Lesson: Culture of Australia

Author: Marc Sheehan

Grade Level: Fourth

Purpose: This lesson will introduce the students to Australia and investigate the culture of the nation, with a focus on the Aborigines.

Goal: The students will name the group of people indigneous to Australia. The students will identify five plants used by Aborigines in the past and state how those plants were used. The students will develop two or three questions that will be sent to children in Australia.

Lesson Design: This lesson will be done in two separate parts. In the first part, the whole class will be asked what they know about life in Australia and what they would like to know about life in that nation. All answers will be recorded on a sheet of butcher paper. The class will then develop two or three questions that will be e-mailed to a same-age class in Australia. The answers will be received at the end of the week. At the same time, the students will answer questions sent by their "electronic pen pals" from Australia.
In the second part, the class will work in groups of three or four students. The groups will visit three Internet sites that deal with the Aboriginal culture. They will visit the Australian National Botanic Garden site (http://www.anbg.gov.au/gardens/visiting/exploring/aboriginal-trail/index.html) to find out how the Aborigines used plants native to Australia. The students will also visit 2 other sites (http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/austn-indigenous-cultural-heritage; http://www.aboriginalculture.com.au/introduction.shtml) to find information on the culture of the Aborigines. Answers will be recorded onto worksheets and shared with the whole class.

Worksheet Sample Items:
Name the group of people indigneous to Australia.
Identify five plants and how each plant was used by the indigneous people of Australia.
Write three questions you would like to send to our penpals in Australia.

Assessment: The students will record the information they learned onto worksheets for a mini-book on Australia. Worksheets will be evaluated to see if they are accurate, neat, and if they met the objectives of the lesson. The mini-book will be the final activity of the unit.

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