in their understanding of the connection between place and people, thereby indicating its suitability for this particular age group.
 

As part of an HSIE unit, students view the video and then, using a think, pair, share strategy, discuss the significance of some of the places depicted in the video to the Aboriginal people. Students can alternate partners to ensure a variety of connections are shared. This would be an excellent opportunity for the classroom teacher to make anecdotal notes, with reference to a prepared rubric, about the students' ability to explain the significance of the places depicted. Then, one particular landmark can be used as the focus of a visual representation of the meaning of place. For example, The Darling River and its connection to the Water Serpent can be explained. This is done particularly well in the video where the parallels between the shape of the river and that of the snake are made clear. Students can also write a brief explanation to accompany a sketch.
 

This particular activity will provide students with an understanding of the significance of the land to the Aboriginal People and their belief that “the land, the animals and the people were created by the ancestors…Aboriginal People see themselves as an effect of the land rather than a controller or a manipulator of it” (Harrison, 2011, p. 19).
 

The activity also integrates the pedagogies that form the eight ways of learning including land links, story sharing and symbols and images (State of New South Wales through the Department of Education and Communities, 2012). As part of the whole class-reading program, students can read and study other dreaming stories and identify the significance of the connection to the land.

 
References: 

Harrison, N. (2012). Teaching and Learning in Aboriginal Education. 2nd Edition. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

 

State of New South Wales through the Department of Education and Communities. (2012). 8 Ways Aboriginal Pedagogy from Western NSW. Dubbo: State of New South Wales through the Department of Education and Communities.

 

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It didn't always look like this - PDF

Alexandra Benetel's insight:

This is a comprehensive resource that can be used to explore the local area and can easily be adapted to suit any particular local environment. In its original format this resource has been written for the Penrith region. It is a resource developed by a reputable source, The Curriculum Support Branch of the Department of Education and therefore is a safe and appropriate resource to be used in the classroom. The unit is based around a fictitious story, which has some historical basis, in which a young female character investigates the heritage of an item she has found in her home.


This resource acts as a great basis for teachers to create their own unit for the students in their classroom. Marsh (2010) highlights the importance of creating units that best suit your classroom and the students in it, to ensure interest and engagement in all planned activities. The clear, sequential framework would make this a manageable task although a teacher would need to complete an element of research to collate historical data relevant to the chosen place.
 

An example unit would focus on students investigating the heritage of their local area thereby deepening their connection to place. Students can work through a set of activities using local maps, photographs and perhaps even conduct interviews with the local people to gain an understanding of the groups that have been historically connected to the area. This would enable students to be exposed to different people’s pasts and allow them to reflect on their own history, hence developing their understanding of the significance of place to its people (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011).
 

The unit of study provides excellent examples of activities that include cross curriculum skills and concepts in a meaningful way and provides opportunities to integrate activities from other Key Learning Areas. For example, a Literacy activity that would be complementary is one where students keep a diary throughout their investigation and discuss various features of the types of texts they have been using throughout the entire process. Students could extend their reading and comprehension skills by learning to comprehend a range of non-fiction texts that have diverse layouts.  They will, as a consequence, be able to identify the features of a range of factual texts and use different skills while reading maps, such as interpreting a legend.

 

A specific outcome used for this connection would be: EN2-4A Uses an increasing range of skills, strategies and knowledge to fluently read, view and comprehend a range of texts on increasingly challenging topics in different media and technologies (Board of Studies, 2012, p. 80).

 

 
References: 

Board of Studies, (2012). English K-10 Syllabus, Retrieved April 2, from http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/syllabus-elements/

 

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2012). Teaching Society and Environment. 4th Edition. Victoria: Cengage Learning.
 

Marsh. C. (2010). Becoming a teacher: Knowledge, skills and issues. French's Forest: Pearson.

 

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My Place - Picture Book by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins

My Place - Picture Book by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins | A Sense of Place - HSIE Stage 2 | Scoop.it
Alexandra Benetel's insight:

“My Place” written by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins is a quality piece of Australian literature that can be used to introduce Stage 2 students to the idea of “place” and how they can tell a story over time, hence creating significance. It clearly depicts the connection between people and place. This book travels back in time to not only highlight the changes in Australian history, but demonstrate how through interaction, places can hold importance.
 

Throughout each double spread of “My Place”, a character describes the significance of their home. They provide details of past events of past owners, as well as the details of their past life. A map of each new place introduced throughout the book is also provided as a visual for readers, helping to enhance their understanding of the place’s layout, history and significance.
 

This resource would provide a clear starting point for students at the commencement of a new unit of work and provide a sound foundation upon which to build their knowledge of people and place. “Environments” as a topic is quite broad, so it is essential to begin by introducing students to a smaller, yet relevant idea to which they are able to relate and express interest in within the classroom (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011).
 

An example of an activity to be used alongside this resource could be organising the class to create their own “My Place” book. Students could go home and investigate the history of their home, making sure that they carefully consider why their home is significant to them. Providing a questioning framework such as “what events or memories have made a place in my home important to me? What has happened to my home over the years?” ensures that students are making the connection between place and people. Students could work on over a period of weeks ensuring that visuals complement their written work, thereby creating a meaningful multimodal text. The text could be explored in a number of formats including DVD and through the interactive website. This activity is a great way for students to be introduced to the topic of place and how certain places hold significance to different people and groups.


References:
Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2012). Teaching Society and Environment. 4th Edition. Victoria: Cengage Learning.

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Australian Landmarks - Natural and Man Made

Australian Landmarks - Natural and Man Made | A Sense of Place - HSIE Stage 2 | Scoop.it
25 of Australia's top landmarks, natural wonders and iconic structure, on one page - with descriptions and map locations + 3 bonus lists
Alexandra Benetel's insight:

This website is a valuable resource that can be utilised in the classroom as part of an HSIE program.  On first appearance, it is apparent that the site is easy to use which indicates its suitability for Stage 2 students.

 

“Australian Landmarks” displays a range of Australian Heritage sites, each including a small descriptor about the site itself, alongside an image and an interactive map via Google Earth. It has a combination of man made and natural sites and encompasses all of the states and territories of Australia. It also provides some additional links to allow students to further explore places of interest, which is a great way to extend students who may finish assigned tasks at an faster rate than others.

 

This resource directly supports the HSIE K-6 Stage 2 outcome ENS2.5 Describes places in the local area and other parts of Australia and explains their significance (Board of Studies, 2006, p. 54) and allows students to investigate a variety of places that may be significant to a broad range of groups.
 

Students can work in pairs or small groups, which “creates opportunities to develop personally and socially” (Marsh, 2010, 138) to complete a matrix containing questions such as: Is this a man made or natural site? Why and to whom is this site significant? As an extension to this activity, students can walk around the school and take photos of sites that mean the most to them and add descriptors and a map so as to replicate the key features of the site. Students will then get a clear sense that people have a connection with a place for a specific reason and for different people and different groups, that connection can mean different things.
 

This resource would also provide an excellent opportunity to link with the mathematics concept of position. Students can access the interactive map that is provided, where they can initially view the location of the landmark from a bird’s eye perspective and can then zoom in and out to locate the landmark within Australia. They can then work on a cooperative mapping activity. The cooperative mapping activity would involve students working in pairs to plot landmarks on a map of Australia. In order to do this, students could use positional language and compass directions such as north, south, east, and west thereby fulfilling the outcomes:

 

MA2-1WM - uses appropriate terminology to describe, and symbols to represent, mathematical ideas.
 

MA2-17MG - uses simple maps and grids to represent position and follow routes, including using compass directions (Board of Studies, 2012, p. 185).

This type of an activity, known as an interactive task, provides “a focus and a framework to an activity and this often includes defined roles” (Dufficy, 2013, p. 57) and provides an excellent opportunity for a meaningful, contextually relevant speaking and listening activity.

References:
Board of Studies. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Board of Studies.

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2012). NSW Mathematics K-10 Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum. Sydney: Author.
 

Dufficy, P. (2005) Designing Learning for diverse classrooms. Newtown: PETAAA, Newtown.

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Irene Ovchinnikov's curator insight, July 24, 2014 11:51 PM

25 of Australia's landmarks with a brief description of each.

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World Landmarks Interactive Scavenger Hunt «

World Landmarks Interactive Scavenger Hunt « | A Sense of Place - HSIE Stage 2 | Scoop.it
Alexandra Benetel's insight:

This interactive website is a great way for students to learn about significant landmarks and places from around the world. It is easy to navigate and provides just enough information for students. 


It is important as teachers, to help develop the global perspective of our students, as it will improve their awareness of significant events and extend their knowledge about other places and people from around the world. The Global Perspectives Statement (2008) identifies the need for students to “recognise how the past, present and future affect people, cultures and the environment” (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008, p. 15). This web site can be used as an interactive database to do exactly this. Students can work in groups to investigate the various world heritage sites located on this interactive map. Each group could be assigned a specific World Heritage Site from this website and then investigate both its significance and the group to whom it’s significant. Students could also use other educational resources such as additional websites and factual texts to ensure their heritage site is investigated in depth. Student groups could then collate their information and present it to the rest of the class. Modes of presentation could range from posters to digital formats such as Powerpoint presentations or blogs. As students are investigating the relevance of the landmark to particular group of people, they will develop a global perspective by gaining a deeper understanding of the significance of these places from around the world.
 

This activity can also be extended to an assessment task where students are provided with a picture of a World Heritage Site explored in class and are to write about why it is significant, to whom it is significant and its history. This resource is to be used ultimately, to broaden the minds of students and get them thinking on a global perspective. Teachers should build upon the idea of “my place” and introduce students to the importance of place on a global level.

References: 

Commonwealth of Australia. (2008). Global Perspectives: A framework for global education in Australian Schools. Retrieved April 1 from http://www.globaleducation.edu.au/global-education/what-is-global-ed.html

 

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