|Scooped by Azka Afzal|
The Rabbits – by John Marsden & Illustrated by Shaun Tan
This is an excellent resource for exploring the learning outcomes for Stage 3, around the core concept of Colonisation and European settlement from the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander studies perspective. The art work is absolutely stunning and evocative.
The text is a good introduction into the history of colonisation in Australia. It is allegorical in nature – depicting the British as the rabbits and the Aboriginals as the possums. There are some deep and disturbing aspects to the seemingly simple narrative – particularly poignant in the dark Illustrations. The teacher would have to scaffold the learning for students who may not be able to understand or cope with the undertones of the narrative.
There is an excellent YouTube video which can sit alongside the classroom learning to further engage students: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTvXe84UqIQ
Assessment tasks could be formulated around:
Role play and simulation: where the students are given an activity to simulate the roles of the settlers and the native inhabitants, whilst exploring the bigger issues of empathy, identity and integration.
The teacher could scaffold the learning of the students by explicitly stating the links between this aspect of colonial history and why its impact is perceived as negative. This is particularly important in relation to the Zone of assisted performance (from Vygostky’s Zone of Proximal Development (1978), as some students may not be able to connect these historical records.
The teacher could also implement a reflection exercise for the students in an enquiry based question-investigation exercise.