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A special people, a special place

Unit description

This unit aims to explore the concept of shared country within the contexts of everyday texts. The focus is on developing materials to support a walking tour of the local community. The teaching and learning strategies require students to examine familiar texts both in terms of their construction and their effectiveness. The community-based activities enable students to appreciate the complementary perspectives relating to the local environment and enrich their understanding of their community and its heritage.

As well as addressing Aboriginal perspectives in its content, this unit aims to incorporate pedagogical practices that support Aboriginal students? acquisition of literacy skills across listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and representing language modes. This in turn will inform all future programming and assessment for the remainder of the year.

Aboriginal perspectives

This unit highlights the fact that effective pedagogy for Aboriginal students is effective pedagogy for all students. Any discussion or exploration of the notion of place in Australian schools must foreground the relationship between the Aboriginal people of Australia and the land. While this unit values notions of inclusivity and recognises the breadth of perspectives about place held by the contemporary Australian community, it also stresses the primacy of the Aboriginal relationship to country.

It is the intention of this unit to promote an understanding of Aboriginal people and experience and the centrality of Aboriginal culture to an understanding of Australian identity for the 21st century. To this end the final product of this unit should carry a statement recognising the traditional owners/people of the area. This would recognise the role of the Aboriginal people as the first Australians and their custodianship of the land.

Phases of learning

  1. Building the field
    This phase is designed to introduce students to the concept of place and to the idea that personal narratives are tied to location. Students engage in discussions and text-based activities that ask them to explore notions of place and recognise that any one place may be of significance to more than one individual or group of people.
  2. Exploring text-modelling and joint construction
    This phase requires students to engage closely with the features of everyday texts. Students will be required to consider the effectiveness of the content, layout, visual features and language features of a range of model texts. Students will synthesise information about these features of text to establish guidelines for composition and self-evaluation.
  3. Stories from the land: important places
    This phase requires students to prepare for and engage in a variety of socially purposeful spoken language activities. These activities will be designed to establish rapport and gain information from community members about their attitudes to place. Students will develop an awareness of the perspectives held by members of the community and they will be charged with the responsibility of representing these perspectives accurately and with respect.
  4. Developing student texts: joint construction and independent constructions
    This phase requires students to engage in a variety of individual and collaborative composition activities. The students, with guidance from a negotiated scaffold and peer support, will develop their contribution to the final product. Students will work in workshop settings in small groups. They will have individual responsibility to members of their group and corporate responsibility to the class and the individual community member with which they are working. The role of the teacher is to act as editor-in-chief supporting students through any difficulties and ensuring the quality and timeliness of completed work.

Quality teaching framework

All units have been mapped to QT throughout.

Click here for QT details for this unit (PDF - 176 KB - 31 pages) (refer to page 2).


Assessment activity 1

Each student will keep a learning log throughout this unit of work. You will be asked to think about what you learn as you prepare your page for the guide book.

Assessment activity 2

Group work. You will work in a small group to prepare your page. However, you will be asked to share your work and discuss your ideas long before the due date.

Assessment task 3

You are to contribute one page to a special guide book about our town and its people entitled: A special people, a special place: developing a self-guided walking tour. This guide book is being prepared to let tourists to our area know about this place, its important sites and interesting people.

Cross-curriculum content

  • ICT
  • Literacy
  • Key Competencies
  • Difference and Diversity
  • Multicultural
A Special People, A Special Place - Unit of work
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A special people, a special place