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...
|Scooped by Thuy-Anh Nguyen|
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.