The ‘Indigenous language map’ is an excellent resource for teachers to use in their stage 2 classroom. This resource is an interactive map displaying the various language groups of the Aboriginal people Australia wide. The map demonstrates the high number of Indigenous languages that were used by Aboriginal communities. Using the interactive element of the map allows educators to focus on the languages used in their local area. Interactive resources are an excellent way to engage children and encourage active learning where children not only solve problems, but create their own problems (Bransford, Brown & Cocking, 2000).
Although interactive, this is quite a simple resource which would allow for flexible integration into lesson plans. In conjunction with this map, it would be helpful to invite a local Aboriginal Elder to come in and speak about the Indigenous languages of the local area and the importance of language in Aboriginal culture. After reviewing the map and hearing the Elder speak, students would be provided with a simple map of Australia and asked to mark their local community area and identify the language spoken by the people of this area. Students could also label regions which bordered their local community yet spoke another language. Once this task is completed, students could be divided into language groups to help highlight the importance of language and its ties to community in Aboriginal culture.
The creations of personalised local area maps would also be useful to promote further investigation into the traditional inhabitants of their local community. Students could work in groups to research the names of local clans and identify any significant sites for these traditional inhabitants. These maps could be compared amongst class members and displayed around the classroom. This activity would help to highlight the diversity of the Aboriginal people and also highlight the importance of community to these people. It directly ties in with HSIE outcome CUS 2.3 & 2.4 and ENS 2.5 (Board of Studies, 2006) and could be integrated with outcomes from the Mathematics syllabus by including skills such as mapping.
Board of Studies. (2006). Human Society and Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. NSW: Board of Studies.
Bransford, J., Brown, A., & Cocking, R. (1999). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
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