6 Ways to Celebrate With NAIDOC Week Classroom Activities (2020)

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Written by Cassie (Teach Starter)

New dates for NAIDOC Week were announced this year due to the global pandemic, NAIDOC Week will be celebrated this year from the 8th of November to the 15th of November.

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NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. A wide range of activities and events are held across the nation, in schools, workplaces and communities. The theme of NAIDOC Week changes each year, bringing focus and awareness to different aspects of Indigenous Australian experiences. In addition to your school’s celebrations, here are some great NAIDOC Week classroom activities you can do with your students.


Activities Exploring the 2020 NAIDOC Week Theme

The NAIDOC Week theme for 2020 is “Always Was, Always Will Be”. This theme recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65, 000 years.

The 2020 National NAIDOC Poster Design

Show your class the winning 2020 National NAIDOC Poster “Shape of Land”, designed by Tyrown Waigana, a proud Noongar and Saibai Islander.

 

This amazing artwork captures so many important ideas, thoughts and feelings through its intricate design and symbolism. Read about the inspiration for this poster on the NAIDOC Week’s Poster Winner webpage.

For lesson activity ideas download the NAIDOC Teacher Resources 2020 Poster Design PDF.

Exploring NAIDOC Week Theme Poster Design Activity

Within our NAIDOC Week Teaching Resource Pack, is an ‘Exploring the NAIDOC Week Theme’ activity.

This printable teaching resource works beautifully as a means to consolidate student understanding of the 2020 NAIDOC Week theme after exploring the winning 2020 NAIDOC Week poster design.

You might also like to check out these great NAIDOC Week resources from our publishing partners Wingaru Kids.


(2) Learn About Inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Expose your students to the stories of inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week Award Winners

Each year the National NAIDOC Committee holds an Awards ceremony to recognise the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Isalander peoples. This ceremony has been cancelled this year, but you can check out the profiles of past winners with your students. This provides a great springboard for students to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have made a significant contribution to improve the lives of Indigenous people in their communities and beyond, to promote Indigenous issues in the wider community, or have shown in their chosen field.

Significant Indigenous Australians Inquiry Task

This inquiry research task enables students to explore and celebrate the life of significant Indigenous Australians. Students will write a biography about an Indigenous Australian, of their choice, who has made a significant contribution to their field. Students could use this inquiry task, and access the database of past winner profiles on the NAIDOC Week website to find an inspirational person to research.

This Brooke Boney profile poster is free to download and can also be used in conjunction with the Significant Indigenous Australians Inquiry Task.

NAIDOC Week Videos

Watch this video of local elders talk about the deeper meaning behind the 2020 NAIDOC theme – ‘Always was, always will be.”


(3) Create a Class Acknowledgement of Country

If you haven’t already created an Acknowledgement of Country with your class, this is a great time to do so! Participating in an Acknowledgement of Country is an effective way of helping students develop awareness and respect for the ongoing relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (the traditional custodians) have with their land. The practice can be done by anyone, at any time.

How to Create an Acknowledgement of Country

This video from Reconciliation Australia beautifully illustrates how and why you and your students can create a unique Acknowledgement of Country. The words and actions you and your students share can reflect the age of participants, the lands on which you stand and the feelings you all wish to acknowledge. It is definitely worth taking the time to view this video if creating your own Acknowledgement of Country is of interest to you!

Printable Acknowledgement of Country Poster

The simple wording on this printable Acknowledgement of Country poster can be recited by students each day, and by staff and community members at meetings and events as a way of acknowledging that their activities are taking place on Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander land.

You can also download the editable MS Word version to change the text on the poster and acknowledge the specific language group whose land your school is on.

What is the difference between a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of County?

A Welcome to Country occurs at the beginning of a formal event and can take many forms including singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies or a speech in traditional language or English. A Welcome to Country is delivered by Traditional Owners, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been given permission from Traditional Owners, to welcome visitors to their country.


(4) Read Children’s Storybooks

There are many children’s storybooks that explore the culture and history of Indigenous peoples in a child-friendly way.

You and Me Murrawee is one of our favourites!

Written by Kerri Hashmi and illustrated by Felicity Marshall. This beautifully illustrated story observes a young girl who camps by the river with her family.

Through her eyes, we see life as it would have been two hundred years ago.

NAIDOC Week Poster


(5) Flag Collage Craft Activity

Both lower and upper years students will enjoy the opportunity to participate in this fun flag collage craft activity. Use this craft activity as a means for students to consolidate their learning about the symbolism of both the Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Islander flag.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags posters and flag collage craft activity

Students can learn:

  • who designed each flag
  • when the flags were designed
  • what the colours and symbols represent.

 (6) NAIDOC Week Classroom Activities Pack

This NAIDOC Week classroom activities pack can be downloaded to help support the learning experiences you shape for your students during NAIDOC Week.

NAIDOC Week clasroom resources

The NAIDOC Week Teaching Resource Pack contains a variety of activities, posters and worksheets for you and your students to use.


There are so many wonderful things going on during NAIDOC Week and so many great ways that you and your students can continue to engage in learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and experiences. For more information about NAIDOC Week and to search for events in your local area, head to the NAIDOC Week website!

You can also check out more of our teaching resources in our NAIDOC Week Teaching Resource Collection.

NAIDOC Week Resource Collection

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Comments & feedback

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this is a great book, but be mindful that it is not actually told from an Aboriginal perspective. The story is a European impression of where and how a non specified mob might have lived. ie be aware that although a nice story, it is not the authentic true voice of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

Ann-Marie Choules · Oct 26th, 2020

Thanks for your comment, Anne-Marie. This is definitely something to be mindful of.

We have also partnered with Wingaru Education to produce a 12 Books For Sharing Indigenous Culture blog (https://www.teachstarter.com/au/blog/12-must-have-books-for-sharing-indigenous-culture/) and the accompanying resource Books for Sharing Indigenous Perspectives – Poster (https://www.teachstarter.com/au/teaching-resource/books-for-sharing-indigenous-perspectives-poster/).

In these, you will find beautiful and educational books that feature different areas of Aboriginal culture and history.

Paul (Teach Starter) · Oct 26th, 2020

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