Easily recognisable symbols used by the local community
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National Museum of Australia - Symbols of Australia

National Museum of Australia - Symbols of Australia | Easily recognisable symbols used by the local community | Scoop.it

Drawn from the collection of the National Museum of Australia, the Symbols of Australia exhibition explored some of the symbols Australians have chosen to represent themselves and their nation.

Georgie Carter's insight:

A national symbol is a symbol of any entity considering itself and manifesting itself to the world as a national community. It is important for students to understand the purpose of symbols and how they are used to convey meaning and become recognised as part of our identity. By identifying with Australian symbols and their significance in being Australian, students feel “a sense of personal power” (Gilbert and Hoepper, 2014).

 

The Symbols of Australia collection shows how Australian is represented by different symbols. Students can explore concepts such as national identity, culture, values and history through the online images in this collection.

 

Teaching Idea:

Before visiting the Symbols of Australia exhibition, ask students what they think a symbol might be and to give examples of symbols they may already know (such as a students’ school uniform or logo, or a sporting club symbol). By drawing upon examples from student’s prior knowledge of symbols in their own environment, it heightens their engagement as it makes the content relatable (Clay, 1991). Following this, ask the students to build on these ideas by suggesting symbols that might be used to represent Australia.

 

Introduce the class to the Symbols of Australia exhibition using the interactive whiteboard. Enable students to identify with formal and informal symbols of Australia. Encourage students to consider what aspects of our national identity are these symbols are representing and what does this say about the Australian way of life; also consider how they came to symbolise these aspects.

 

Class Activity:

Divide the class into small groups; allocate each group one symbol from the exhibition. Ask each group to examine their symbol and discuss what it says about Australia. Groups may use the exhibition and additional resources such as The Australian Government website:

 

http://www.australia.gov.au/topics/australian-facts-and-figures/national-symbols

 

Each group must report on their symbols by explaining to the class what aspect of Australia they think the symbols represent; how the symbol is portrayed in different ways; and what it tells us about ourselves as Australians, i.e. the things that are important to us as a nation.

 

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Aboriginal Art

Aboriginal Art | Easily recognisable symbols used by the local community | Scoop.it

From boomerangs to didgeridoos, Aboriginal art is a huge part of Aussie culture. Over the past few years fake Aboriginal art and craft has been brought in from overseas. As Kirsty explains this wave of cheap imports has got the local industry fighting for its future.

Georgie Carter's insight:

Aboriginal art is a huge part of Australian culture. Long before civilisation and Westerns came to Australia, even before humans had a word for art; Aboriginals were telling their story of creation and the Dreamtime on ancient paintings on rocks. Symbols are huge part of Aboriginal art representing stories of the Dreamtime and are strongly embedded in the history, culture and identity of Indigenous Australians. Therefore, Aboriginal art holds immense value as it portrays the origins of Australia and its Indigenous inhabitants.

 

This ‘Behind the News’ video talks about Aboriginal art being embedded in Australian culture. It further discusses how over the past few years, fake Aborignial art and craft have being brought in from overseas Asian countries, leaving the local industries fighting for their future. Technology allows for these fake artworks to be mass-produced and therefore these items can be sold at a much cheaper price in Australian souvenir shops. Not only does this scorn the authenticity of Aboringal art, these cheap imports have left Aboriginal artists struggling to compete to sell their work and resulting in laying off staff.

 

Teaching Idea:

Before showing the video, ask students questions such as; what symbols have they seen in Aboriginal art? What value/significant do these artworks hold to Aboriginal people? What do these artworks contribute to the Australian culture?

After showing the video, ask students reflective questions such as; how do you think Aboriginals would feel that their artwork has been devalued by mass-production and technology? What can we as individuals and consumers do about this?

 

Aboriginal perspectives are incorporated into the HSIE syllabus to provide all students with the opportunity to learn about the Aboriginal history, society and cultures (DET 2004). It is also an effective way to encourage students to address racial and cultural acceptance (Gilbert and Hoepper, 2014).

 

It would be ideal for the teacher to organise an Aboriginal elder from the local community to speak to the students about their perspective on the ‘fake art’ issue, also to discuss the meaning of the Dreamtime and symbols used. By introducing an Aboriginal elder from the local community, students will realise that there isn’t only one Indigenous perspective (Gilbert and Hoepper, 2014).

 

As a class literacy activity, students can write a letter to the government outlining the significance of Aboriginal art and expressing their concern about the local industries losing business due to these cheap imports.

 

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Celebrating Australia: identity by design

Celebrating Australia: identity by design | Easily recognisable symbols used by the local community | Scoop.it

Celebrating Australia: identity by design revealed how concepts and symbols of national identity have been used and developed by Australian graphic designers throughout the 20th century.

Georgie Carter's insight:

The Australian environment, climate, significant buildings/events have dominated the subject matter of Australian art throughout the 20th century. Throughout the century, there has been a distinct change in themes depicted by artists relating to the change in Australian identity. 

 

Celebrating Australia: identity by design is a highly useful resource to examine the way the in which artists have depicted the Australian identity and the common themes which have reoccurred in Australian art. These posters reflect how Australian values, morals and beliefs have changed over time.

 

Teaching idea:

As a class, explore the Celebrating Australia: identity by design exhibition using the Interactive Whiteboard. Provide students with a handout with all the different posters from the exhibition. Allow the students to analyse each poster in the handout discuss what aspects of the Australian identity are been portrayed; what symbols/themes are recurrent; how is Australia depicted differently from the 1900s to today; why do you think this change in depiction has occurred. Through such analysis and inquired questions, it offers a critical orientation to the curriculum (Gilbert & Hoepper 2014). Students are actively exploring why and how change has occurred throughout time.

 

Class Activity:

Students are to create a visual timeline, illustrating the change over time in the themes and symbols of Australian identity depicted through Australian art.

 

Another activity to link to numeracy, ask the students to create a list of all the animals in the exhibition. Make a note of what animals are native to Australia and which are introduce and make a tally of how many times each animal appears in a poster. Using the data collected, create a pie graph illustrating which animal was the most recurrent through the exhibition.

 

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Reference List

 

 

Georgie Carter's insight:

Clay, M. M. (1991). Introducing a New Storybook to Young Readers. The reading Teacher, 45(4), 264

 

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2014). Teaching Society and Environment. 5th Edition. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.

 

Ministerial Council on Educaiton, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.  http://www.mceecdya.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf

 

NSW DET (2004). Aboriginal Education Training Policy.

 

Schellens, T. & Valcke, M. (2005). Collaborative learning in asynchronous discussion groups: what about the impact on cognitive processing? Computers in Human Behavior, 21, 957-975.

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Flag Debate

Flag Debate | Easily recognisable symbols used by the local community | Scoop.it
One flag we do see a lot of though is our own Aussie flag particularly at celebrations like Australia Day. But recently some people have been talking about getting rid of the flag and replacing it with something else. So why would they want to do that? Here's Sarah.
Georgie Carter's insight:

A flag is a symbol representing its people, history and ideals. All Australians have come to identify with the Australian flag, as it is the symbol that unifies us as a nation. Not only is the Aussie flag used on a micro everyday basis (in schools), it is used at a macro global level (at the Olympics). Therefore, the Australian flag is easily recognised by global citizens as the symbol of Australian and all aspects encompassing.

 

Global integration has increased rapidly in the past decade. Consequently, this heightens the need to nurture an appreciation of and respect for social, cultural and religious diversity and a sense of global citizenship (Melbourne Declaration of Educational Goals for Young Children, 2008). In order to develop this global appreciation, we must first consider ourselves on a national level. Therefore, do we believe that our national symbol, our flag, represents entirely of Australia?

 

This ‘Behind the News‘ video draws attention to the arising opinions of the Aussie flag not representing the full diversity of Australia and informs students about the debate of changing the Australian flag. The video discusses the importance of the flag as it represents Australia at the global stages such as the Olympics. It questions whether there is a need to change the flag, as it is very similar to other former British colony nations.

 

Teaching Idea:

Through inquiry based learning, guide students to discuss issues such as; how does the flag represent Australians at the global stage? What aspects of Australia should it represent? Should the flag be changed?

 

This resource provides excellent literacy stimulus for a class debate. The students will have divided opinions over the matter and a debate is an excellent way for students to develop their point of view to support their argument. This debate will allow students to develop their persuasive language skills and verbal presentation skills.  As a homework activity, students can design their own flag to highlight the aspects of Australian identity they feel need to be represented at a global level.

 

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The Commonwealth Coat of Arms - Understand the Importance of National Symbols - TeacherVision.com

The Commonwealth Coat of Arms - Understand the Importance of National Symbols - TeacherVision.com | Easily recognisable symbols used by the local community | Scoop.it
This fact sheet about the Australian coat of arms will help your students analyze each part of our national symbol. They will use it to complete the attached worksheet, calling their attention to important elements of national symbolism.
Georgie Carter's insight:

The Commonwealth Coat of Arms is the official symbol of Australia. It is important within the HSIE syllabus for students to develop an understanding of why symbols are used to convey meaning. By exploring the history behind the design of the Coat of Arms, students are able to analyse the significance of each symbol identified in the Coat of Arms and therefore understand what it means to be Australian. This allows students to recognise themselves as an Australian citizen and enables students to feel “a sense of personal power” (Gilbert and Hoepper, 2014) leading to higher self-esteem and active participation in the society.

 

Teachers are able to use this resource to introduce the concept of the use of symbols in local communities and their contribution to Australian and community identities. This fact sheet about the Australian Coat of Arms will help students analyse each part of our national symbol.

 

Teaching idea:

Before introducing the students to the fact sheet, ask the students prelude questions to gain an understanding of their prior knowledge of Australian symbols. Ask them where they have seen the Coat of Arms before, however keep in mind that stage two students might not have been widely exposed to the symbol therefore; it would be a good idea to show a real life example such as the Australian passport.

 

Now that you have introduced the symbol, read through the fact sheet as a class on the interactive whiteboard. It would be good to provide a supplementary hand out for the students for them to refer to. After reading the fact sheet, allow students to reflect upon what values, morals and beliefs are identified in the Coat of Arms; and what does it mean to be a global citizen.

 

After class discussion, present the class with the accompanied Coat of Arms worksheet. This activity develops literacy skills as it asks students to comprehend the information they were just presented. As an assessment task, students can design their own family crest:

 

http://www.parkfieldict.co.uk/infant/castles/coat_of_arms.swf

 

This assessment is a fun and interactive way for the students to learn about coat of arms enabling them to be creative and design their own family coat of arms. It requires students to reflect upon their own family values and beliefs and transfer these values into symbolic form. Students must write a personal reflection justifying their coat of arms design.

 

 

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