Where’s Aaron: FOUNDATION - Science - Explore
The class is taking turns hosting ‘Aaron’ the class mascot. It is Little J’s turn so Little J, Nanna, Big Cuz, and Old Dog take Aaron on Country to look for mica rock, and along the way they photograph the expedition. Distracted by the events of the day, Little J loses Aaron and the family enrols the help of Uncle Mick, a Search and Rescue officer, to return him.
Explore - Participate in guided investigations and make observations using the senses
Theme - MATERIALS
After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 8 ‘Where’s Aaron?’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about natural materials and processed materials, local rocks and minerals, and their observable properties.
Ask students what they think the term ‘natural’ means. Have students name where natural materials come from, and what materials they can suggest that are ‘natural’. Compare the students’ definition of natural materials with the Australian Curriculum, Science F-10, definition. Have students pose and respond to questions about who were the first people in Australia to use natural materials for different purposes.
Introduce students to how, traditionally, Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples used natural materials, such as animal skins, bark, bones, clay, egg shells, flints, grasses, ochres, plant fibres, rocks, sap, seeds, shells, stones and wood, for a variety of purposes including tools, weapons, clothing, and containers to gather foods, canoes, music instruments, and adhesives to stick materials together.
Explore and explain how Aboriginal peoples and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples sourced local materials to suit their needs, but also, traded and bartered with other peoples to source materials not found in their own Country. As a class, watch the videos and discuss how the knowledge about the correct materials, and where to find them, was passed from generation to generation:
Elders Crook Hat and Camphoo are walking through the bush searching for the right tree to make spears. They tell us that the old people used to cut down the Acacia tree to make spears. The wood of the Acacia tree is laid across the fire.
Source a variety of websites that display traditional Aboriginal peoples’ and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples’ tools and technologies and have students suggest what type of natural materials have been used in the construction of the objects, e.g. spear, baskets, axe, canoe, grinding stones, etc.
- NAIDOC Week: 10 Inventions of the Aboriginal People
- Fact sheet: Aboriginal flaked stone tools
- Traditional Aboriginal Lifestyle Prior to British Colonisation
- The Use of Plants by Australian Aboriginals
- Aboriginal Inventions: 10 enduring innovations
- Aboriginal Plant use and Technology
Design a ‘discovery trail’ for the students around the school grounds, local park, bush, or botanic garden, and Aboriginal trail and/or Torres Strait Islander trail. Instruct students that they are to locate diverse types of natural materials such as plants, flowers, rocks, grasses, etc. that could be used for different purposes.
Have students draw/photograph the plants and/or other natural materials at their location on the map. Back in the classroom, have students share their findings. Have students suggest which natural materials Aboriginal peoples’ and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples may have used to make traditional tools and technologies.
Invite an Aboriginal Elder or recognised representative and/or Torres Strait Islander Elder or recognised representative from the local area to take the students on a walk and point out the significant areas of the local bushland, and speak about their traditional culture and stories. Also, where possible, visit a local museum to inspect traditional Aboriginal artefacts and/or Torres Strait Islander artefacts.
Have students enter information about traditional Aboriginal tools/technologies and/or Torres Strait Islander tools/technologies and make a list of the natural materials in a Science journal (virtual or physical) and collect small specimens (or images) of various materials. Have students also enter a copy of the ‘discovery trail’ map of materials they found.
“A science journal is a record of a students’ observations, experiences and reflections. Each entry is dated and annotated by the student. Annotations may include written labels, drawings, diagrams, charts, small specimens, photographs, and graphs. Student engagement and learning is evident in the science journal.”
Sourced from: Primary Connections, Linking science with literacy