A 60 minute lesson in which students will understand the history and traditional techniques of Aboriginal sand drawings.
Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that some of the content in this lesson may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.
Students watch and listen to the Mirlpatjunku: Talking About Telling Leaf Stories in the Past video on the ICTV website. Prior to playing the video, explain to the students that the Aboriginal person in the video, Nancy Jackson, is telling a story in her own language and that they may not understand what she is saying. Ask the students to focus their attention on what Nancy is doing on the sand with her hands as she tells her story. At the end of the video, ask the students:
Where was Nancy sitting when she told her story?
What did Nancy use to help tell her story?
Why do you think Aboriginal people tell stories on the sand?
the significance of sand drawings to the Australian Aboriginal peoples
how sand drawings were traditionally created and their common features
how Colin Walangari Karnthawaarra McCormack’s contemporary sand paintings differ from traditional Aboriginal sand drawings.
Use the content of the PowerPoint to record any new information on the sand drawings poster from the earlier lesson.
Display slide 16. As a class, discuss why Aboriginal peoples traditionally used sand as a way to create maps and share their stories. Brainstorm and list some of the advantages and disadvantages of using sand as a canvas when drawing maps and telling stories.
Display slide 17 and explain the sand drawings activity to the students. Provide the students with the necessary materials to complete the task.
In groups, ask the students to create a map of their bedroom using sand drawings. Monitor and support the students as they complete the activity.
Once the students have finished, gather together as a class. Discuss the different symbols that were used by the students to map their bedrooms.
Encourage more capable students to use more abstract symbols when mapping their bedrooms.
Model some basic symbols for less confident students to use when mapping their bedrooms.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities