Lesson Plan on Australian Aborigines

Teacher: Erin Callahan   Subject: Social Studies
Grade Level: 4th Date: April 4, 1999

I. Content: The past and present culture of Australian Aborigines, including the gender roles, the different tribes, languages, beliefs, the effect of Europeans, and the assistance Aborigines are now receiving.

II. Prerequisites: Students should know the location of Australia on the map, the climate of Australia, and the regions of Australia.

III. Instructional Objective: When requested, the student will describe the lifestyle of the Aborigines before and after the arrival of  the Europeans. Included in the description should be  reference to their nomadic lifestyle, the women’s and men’s role in the tribe, how each tribe had its own language, the introduction of disease from the Europeans to the Aborigines, how Europeans killed and starved the Aborigines, and the assistance the Aborigines are now receiving. 

IV. Instructional Procedure:
    Lesson Initiating:
        The lesson will begin by reviewing the geography of Australia. A student will be asked to point out Australia on a world map. Then a transparency will be shown of Australia, with the three geographic regions labeled. These regions include the Great Western Plateau, the Central Lowlands, and the Eastern Highlands. Next, the students will be asked what they know about the Aborigines. Their answers will be placed on the white board and used to direct the lesson.
    Core Activities:
        The teacher will describe what the lifestyle of an Aborigine from the past may have been like. Pictures and props will be used at this time. First, show a picture of traditional Aborigines. Points to discuss include:

                 * There were 500 different Aborigine tribes, each with its own language.
                * Nomadic lifestyle.
                * Dream time, and the significance of Ayers Rock.
                * Women gather and hunt small animals.
                * Men hunt large animals and make tools.

        Bring out the boomerang at this point, so the students can see an example of a weapon made by the Aborigines. Next, discuss the European influence on Aborigines. Explain how many were introduced to smallpox, starved, killed, and thrown off traditional hunting grounds.  Then show a picture of modern Aborigines. Discuss how they are now receiving economic assistance, medical care, have a new pride in their traditional culture, and are being helped by land rights activists. Show a ten minute clip focused on Aborigines at the end of the discussion.
    Closure Activities: Break the classroom into 5 groups. Have a pot with scenarios in it.  Have each group pick a scenario at random and act it out in front of the classroom. They will be given ten minutes to prepare. The scenarios include how the Europeans affected the Aborigines, the position of Aborigines in present Australia, Aborigines of the past, the spiritual aspect of Aborigines, and how Aborigines are being helped and supported in Australia.

IV. Materials and Equipment:
    * White Board
    * Markers
    * Overhead
    * Transparencies of Australia
    * Boomerang
    * 10 minute clip from National Geographic Series of Australia, video number 6923
    * Picture of traditional Aborigines
    * Pictures of modern Aborigines
    * World map

VI. Assessment/ Evaluation: The students describe in writing the Aborigine lifestyle before and after the Europeans arrived, making reference to the criterial components of the objective.

VII. Follow- up Activities: The students will study more in depth   how Europe came to colonize Australia. This will show how colonies are started in new worlds, and can be compared to how other countries were colonized. Students will also study the Australian animals. They can see how these animals were isolated and evolved differently than animals in other countries. The students will see how animals of different countries are similar, and their impact on the environment.

VIII. Self Assessment: I will begin by gauging how much information they accurately know about the Aborigines. From there I will self assess according to how the students received the lesson.  The lesson will be amended, depending on how well the students meet the instructional objectives.

Online Education for Teachers – Advance Your Career

Reply to author
Back to Lesson Plan Menu