Aboriginal People and the Environment
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Aboriginal People and the Environment
Aboriginal Relationship to the Land and Ways of Caring for the Land
Curated by Lara Early
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Maori Culture - New Zealand

Maori Culture - New Zealand | Aboriginal People and the Environment | Scoop.it

Māori are the tangata whenua (indigenous people of the land) of New Zealand and their culture is an integral part of New Zealand life. About 15% of the country’s population of 3.8 million is of Māori descent.

Lara Early's insight:

This website provides detailed information about New Zealand's indigenous people - the Māori. As well as the information provided on this “Maori Culture” page, each “Browse by Region” area on the interactive map of New Zealand gives an in-depth account of the Maori people in each specific region of New Zealand. The way that the information is separated into regions really ensures that the information is specifically about that area of land and the way Maori people relate to that area. This renders this resource invaluable to this subject matter.

 

This is an important resource to use for Australian students as it helps them to develop a global perspective and to learn more about our closest neighbours. It is important to embed a global perspective to this issue, and throughout the entire curriculum, to encourage students to become active and informed global citizens. Furthermore, a global perspective helps to develop their Intercultural Understanding in students which is a key value in the HSIE K-6 syllabus.

 

An activity that could be completed with this website could be a study of the Maori people and their relationship to the land in different regions of New Zealand. To begin, students should read the information on the Maori Culture page altogether to provide an introduction to the study. Students should then be placed in groups of 2 or 3 and sent off to explore a specific area of New Zealand. There are at least 20 separate regions to explore on the interactive map so teachers could pick and choose which areas they like. Most areas, but not all, include information about Maori culture so teachers should check that there is relevant information on each region before assigning students to that region. Students should be given time to read about the “Heritage” and “Maori  Culture” sections of their region. Students will then be required to write three key points from their investigation onto a small piece of paper. The teacher will have prepared a large map of New Zealand on a wall in the classroom on display. Students would come together after their investigation and present their results to the rest of the class. Their key points would be placed on the display map with a line linking to the selected region. When all groups have presented there will be a detailed map of the way that the Maori people relate to the different areas of New Zealand which would be a valuable resource to have on display in the classroom. In order to effectively scaffold this task for students, the teacher should complete the task for one of the regions and use think-aloud strategies (Kucan and Beck, 1997) to model how students should approach firstly reading and comprehending the text and then completing the written component. 

 

While students are completing their investigation, they could be asked to record any dates that they come across on a separate piece of paper for a follow up numeracy task with this content. At a later time, students could plot these events on a timeline. The teacher should focus on creating an accurate scale on the timeline, for example: 10cm = 50 years. The timeline could be added to the wall display of the map of New Zealand.

 

Reference: Kucan, L., & Beck, I. L. (1997). Think aloud and reading comprehension research: Inquiry, instruction, and social interaction. Review of Educational Research, 67, 271–299.

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Working on Country funded projects - New South Wales

Working on Country funded projects - New South Wales | Aboriginal People and the Environment | Scoop.it

Working on Country projects funded in New South Wales:


-Restoring biodiversity and traditional knowledge around the Nimbin Rocks,

-Wattleridge' and 'Tarriwa Kurrukun' Working on Country,

-Githabul Rangers,

-Indigenous Field Officers in the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area

-Mid North Coast Aboriginal Rangers

 

Lara Early's insight:

This Australian government website provides information on the "Working on Country" funded projects to restore biodiversity and maintain traditional Aboriginal knowledge of the area. This link shows the current projects in NSW which makes this resource a really relevant one for students in NSW schools. It is important for students to understand this subject matter in a local context, especially in stage one.

 

To explore and understand these projects, students can use four step the Inquiry process (Brunner, 2012). Students should be broken up into groups and each group would be assigned a different project of the 5 listed on the site. Students start off reading the initial information presented on the site and pose some questions about what they would like to know more about this project or land site. Each child in the group should come up with one question each. Teachers should assist students to come up with questions but the questions should reflect what the student would like to know.

 

Students then follow the inquiry process and carry out research of their question. It would be a good idea to have the Inquiry process graphic (see: http://www.youthlearn.org/sites/youthlearn.org/files/images/1-2-1_1Alternate.gif) visible for all students to see and follow. Students find their research and interpret their information. Students will be completing most of their research independently but students should collaborate to help other group members to interpret the information. Once the information is interpreted, as a group students could present their findings to the rest of the class orally. Alternatively, students could present their information in a written report. The teacher would need to effectively scaffold the writing task or provide a template to fill in which follows the steps in the Inquiry process. Either methods of presenting the results would link well to English outcomes - either Talking and Listening outcomes for the oral report or Writing outcomes for the written report. Teachers would assess students by observing them conducting the Inquiry process and assess their final product to see if the Inquiry was successful.

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Aboriginal Land Care

Aboriginal Land Care | Aboriginal People and the Environment | Scoop.it
Aboriginal land care methods today vary greatly from traditional Aboriginal land care but address moderns issues such as greenhouse gas emission.

Bush rangers are critical to many land care tasks.
Lara Early's insight:

This website hosts a wealth of information about the way Aboriginal traditionally cared for the land before the European Settlement. It also explores the ways that the land is cared for now in light of the Aboriginal connection to the land. There is also a 15 minute video embedded on the site of Bill Gammage, the author of "The Biggest Estate on Earth", who discusses Aboriginal land care.

 

After viewing the video (or a short excerpt), students could create a T-Chart to help organise their knowledge. Graphic organisers help students "present the key concepts in a more organized manner and encourage students to become actively engaged during the discussion of key concepts" (Marchand-Martella, Miller & MacQueen, 1998, p.48). Students could compare the traditional methods and the modern methods of taking care of Aboriginal land. All this information can be found in the text on the website as a summary of what is mentioned in the video. This task should be completed altogether as a class for Stage 1 with the teacher or a selected student scribing the suggestions on the T-Chart on the board. Once the chart is constructed it would be important to engage the students in a discussion about why the land care methods have changed and how this could impact upon aboriginal people who are from that land. 

An activity that could follow this discussion could require students in small groups to create a tableau (frozen image) drama scene of one of the land care methods from either the traditional or modern section. For example, students could act out the teaching of visitors about the land or the way in which sacred sites are maintained. Each group would have a chance to perform their tableau for the rest of the class and the teacher could ‘tap-in’ on each group member individually to see how they, in character, feel about the method used to take care of the land.

 

Teachers could assess a student’s understanding of this issue by evaluating their contribution to the discussion and their comments made in the thought tap. Students who have a good understanding of the topic would be able to identify that the land was used by Aboriginal people in harmony with the animals and plants that inhabited the area. They will recognise that today the land is cared for in a way that attempts to combine the traditional methods with modern technology and that this is the best way to respect the connection to the land that the Aboriginal people have.

 

Reference: Marchand-Martella, N., Miller, T. I., & MacQueen, C. (1998). Graphic organizers. Teaching Pre K - 8, 28(4), 46-48.

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Our Societies - The Little Red Yellow Black Book

Our Societies - The Little Red Yellow Black Book | Aboriginal People and the Environment | Scoop.it

We are the first Australians. We have always been here and will always be here. Click on an image below to find out more about one of the world's oldest living cultures.

Lara Early's insight:

The "Our Societies" page of 'The Little Red Yellow Black Book' website has a wealth of information relating to the way in which Aboriginal People are connected to the land. This website is written in the first person plural using pronouns like "we", "our" and "us" which really gives students the impression that what they are reading is coming directly from Aboriginal people. It helps students also to realise that this information that they are reading is about real people who are existing today. This is important to overcome the idea that the Aboriginal culture is something that only existed in the past and is now 'dead'. 

 

There are videos, dreaming stories and personal testimonies embedded on this site as well as information under the subheadings: Our Worldview, Our Connection to our Land, Island Communities, Living off the Land and Sea, and Family Ties. This website could be used as a reading group activity where students rotate around each section of the page and complete an activity at each station. Students could spend 15 - 20 minutes at each station making all rotations in total run for about the length of one whole session.

 

Another idea could be to explore the content altogether as a class and engage the students in a discussion about the issues. It would be essential to first of all gauge what the students already know about the issue. The teacher should also read the title of each section first and ask students to predict what might be said about this. Using an IWB with the screen cover tool would help to cover up the information so that students can make predictions and suggestions before reading the text.

 

Students could then be asked to construct a written response about how they now understand the Aboriginal peoples relationship to the land. It is important to provide a variety of ways in which students can respond to this task to ensure that all students have a chance to communicate what they know and understand. This is in line with the second principle of Universal Design for Learning which states that teachers should “provide multiple means of action and expression” (Rose & Gravel, 2010). This could be achieved by ‘interviewing’ students who have difficulty with written expression with the same question and filming their response on an iPad or similar device. Having a digital record of this would help teachers when it comes to assessing a student’s understanding of this content.

 

Reference: Rose, D. H., & Gravel, J. W. (2010). Universal Design for Learning. In P. Peterson, E, Baker, & B, McGraw (Eds.), International Encyclopaedia of Education (pp.119-124). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

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Archaeology and rock art in the Dampier Archipelago

Archaeology and rock art in the Dampier Archipelago | Aboriginal People and the Environment | Scoop.it
Dampier Archipelago, which the Burrup Peninsula is the largest land mass has the largest collection of petroglyphs ( rock art ) in the world. Dampier Rock Art Precinct is under threat from industry.
Lara Early's insight:

This resource details the rock art in the Dampier Archipelago in Western Australia and the problems facing this very important site for Aboriginal People. This resource is in a very user friendly format with clear subheadings listed down the side and it is written in easy to understand language.

This resource would be ideal to use for a research task. Students would be divided into groups of five and each group has to create an information poster on the Dampier Archipelago. The students could complete this task using the 'Jigsaw' method (Aronson & Patnoe, 2011). Each student in the group would be given a different area to "specialise" in and the specialist groups then meet up to research their particular area in depth before reporting back to the rest of the original group to create the poster. The areas that could be selected for this include: "Why is it important?", "What is the problem?", "Is there a solution?", "The Place", and "The Aboriginal People". Each of these sections match up with one of the subheadings in the sidebar.

 

Students in Stage 1 will require some scaffolding to understand the issues but the content is accessible. The key points for each area are bolded which allows students to easily see what to focus on. The teacher should do a brief introduction to the topic using the information on the home page as well as defining some key words before sending the students into their groups. Some words that should be defined include: Archeaology and Petroglyphs. 

 

This task essentially requires students to read a digitial information report. This resource could be used to tie in with literacy studies of the Information Report text type as an example for students to see. Completing the task in the Jigsaw Method helps students also to grasp the concept of segmenting information into distinct ideas as in an information report.

 

Reference: Aronson, E., & Patnoe, S. (2011). Cooperation in the classroom: The jigsaw method (3rd ed.). London: Pinter & Martin, Ltd.

 

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