Territories: YEAR 1 - HASS - Explain

A possum disturbs Old Dog, and a ‘cranky’ magpie swoops at anyone who steps into the backyard. Little J and Big Cuz share a room and when Little J steps on Big Cuz’s art project, a disagreement over territory ensues. The result is a clear dividing line to mark their individual territory. But they discover they have to compromise on a shared space, and cooperate in order to move in and out of the room, and to get past the swooping magpie in the backyard. Their joint, inventive solution wins high praise from the class at ‘show & tell’.

Explain - Interpret data and information displayed in pictures and texts and on maps.

Theme - MAPS

After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 12 ‘Territories’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about place, maps and boundaries.

Introduce students to the concept of two-dimensional maps (paper and photographic plans), and three-dimensional maps (models and constructions for prototypes), etc. Develop students’ understanding of direction, and the terminology and symbols associated with the compass points:

  • N - North
  • NE – North East
  • E - East
  • SE – South East
  • S  - South
  • SW – South West
  • W - West
  • NW – North West

Have students practise travelling in the different directions using the chairs and desks as the barriers to their progression. Draw a circle on the floor of the classroom and mark the four cardinal points. Give students directions to move as a group to any of the compass points.

Have students practise their directional skills within a 3-D maze arranged with chairs, desks and classroom obstacles. Provide students with a grid of 10 x 10 squares or a geoboard that represents the classroom. Have students mark the cardinal points and create a variety of simple mazes by rearranging the classroom furniture as the barriers within the maze designs. Once students have mastered creating mazes, ask students to blindfold a partner and, by only using their voice and the compass (cardinal) point’s terms, direct their blindfolded partner through the maze.

Have students apply their knowledge and understanding of maps and compass points to the construction of a three-dimensional maze using familiar places or street plans as the basis of the design, and use every day found materials or toys for its construction, such as

  • blocks
  • clay
  • Lego
  • multilink cubes
  • papier-mache
  • sand from the school sandpit
  • small cardboard boxes.

Encourage students to consider the position and relative size of objects in their model. Have students examine their models from different perspectives and compare the views when they look from a side-on view with what they see when they look down on the maze. If possible, take photographs of the model from different angles and perspectives and upload or print these images for the class to compare the views.

Start a discussion using terminology associated with location, position and space, such as ‘before’, ‘beside’, ‘between’, ‘centre’, ‘close’, ‘left’, ‘middle’, ‘on top’, ’right’, ‘side by side’, etc. Ask students to evaluate what makes a map useful and effective.

Introduce students to Aboriginal artworks and/or Torres Strait Islander artworks that depict Country and specific land features, such as hills, meeting places, rivers, waterholes, etc. Suggested resources:

Explore the symbols used by Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples to represent important aspects of the landscape, such as billabongs or waterholes, hills and rivers. Refer to:

Explain to students how the various Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples use different techniques and styles when painting their Country. Similarly, they use different symbols to represent land features, meeting places, fauna, flora and people. Symbols can also be combined to make complex meanings.

Encourage students to examine various techniques such as dot paintings, cross hatching and x-ray. Explore traditional and contemporary artworks, and identify the symbols used to map Country and the events that take place on it.

Dot paintings

Cross hatching