Teaching Australia Day
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Australia Day

Australia Day | Teaching Australia Day | Scoop.it
Every year we have Australia Day. We get the day off and might have a barbecue, go to a concert, watch cricket or see some fireworks. But what is Australia Day really all about? We asked Andrea to find out.
Holly Robinson's insight:

This video is an excellent resource for students in stage 3 studying nationally remembered days. Behind the News (BTN) provides highly educational and appropriate material for students in stage 2/3 discussing matters found in the news. The resource is an older video clip, made in 2006 just before Australia Day in 2007, informing students of different aspects of Australia Day. Some of these aspects include the traditions people undertake but most importantly this video highlights the importance of Australia Day and why we celebrate it. This is important for students as many celebrate the day without knowing the reasons behind it. Clearly, this demonstrates the outcome CUS3.3, as it “describes different cultural influences and their contribution to Australian identifies” (NSW BOS, 2006, p. 60).

Another justification for this resource as a high source of information is that is allows students to research the issues surrounding Australia Day. With information from other resources, students are given a solid foundation to undertake the social investigation strategy (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p. 57). The strategy is a highly effective one as it allows students to reflect on the learning they have done and thus achieve the values and attitudes found in the Board of Studies NSW HSIE K-6 Syllabus (2006).

An engaging activity that would use this video, is for students to write a factual description or personal response about Australia Day. Either option is beneficial for students as the personal response invites students to think about what they do on Australia Day whereas a factual description asks students to think about what happens on Australia Day. These activities allow English to be embedded within the HSIE KLA, with a particular emphasis on the outcomes, EN3-7C, where “a student thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information and ideas and identifies connections between texts when responding to and composing texts” or EN3-2A where “a student composes, edits and presents well-structured and coherent texts” (NSW BOS, 2012). Further, this task comprises of components that create authentic assessment. As McInerney & McInerney (2011, p. 375) state, authentic assessment should be based on everyday tasks, model interest in real-life contexts and finally reflect local values and standards. It is evident that this task achieves this and could be used as an effective assessment tool in a stage 3 classroom.

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Timeline — Australia Day

Holly Robinson's insight:

The Australia Day website is an easy place to find many resources to teach Australia Day. This particular link on the website, is a fantastic resource for teachers as it provides them with copious information for students. This website is highly reliable as it not only states the author, Dr Elizabeth Kwan, but is provided and sourced by the Australian Government.  The reason behind using this link as a resource to teach Australia Day is simple, it provides students with explicit facts behind the concept of the day. This then ensures all students have a basic knowledge of the history behind Australia Day. Consequently students can engage thoughtfully in comments about the differences between Australia Day and Invasion Day and reflect in appropriate manners. Reflection is a key component of the social investigation strategy (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p. 57), and using this resource effective judgments and reflections can be undertaken due to the knowledge acquired. 

 

This resource could be used as a basis for many teaching activities. One particular lesson that would include a numeracy aspect would be for students to create their own timeline. In order for it to include the outcome, MA3-9MG where “students identify, visualise and quantify measures and the attributes of shapes and objects, and explore measurement concepts and geometric relationships, applying formulas, strategies and geometric reasoning in the solution of problems” (NSW BOS, 2012), students would need to recreate the timeline using appropriate measurement devices. The timelines would need to be mathematically correct and include all information students feel is relevant. 

 

Further activities could include comprehension strategies that require students to delve further into the information or group work. The group work could ask students to learn more information about a certain year and/or change in the view of Australia Day through investigation. The investigation would need to be highly scaffolded to ensure appropriate resources and content (Marsh, 2010, p. 243) are dispensed to students and that a task was required of the students. This task could be self-directed in that the students chose their own way to present the information, encouraging a combination of methods that students prefer. Marsh (2010, p. 198) concludes that work undertaken by Hendry et al (2005) and Dunn, Beaudry, Klavas (1989) found that when students undertook learning in a manner that was appropriate to them, they were more likely to engage in the task as it was relevant to their individual needs. As such, this resource can be used in a variety of manners that would benefit each individual student.

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Australia Day - Invasion Day - Creative Spirits

Australia Day - Invasion Day - Creative Spirits | Teaching Australia Day | Scoop.it
Most Australians celebrate Australia Day as the day Australia was founded.

In contrast, Aboriginal people mourn their history and call it ‘Invasion Day’.
Holly Robinson's insight:

This website is a fantastic resource for stage 3 students as it provides an alternative perspective to the nationally remembered day, Australia Day. The website encourages students to analyse different values evident in Australia through the conflicting points of view illustrated. As the Board of Studies NSW (2006, p. 7) states, students need to be able to make responsible and thoughtful decisions about social, economic, religious, civic and environmental issues within Australia and this resource achieves this aim. The resource presents two very different point of views to Australia Day; an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interpretation who call the day Invasion Day and the general Australian population who celebrate the British "conquest". Further, it allows teachers to embed an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective, a key component of the NSW HSIE syllabus whilst ensuring students understand the history behind this day.  

 

Before using this resource in a classroom, it is important to evaluate the resource based on selection criteria provided by Aboriginal Education K-12 Resource Guide (2003). The first criteria to explore is authenticity. The resource uses captions which names Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and where they came, ensuring that is authentic. Further, the lack of illustrations and photographs ensures that they are relevant and accurate portrayals of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Further, there is clear Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the culmination of the website which ensures that this resource is appropriate to use. This is illustrated in the links to the articles, most of which are found in the Koori Mail. As well, all quotes acknowledge an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective. Finally, it has a highly balanced nature of material. By this, there are no stereotypes made; the resource clearly discusses the differing views of Australia Day and does not discriminate against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. It is important to note this website, has a highly biased view of the topic and like all resources, should be used in an appropriate manner in the classroom. 

 

Another advantage to this resource, is it encourages students to make judgements and then reflect on these judgments. This is achieved through the questions, the provision of personal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and the suggestion of a new "Australia Day". One question evident in the resource, "what are the consequences for how non-Aboriginal people in Australia think about their country’s history?" (2014, para. 5) allows to students to explore their original perspectives, question and investigate them, and then participate in critical reflection. This is an important skill for students to achieve as it allows them to become metacognitive learners and ones who are able to make responsible decisions. This ability to reflect and think metacognitively is a key component of Bloom's Taxonomy as it extends students within a classroom (Marsh, 2010, p. 161). Furthermore, reflection is essential step within the social investigation strategy illustrated by Gilbert & Hoepper (2011, p. 57). Thus, this resource is an important one when discussing the nationally remembered day, Australia Day. 

 

One activity that could be based of this site, it is to compare and contrast. Students would compare and contrast the different views of Australia Day using a graphic organiser. This graphic organiser can be left to the teachers discretion as different classes may prefer different organisers. 


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July 4th - Holidays - HISTORY.com

July 4th - Holidays - HISTORY.com | Teaching Australia Day | Scoop.it
Find out more about the history of July 4th, including videos, interesting articles, pictures, historical features and more. Get all the facts on HISTORY.com
Holly Robinson's insight:

This resource allows teachers to embed a global perspective into the HSIE syllabus outcome CUS3.3, where a student “describes different cultural influences and their contribution to Australian identities” (NSW BOS, 2006, p. 60). It is a factual page, by the History Channel on the American nationally remembered day, July 4th. There are two main reasons behind choosing such a well-known American holiday; the first that this holiday is immersed into pop culture within Australia and students will have misconceptions about the holiday, similar as they would with Australia Day. The second reason is; it is quite similar to Australia Day and would be a fantastic way to compare and contrast through a venn diagram. This would allow students to study the differences and similarities between the two days in a way productive and engaging manner. 

 

The website explicitly illustrates the different aspects of July 4th. Although targeted towards a Stage 4 audience, it is appropriate for students in Stage 3 due to the lay-out of the website. Further, with explicit teacher scaffolding, students would be able to obtain the relevant information from the website whilst extending themselves through the vocabulary found on the site. With scaffolding, students are able to maximise learning. Students achieve this through the theory of constructivism, whereby they construct their own meaning by relating new information with prior knowledge (Marsh, 2010, p. 211). This  ensures that students are actively learning through building knowledge. Such activities that employ constructivism include ones formulated around the use of graphic organisers. Marchand-Martella states, that graphic organisers help “present the key concepts in a more organised manner and encourage students to become actively engaged during the discussion of key concepts” (1998, p. 48). It is evident that the information provided in this resource allows students to compare key concepts of nationally remembered days from a global perspective. 

 

Finally, other activities could include a journal where students imagine they are in American on July 4th. This would also help to embed an English perspective into the activity. Further, students could also extend their mathematical knowledge through another timeline documenting the history of July 4th. Timelines use measurement skills and ask students to portray knowledge in a different manner. It is clear that this resource is highly effective for teaching nationally remembered days.

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Reflections on Australia Day | A 5/6 Learning Journey

Reflections on Australia Day | A 5/6 Learning Journey | Teaching Australia Day | Scoop.it
This week, we reflected on what Australia Day means to us. We started by watching a series of video clips about what others thought about the meaning of
Holly Robinson's insight:

This website is another wonderful resource for students in stage 3 studying HSIE. The website is a series of video reflections from students in stage 3 discussing what Australia Day means to them and why and how they celebrate this nationally remembered day. Furthermore, some students explain the other perspective of Australia Day, “Invasion Day”. This is important as it allows students to gain insight into the wide variety of opinions regarding Australian culture. As well, this video shows, through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective, “concepts that will support reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians, such as the recognition of spirituality and shared heritage” (NSW BOS, 2006, p. 5). It is clearly evident that students feel strongly about the issue of “Invasion Day” and thus an activity that would be beneficial to students is one that encourages them to take action. 

 

Through explicit scaffolding provided by the social investigation strategy (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p. 57) students can take action. The advantage of students taking action allows them to progress through Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development. McInerney & McInereney (2010, p. 54) suggest that through Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development, students are able to problem solve and empathise with different concepts. Ultimately, the aim is for students to become responsible citizens and improve their society and environment (NSW BOS, 2006, p.7). Such activities that would invite students to take action include campaigning within in their local community to raise awareness of this issue. 

 

Another activity that encourages students to take action would to be to write a newspaper article suggesting ways to modify Australia Day so it is inclusive of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. This last activity is particularly effective as it also a literacy activity that would target the outcome EN3-2A, “a student composes, edits and presents well-structured and coherent texts” (NSW BOS, 2012).  This would be a fantastic assessment strategy as it asks students to compare the different cultural influences on Australia as well as using their own social justice principles to come to a conclusion.

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