Monday, August 24, 2015

The First Australians - A Brief History Of Australia

If you've been a reader for a while now you already know that we participate in a small home based micro school or co-op with three other families.

I have been writing down some details to share with you all about how these days work and how simple it is for you to have a go at getting one off the ground. I hope to have that post to share with you soon.

One of the subjects we decided to focus on this year was that of Australian History. We have our kids break into two groups, a lower high school aged group and a primary aged group. I chose to work with the primary kids for this topic.

I really wanted this introduction to Australian History to be as fun and as interactive as possible, so rather than trudge through various texts or long narratives I chose to put together A Brief History Of Australia, using picture books, crafts, You Tube videos and lapbooking activities.

The first topic we covered was the always fun and interesting First Australians. I only have one hour to cover everything that I want to, so it is quite a fast paced block of time, but that generally keeps all interested as we are always changing gears.

I had booked earlier in the year a group visit to the always fabulous Ngutana Lui, preparing for the fact that we would be covering this topic. I had no idea that when I made the booking it would coincide with the exact same week we did this mini study. Don't you just love when things work out like that!

For each brief history lesson I wanted to try and follow a similar predictable pattern, each topic will be based around a picture book. Some of them were tricky to find and if there were any issues all of the topics are covered in The Australia Book, so really you could get by without any of the picture books at all.

There are so many children's books available about our First Australians that I thought it would be a really simple exercise to choose which book would be our focus.

It was not!

I really wanted the story to show the traditional way of life and not just focus on dreamtime stories or a particular topic. In the end I decided on You and Me, Murrawee. It is a lovely story and does cover some way of life elements.

Whilst I read the children water coloured an A4 timeline colouring page. They will continue to add to these with each lesson to create a quick glimpse full colour (brief) timeline of Australian History.

I'm sharing this download with you, via a link at the end of this post.

We spent time chatting about how early Australians lived in comparison to our current day way of life.

From there it was time to get our hands dirty with some dot painting. I encouraged everyone to first watch an artist at work to view their technique and the things they included in their pieces.

Whilst we painted we listened to and watched a few animated Dreamtime stories.

My kids are not first timers to the dot painting technique. Not only did they complete some lovely art during their visit to Ngutana Lui but they've also explored dot painting during art lessons, like this one here and this particular post, which is still one of my most visited blog posts.

During the last few minutes of our lesson we recapped all that we had learned by completing the first mini book in the series. I gave the kids total autonomy as to what they added in terms of written details inside their booklet. I wanted them to record things that were important to them.

We will continue adding to the mini books with each history lesson and will compile them into a lapbook at the end of our unit.

To download the First Australians Colouring Timeline Page please visit this link.

Be sure to keep an eye out for future posts in this Brief History Of Australia series.

Happy Homeschooling,
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Looking for more Aboriginal related activities?
Have a look at my Aboriginal Themed Board on Pinterest.

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This post is linked up to:

Christian Montessori Network



Ticia said...

I can see my country studies board is suddenly going to have lots of great posts on Australia. Finally something will compete with China for sheer number of posts.

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