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NSW HSIE teaching resources for stage 2 children learning about Australian cities and its land
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Education - Our Australia - Australian Geographic

Education - Our Australia - Australian Geographic | Discovering Australia | Scoop.it
The Australian Geographic Society is dedicated to supporting scientific research, protecting and fostering a love for our environment and natural heritage, encouraging the spirit of discovery and adventure and spreading knowledge of Australia to...
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Phil Kettle’s fiction series ‘Our Australia’ recounts the adventures of Taha, an Australian boy of Greek heritage, and his mum as they travel around Australia to many cities and towns. As each Australian major city or town is explored in each book, Kettle paints an elaborate picture of the city or town by describing encounters with local people and incorporating facts about the history, geography and culture of the places.

 

This is a fantastic resource to teach Stage 2 children about Australian geography. As teachers work through the series with their class, teacher could design activities that involve mapping skills and building profiles of different cities. Students could be asked to label and draw in major cities and geographical features on an Australian map, and to trace Taha’s journey. The students’ learning experience will parallel Taha’s as he is exposed to different cultures and people.

 

It also provides many opportunities to delve into other key learning areas and other HSIE subject matters. Teachers may also integrate literacy and numeracy components; such as educating students about the different text types exhibited in the series or apply measurement skills by constructing a map to scale. Issues of multiculturalism, diversity, history, and different origins of people and places can also be incorporated into lessons.

 

Through this series, students will be exposed to notions of traditional land ownership and places with Aboriginal origins. In the series, there are many references where European names are blended with or changed to Aboriginal names. It would be worth acknowledging the role of Aboriginal people and exploring their history prior to European settlement when this topic comes up (related to CCS2.1). Children can also be taught through these series that different cultural identities have a valid space by learning about the diversity of the different communities Taha visits (also related to CCS2.2). Many subject areas and themes emerge from these series and can be interlinked with many other areas in HSIE.

 

Australian Geographic also provides teacher notes for each book. They include student activities, templates for mapping, language features, topics for further research and useful references to other learning areas. 

 

Board of Studies NSW (1998). Human Society and Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney:B.O.S. 

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Australia: you're standing in it!, SOSE, Year 4, NSW | Online Education Home Schooling Skwirk Australia

Australia: you're standing in it!, SOSE, Year 4, NSW | Online Education Home Schooling Skwirk Australia | Discovering Australia | Scoop.it
Australia: you're standing in it!, SOSE, Year 4, NSW
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            The Skwirk website provides many curriculum resources that align with the HSIE syllabus. The “Australia: You’re standing in it” unit is made readily available to stage 2 teachers and children in NSW. It is divided into different chapters with each focusing on the specific content of each subject matter. It provides concise information on natural landforms of Australia, recognising major cities and states, Aboriginal dreaming stories that indigenous people use to explain our world and Aboriginal place names. These great information sources are supported with images of significant icons of different cities, interactive animations and maps so children can make connections between images and words.

           

            Literacy components can also be built upon in this unit. This website supplies activities for vocabulary building, spelling practice and worksheets requiring students to describe their experiences in a particular place. These activities are relevant and useful for achieving HSIE outcomes but also to reinforce and enhance other skills and key learning areas. As they draw from their own experiences and prior knowledge and relate it to new material about the world around them, they will deepen and enhance understandings of their place in their community, country and the world.

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MapMaker Interactive

MapMaker Interactive | Discovering Australia | Scoop.it
Use our tools to explore the world, learn about human and physical patterns, and make your own maps.
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           As technology becomes more and more prevalent in today’s classrooms, it stands to reason that classwork and activities should adapt to these changes and make use of educational technological resources. One that has been developed is mapping software, which allows student interaction and engagement with their task. The Mapmaker Interactive online is a great resource. Not only does it supply tools to label places, draw distances and mark cities and locations, maps can be customised with themes such as climate, water, population density, environments and societies.

           

            Using this technology, the teacher and the class could collectively create a map that reflects the significant places and cities in Australia they already know. The teacher can then build upon their knowledge of their country and introduce them to new sources and information (McDonald & Gilbert, 2011). A follow-up exercise to this could be to create their own map with their new information of capital cities, mountains and rivers to address the ENS2.5 outcome.

           

            Another useful mapping tool is Scribblemaps (see link: http://www.scribblemaps.com/). This includes measurements that could be useful for students to calculate the distances between cities and places, as well as the length of rivers as a maths exercise. 

 

    McDonald, H., & Gilbert, R. (2011). Planning for student learning. In R. Gilbert, & B. Hoepper, Teaching Society and Environment (pp. 101-103). South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.

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Geoscience Basics - Geoscience Australia

Geoscience Basics - Geoscience Australia | Discovering Australia | Scoop.it
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           This Geoscience Australia website provides an abundance of teaching resources that are very useful and specific for learning outcome ENS2.5 of the NSW Board of Studies syllabus (1998). The resources range from detailed maps, map-reading guides, information regarding global issues such as global warming and energy use, and geoscience material and facts on Australia’s main landforms and rivers.

           

            A great mathematics activity could involve the interpretation of tables and charts, indicating the lengths and heights of different Australian geographical formations. Students can be assessed on how they represent this information in different ways, such as through column graphs or bar graphs to show their understanding of different variables (landforms and measurement).

 

            Also supplied are empty map outlines of Australia. An assessment of students' locating and geospatial skills, they could be given acess to this website and be required to draw in state borders, plot major cities, mark rivers and mountains on their empty Australian map outlines. An additional activity could involve the comparison of a recent map of Australia to an indigenous language map.

(See link: http://www.abc.net.au/indigenous/map/)

 

            There are also some sections regarding the wider environment. Teachers could also use this resource to address the global effect of greenhouse gases and discuss sustainability and preservation. Though it doesn’t directly link with Australia’s major cities, mountains and rivers, teachers could discuss how major cities contribute to the environment and the measures taken by different states or cities around Australia. 

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Aboriginal Experiences Map - Indigenous Tourism - Tourism Australia

Aboriginal Experiences Map - Indigenous Tourism - Tourism Australia | Discovering Australia | Scoop.it
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          Tourism Australia’s Aboriginal tourism offers many experiences across Australia, which allows tourists to taste the richness of Aboriginal culture and tradition. While educating stage 2 children about major cities and Australian geographical features through this interactive map, this map displays a variety of Aboriginal sites and areas. Students can explore Australia through Aboriginal lens and will be able to develop a deeper understanding of the land and its cultural significance. 

           

            Teachers can consider designing a literacy task focusing on different text types. In this case, students could create travel itineraries for tourists. Students can use the interactive map to navigate and to research what indigenous cultural experiences each state offers. They then can formulate an itinerary that enables them to explore the diversity of the Aboriginal community around Australia. As they develop their itinerary, students will learn about the major cities and geographical sites in Australia, and the Aboriginal tradition and meaning behind different sites. Excursions to culturally significant sites can also be organised so students are involved in place-based learning. An idea founded by John Dewey which Kolb popularised (1984), place-based learning involves learning from direct experience where students can interact with the environment through collaboration and critical inquiry. It also enables students to interact and establish a connection with the world and community around them (Gilbert, 2011). By exploring cultural sites in NSW, students can learn and experience the Aboriginal culture and linked places. Perhaps an indigenous educational speaker could assist in teaching this, ensuring the authenticity of Aboriginal education and unbiased presentation of their culture. Some tours offered on Aboriginal Tourism provide indigenous tour guides. Teachers could also research excursions which provide indigenous education at cursions.com.au/.

 

            On a global scale, students can be exposed to tourism. It connects the world and people from different cultures and places. Students can be introduced to the importance of tourism and how that affects Australia’s economic development. This can be observed in the promotion and advertising of major cities and significant locations in New South Wales.

           

            Similar activities could be designed by using the following sources, which exhibit the major cities and Australian land: www.australia.com, www.tourismaustralia.com

 

 

    Gilbert, R. (2011). Active and Experiential Learning. In R. Gilbert, & B. Hoepper, Teaching Society And Environment (pp. 143-145). South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.

    

    Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as The Source of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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