Lesson Ideas for Teachers

Making multicultural Australia

Search the complete site: ... Sitemap » ... Links to other sites »

multicultural Lesson Ideas »

KLA/Subject: Aboriginal Studies | Geography

Stage: Stage 4 | Stage 5

Before the Modern Australian Nation


Geography – Stage 4
  • 4.2 Organises and interprets geographical information
  • 4.8 Describes the interrelationships between people and environments
Geography – Stage 5
  • 5.2 Analyses, organises and synthesises geographical information
  • 5.4 Selects and applies appropriate geographical tools
  • 5.7 Analyses the impact of different perspectives on Geographical issues at a local scale
  • 5.8 Accounts for differences with and between Australian communities
Aboriginal Studies
  • 5.1 Describes the factors that contribute to an Aboriginal person’s identity
  • 5.3 Describes the dynamic nature of Aboriginal cultures


The areas in which people choose to live and settle are greatly affected by the type and abundance of resources in close proximity. This lesson serves as a basis for learning about the locations of different Aboriginal regions and the resources clans in those regions may have used. It can then be built upon by a discussion about environments and vegetation patterns in Australia. Information in the form of a map encourages students to use geographical skills such as direction. By using the climatic/vegetation map from the Bureau of Meteorology, students synthesise information from two sources, a higher order thinking skill. Also, by examining a photograph, students are engaged in an interpretation task whilst practicing geography skills. A Worksheet is included to support the classroom activities.

Material to Download

Worksheet: Before the Nation - Geographic Drilldown Worksheet

Archival Images: Dr Helen Irving Collection - Indigenous Dancers at Federation Celebrations, 1901

Timeline Commentary: The diversity of cultures in Indigenous Australia

Map: Map of Aboriginal Australia

Map: Bureau of Meteorology

Suggested Activities

Ask students to:

  1. Go to A Timeline History of Multicultural Australia: Before the Australian Nation.
  2. Listen to or read the commentary: The diversity of cultures in Indigenous Australia
  3. Click on Geographic Drilldown: Map of Aboriginal Australia. Then complete Task 1 from the Worksheet.
  4. Open a new Web window to show the Bureau of Meteorology website
  5. Toggle between these 2 sites to complete the table in Task 2 of the Worksheet.
  6. Read the statement contained in Task 3 of the Worksheet. Use a dictionary such as www.dictionary.com to define the keywords
  7. On the Making Multicultural Australia site, click on the Archival Image: Indigenous Dancers at Federation Celebrations, 1901. Then complete Task 4 on the Worksheet.
  8. Discuss as a class students’ responses to Task 4.

Preparation Checklist

You will need:

  • student access to computer terminals individually or in small groups. If this is not available hardcopy handouts can be printed in colour for each student
  • audio capacity is useful for students to listen to commentary from the Making Multicultural Australia site. If audio is not available, the commentary can be read by students either online or using a printed trancript
  • dictionary for finding defintions related to Task 3 of the Worksheet


Ask students to investigate an Aboriginal clan, identified by clicking on the name of a region at the top of the Aboriginal Map of Australia contained within this site. Ask students to address the following:

  • Name
  • Location / Region
  • Type of environment
  • Resources available
  • Lifestyle
  • Brief History
  • Current situation
  • Predictions for the future

Related Resources

Lesson Notes

Solutions to questions on the Worksheet:

TASK 1 - Answers
a) North west
b) North
c) South – SSW
d) East – ENE
e) South – SSE
f) South

TASK 2 - Vegetation maps
Vegetation maps can also be found in the Heineman Atlas, 3rd Edition or Kleeman et al (2002) ‘A Geography of Global Environments and Communities’ Heineman Division of Reed Elsevier, Victoria, page 37.

Date Added:

10 December 2004