Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories Unit of Lesson Plans – Year 3 and 4


Summary of Lesson Plans:

This series of lesson plans will allow students to explore and analyse traditional Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories. Upon completion of the program, students will write their own Dreamtime story.

Australian Curriculum Outcomes:

  • Year 3: The role that people of diverse backgrounds have played in the development and character of the local community (ACHHK062)
  • Year 3: Understand that languages have different written and visual communication systems, different oral traditions and different ways of constructing meaning (ACELA1475)
  • Year 3: Discuss texts in which characters, events and settings are portrayed in different ways, and speculate on the authors’ reasons (ACELT1594)
  • Year 3: Draw connections between personal experiences and the worlds of texts, and share responses with others (ACELT1596)
  • Year 3: Create imaginative texts based on characters, settings and events from students’ own and other cultures using visual features, for example perspective, distance and angle (ACELT1601)
  • Year 4: The diversity and longevity of Australia’s first peoples and the ways Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples are connected to Country and Place (land, sea, waterways and skies) and the implications for their daily lives. (ACHHK077)
  • Year 4: Make connections between the ways different authors may represent similar storylines, ideas and relationships (ACELT1602)
  • Year 4: Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations incorporating learned content and taking into account the particular purposes and audiences (ACELY1689)
  • Year 4: Create literary texts that explore students’ own experiences and imagining (ACELT1607)

[highlight]Lesson Plan One:[/highlight]

  • Write Dreamtime on the board. What does this mean?
  • These are the stories that belong to the Indigenous people and they teach us a lesson or they explain something about creation.
  • Have students share some Dreamtime stories that they know.
  • What lessons might Dreamtime stories teach us about? What might they teach us about creation?
  • Play the Mimi’s. http://www.abc.net.au/dustechoes/dustEchoesFlash.htm. Have students predict what the story might be about, share with a partner and discuss. Does the title give us any clues about the story?
  • Story Synopsis: In this story a young man believes he is a disappointment to his farther as he is a terrible hunter. He is taken by the friendly creatures who teach him to be happy and he realizes that his father loves him.
  • Discuss main messages upon completion of the video. What was the purpose of the Dreamtime story?
  • Complete the quiz attached to the video.
    • Activity ideas: Students create their own mimi.
    • Play the mimi’s mash it up. Students create their own version of the story.
    • Create quiz questions for the video.
    • Illustrate favourite part of the story.
    • Write a summary of the story.
    • Invent a new way for the father to retrieve his son instead of using his hair.

[highlight]Lesson Plan Two[/highlight]

[highlight]Lesson Plan Three[/highlight]

[highlight]Lesson Plan Four[/highlight]

  • This lesson will provide students with more opportunities to listen to and discuss Dreamtime Stories. Any Dreamtime story can be used for this activity. For this lesson I used “Why the Emu Can’t Fly”.
  • What might this story be about? What characters do you expect to see in the story? Where might the story take place? What could the problem be? What might the conclusion be?
  • If you were writing a story about why the Emu can’t fly, have a think about what you might write about. Discuss with a partner and share.
  • Read the story.
  • Students to choose from the following activities.
    • Create a story map of events.
    • Change the ending of the story.
    • Write a conversation between characters.
    • Write a review of the story.
    • Draw the most important scene from the story. Why do you think it is important?

[highlight]Lesson Plan Five[/highlight]

  • Students recall purpose of Dreamtime Stories.
  • If we were to write a Dreamtime story what would we write it about?
  • Brainstorm topics on the board.
  • Students will be given some paper/laptops and will brainstorm topics they would like to write a story about.
  • Suggestions: Great Australian Bight, Uluru, Kangaroo’s pouch, lizards blue tongue, echidnas spikes etc…
  • Students to decide on a final topic. Share topic with class.

[highlight]Lesson Plan Six – Onwards[/highlight]

In the lessons following this, students will be working on their own Dreamtime Stories.

They will complete the following steps.

If students finish early, some may choose to illustrate more of their story.

Students will take turns to present their Dreamtime stories to the class.


Other Activity Ideas

  • Students investigate where certain Dreamtime stories have originated from. They can plot these on a map of Australia.
  • Students to illustrate a Dreamtime story through the use of Aboriginal art symbols.
  • Role play Dreamtime Stories.
  • Dreamtime story readers theatre.
  • Students to create a diorama of the setting of a Dreamtime story. How do characters engage with the setting in a story? How does the setting enhance a story? How detailed should a setting be? How can you describe the setting you have created?
  • Learn some Indigenous words that can be incorporated into your Dreamtime story.




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