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Students learn about the rich oral history of Aboriginal languages and how they have been recorded throughout history. Students read through the story My Weekend with Pop and discuss how their relationships with their own grandparents compares to the character in the story.
Task no. 1
Examining the short samples of language that your teacher has prepared, compare and contrast:
- archival/historical records made by non-Aboriginal people who wrote down languages provided orally by speakers. As a class, view examples of archival/historical records for Dharawal, Gumbaynggirr, Gamilaraay, Paakantyi or Wiradjuri, available on the NSW State Library Rediscovering Languages website.
- present day examples of text in Aboriginal languages made by people from those communities. Teachers might access current publications of Dharawal, Gumbayngirr, Gamilaraay-Yuwaalaraay, Paakantyi or Wiradjuri in the resource list at the end of this Guide. Alternatively, teachers can just show the My Weekend with Pop story.
After comparing the samples, students discuss:
- Who do you think wrote the old records of the languages?
- Who spoke the words and who wrote them down?
- Why do you think they wanted them to written down?
- When do you think they were written?
Using the My Weekend with Pop story on the State Library of NSW website:
- The story has been recorded and written in Dharawal, Gumbaynggirr, Gamilaraay, Paakantyi, Wiradjuri. The website has a location map for each recording.
- Which one is closest to your school? Which one is furthest from your school?
Task no. 2
Before reading the story as a class, dicusss the below questions:
- What kinds of things do you do with your grandparents?
- Which places do you go to together?
As a class, read the story My Weekend with Pop in English (Guided reading. Board of Studies, 2010, Dictionary of Classroom Strategies K-6, p15-16).
After reading the story, as a class discuss the following:
- How are the characters in the story connected to Country? What activities do they do together?
- In what ways is your time with your grandparents similar to the Aboriginal child in this story?
- In what ways is your time with your grandparents different from the child in this story?
Now listen to My Weekend with Pop in an Aboriginal language, your teacher might select the language of the land on which your school is located or the nearest one or the one that Aboriginal students in your class identify with.
- Listen to the recording for each page a few times.
- Try to follow each written sentence as you listen.
- Can you hear/pick out a key in each sentence and point to it?
- Have you ever heard an Aboriginal language before? How would you describe this experience?
As a class, place the images your teacher has provided back in the correct sequence and retell the story in English. (Retelling. Board of Studies, 2010, Dictionary of Classroom Strategies K-6, p36).
Bring in a photo of yourself with a grandparent or grandparents. Compose a text to accompany the photo, which captures similarities and differences and makes connections between your own experiences and those of the Aboriginal grandparent and grandchil in My Weekend with Pop.