Suggested Duration: Two lessons
Students will explore statements about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia. They will use a set of Source Papers containing material from The Little Red Yellow Black Book to analyse information and draw conclusions about whether the statements are true or false.
In this fourth edition, readers will learn about some of the significant contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have made, and continue to make, to the Australian nation. Common stereotypes will be challenged, and the many struggles and triumphs that we`ve experienced as we’ve navigated through our shared histories will be revealed (The Little Red Yellow Black Book).
- Students will be able to locate and analyse information to draw conclusions about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.
- Through group discussions and reading students will gain knowledge and understanding about Australia`s past.
|General capabilities||Cross-curriculum priorities|
|Literacy||Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures|
|Critical and creative thinking||Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures organising ideas: 1, 7|
Australian Curriculum content descriptions
Year 7 HSIE (History)
- Locate, compare, select and use information from a range of sources as evidence (ACHHS210).
- Draw conclusions about the usefulness of sources (ACHHS211).
- The nature of sources for ancient Australia and what they reveal about Australia’s past, such as the use of resources (ACDSEH031).
Year 8 HSIE (History)
- Locate, compare, select and use information from a range of sources as evidence (ACHHS153).
- Draw conclusions about the usefulness of sources (ACHHS154).
Provisions for differentiation
Students with special learning needs may elect to work in partnerships with peers or a learning support teacher. They could be provided with the names of the Source papers that relate to each statement, so that they can access the true or false information more readily.
- Activity worksheets (PDF)
- Source papers (PDF)
- The Little Red Yellow Black Book - An introduction to Indigenous Australia (4th edition), ` Who we are`, Aboriginal Studies Press, AIATSIS, Canberra, 2018.
Ensure that the guidance notes included in The Little Red Yellow Black Book teacher resource have been considered.
Preparation: Make double-sided copies of the Activity worksheets — enough for one per student. Print out the three Source papers.
Distribute the Activity worksheets. These should be copied to make a double-sided page.
Read the Instructions to students out to the class and ensure that they understand what they have to do.
Arrange the three Source papers by posting them at different stations around the classroom. They can be displayed on the walls, noticeboards or on tables. Students will need to read each Source paper carefully to locate the information necessary for them to prove or disprove the statements.
- Contribution to group discussion
- Completed worksheets
- Q and A about the information in the source papers
Instructions to Students
You’ll find on Activity worksheet 1 a series of statements about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia. We are going to investigate whether these ten statements are true or not. To do this, we will be looking at some source material which will be placed around the room.
Firstly, read through each of the ten statements and make a preliminary guess about whether each one is true or false. At the end of the lesson, you can look back at your first guesses and see how accurate you were.
Around the room are three Source papers with information that you can use to prove or disprove each statement as a proven fact or a busted myth. Your task is to walk around the room and look at the Source papers posted on the walls.
Look at each Source paper then decide which of the ten statements each source might help you to solve. Jot down a few notes that will help you prove or disprove the statements. Use the spaces on Activity worksheet 2 to record your notes. Be sure to write your notes under the correct headings so that you’ve recorded which Source paper the notes came from. Each Source paper provides evidence for or against one or more statements.
As you examine the evidence, circle TRUE or FALSE on Activity worksheet 1 for each statement. Remember to note down the keywords and phrases that led you to make your conclusion.
Assign 30 minutes for the students to complete their investigation of the Source papers. Remind students to jot down some brief notes on their Activity worksheet 2 to analyse the information received from each Source paper.
When all the students have checked all the Source papers, ask them to form small groups of 3 or 4.
For the remaining lesson time, have the groups share their results and try to reach consensus about which statements are true and which are false. Have students check to see if everyone in their group used the same Source paper to reach their conclusion about each statement they investigated. Students can also use this time to compare their preliminary guesses about the statements with their final, informed conclusions.
Class discussion about what students learnt from the activity and if their conclusions changed along the way.
Statement #1: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples all share the same culture.
The ‘Who we are’ source paper says that Australia has two distinct Indigenous groups: Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and within those groups there is significant diversity.
Statement #2: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have lived on the Australian continent for at least 65,000 years.
The ‘Our past’ source paper says that the oldest known archaeological sites on mainland Australia date to at least 65,000 years ago. In the Torres Strait Islands, archaeologists have discovered sites that date to approximately 8,000 years, however, the settlement of this region likely extends to the earliest habitation of this continent.
Statement #3: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples did not serve in Australia’s military forces during World War One and World War Two.
The ‘Our shared history’ source paper says that more than 1,000 Indigenous Australians served in the First World War, and more than 4,000 in the Second World War.
Statement #4: Aboriginal peoples share a common language.
The ‘Who we are’ source paper says that at least 250 languages, many with numerous dialects, were in use on the continent and islands prior to European colonisation.
Statement #5: The remains of Mungo Man are the oldest modern human remains discovered outside of Africa.
The ‘Our past’ Source paper says that the remains of Mungo Man have been dated to at least 42,000 years ago making him the oldest modern human remains discovered outside of Africa.
Statement #6: The 1967 Referendum gave Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the right to vote in elections.
The ‘Our shared history’ source paper says that many people mistakenly believe that the 1967 Referendum gave Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the right to vote, but this was not the case. The change would allow Aboriginal people to be included in the census and would enable the Commonwealth to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Statement #7: Only the Traditional Owners of a particular area can welcome visitors to Country.
‘The who we are’ source paper says that only the traditional owners can speak for and welcome visitors to Country or give others the authority to do so. They are responsible for the care and maintenance of Country. It is they who must make sure that places are looked after properly.
Statement #8: Aboriginal stone petroglyphs (carvings or inscriptions in rock) are some of the most ancient types of rock art in the world.
The ‘Our past’ Source Paper says that Aboriginal rock art - paintings and stone petroglyphs (carvings or inscriptions in rock) are among the first of their type found anywhere in the world.
Statement #9: In many parts of Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were barred from using public venues, including swimming pools.
‘The Our shared history’ source paper says that in many parts of Australia Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were barred from using public venues, including swimming pools.
Statement #10: Aboriginal Australians copied their axe technology from other cultures.
The ‘Our past’ Source Paper says researchers believe that groundstone axe technology probably began on the Australian continent earlier than anywhere else on Earth.