Territories: YEAR 2 - HASS - Engage

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’.

Engage - Pose questions about past and present objects, people, places and events.

Theme - PLACE (MAP)

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

Ask students to identify themselves by stating the state (or country, if born overseas) they were born in. Ask them if they call themselves a ‘Queenslander’, a ‘New South Welshman’, a ‘Victorian’, a ‘South Australian’, a ‘Northern Territorian’, a ‘Canberrian’, a ‘Western Australian’, or a ‘Taswegian’. Poll the class to see which state can claim the most number of students in the class. Those who were born overseas can nominate any of the states or territories they prefer.

As a class discussion, examine how many students still live where they were born and how many do not live in their original state or territory. Ask those who have been displaced from their place of birth, if they still consider themselves to belong to the state of their birth, e.g. ‘once a Queenslander, always a Queenslander’. Have students justify if they still believe this to be true, and if they barrack for a particular sporting team from the state or territory of their birth.

Have students nominate the state or territory colours worn by their states’/territories’ sporting teams, e.g.

  • Queensland – maroon/gold
  • NSW – sky blue/white
  • Victoria – navy blue/white
  • SA – red/black
  • WA – black/gold
  • NT – black, white and ochre
  • ACT –blue/gold
  • Tas – bottle green

Introduce students to how aboriginal peoples from different language groups in each state or territory are sometimes referred to by collective names, such as:

  • Anangu, in Northern South Australia and neighbouring parts of Western Australia and NorthernTerritory
  • Bama, in Northern Queensland
  • Murri, in Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales
  • Nunga, in Southern South Australia
  • Nyoongar, in southern Western Australia
  • Palawah, in Tasmania
  • Wangai, in central Western Australia
  • Koori,in New South Wales and Victoria
  • Yamatji, in the Gasgoyne and Pilbara regions of Western Australia
  • Yolngu, in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

Which name reference an individual take is really up to them, their family, or their community to define and other people must respect them and their heritage. Refer to ‘How to name Aboriginal People?’, Creative Spirits and show students the AIATSIS Language Map.

Allow the students to explore the various territories designated by language and culture. Ask students to identify where they live and the Aboriginal nation and/or language group and/or Torres Strait Islander nation and/or language group that belongs to the land where the school is located.

Ask students to find pictures of a state or /territory sporting team or sporting personality wearing the official colours. Divide the class into eight groups and distribute the names of the states and territories among the groups. Have students pose and respond to questions about why these are the colours for each state or territory, when, and who selected them. Have students also explore if colours are the only signifiers as state or territory emblems. Have students research the flora, fauna, gem stone emblems, etc. of their nominated state/territory. Suggested resource:

Revisit the conflict for territory between Little J and Big Cuz in their bedroom. Have students recall how they divided the area, what compromise they agreed on, and why they needed to do so.

Apply this thinking to the differences between identifying as belonging to a state or territory, but also to being an Australian, with different heritages from both parents, grandparents, etc.

Ask students to complete a table/graphic organiser which contains data and an analysis of their own heritage, such as their place of birth or citizenship, the emblems of the state or territory, city or town; of where they live now and/or where they have lived in the past. Invite students to share this information with the class and answer questions about their heritage that may be asked by their peers.