Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.


[Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

Bunda's father gives him and his brother advice on surviving a snakebite, and how to make a spear. Bunda and his brother constantly argue and compete with each other.




The Australian curriculum: History

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The Australian Curriculum: History aims to ensure that students develop: 

  • interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and willingness to be informed and active citizens 
  • knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the past and the forces that shape societies, including Australian society 
  • understanding and use of historical concepts, such as evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability 
  • capacity to undertake historical inquiry, including skills in the analysis and use of sources, and in explanation and communication.

History activities [2]

Activity 1: Curate an exhibition
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Subtheme(s): Culture; Customs and traditions; Inventions and electronic media
  • As a class, view the clip, Snakebite, and discuss the relationships between the father and his sons, and the brothers. The clip illustrates the education of the boys into the ways of bushcraft, bush medicine and working as a team. Ask students to list the skills, knowledge and technologies that the boys are leaning to use.
  • Ask students to investigate hunting and gathering implements used by the Cadigal people or Indigenous groups in their local area. They are to list at least four different hunting and gathering implements and describe what they are made from. Students should also explain how the tools are used to aid hunting or gathering.
  • Ask students to investigate non-Indigenous hunting and gathering implements. They are to list at least four different hunting and gathering implements and describe what they are made from. Students should also explain how the tools are used to aid hunting or gathering.
  • Depending on the age of the group, ask students to design a small group/class exhibit on a selected form of hunting and gathering, for example, fishing, honey gathering, bird catching or egg collecting. They are to source different forms of hunting or gathering technologies based on images of artefacts that they are to research from various sources. Each artefact should be accompanied by a clear label, informing viewers about the artefact, including where the item is from and what it was used for. Collectively, students should also produce a catalogue and a digital audio-guide for the collection. The audio-guide should be based upon the information presented in the exhibit catalogue.

Inspiration for the class exhibit

  • Students could conduct some preliminary reading about hunting and gathering technologies. Invite a guest speaker from your local community to talk to the class about how hunting and gathering tools are made and used. Visit a local cultural centre or view online displays of tools. Students should consider how various displays are arranged differently to suit different purposes.

  • Note for teachers:
    The removal of Indigenous artefacts without permission is an issue of great sensitivity for Indigenous communities. In many instances, Indigenous artefacts have been removed from their country. Many Indigenous people feel strongly that these items should be returned to the country, place and people to which they belong.
  • Be aware that Indigenous students in your classrooms may share these understandings. Be open to discussing these ideas. Connect with your local Indigenous community to discuss and share their ideas about such issues.

Designing the exhibit

  • Exhibit design involves a carefully thought out process. The challenge presented to the designer of any exhibit is to 'tell a story' in a three-dimensional space. All types of exhibits aim to communicate a message and engage their audiences. A well-designed exhibit will create experiences that will resonate with diverse audiences and communicate the messages and stories of the subject matter to a targeted audience. As a class, ask students to determine four messages they would like to communicate to viewers through their exhibit. Allocate a space within the classroom for the display.


  • Labels should be clear, concise and informative. They should provide the following information:
  1. How the object is made
  2. What the object is made from
  3. How the object is used
  4. The people who use the object 
  5. Where the object is from
  6. Variations in design
  7. Interesting facts.

Catalogue entries

  • Allocate small groups of students an individual item from your class display. Each group should fill in the 'Catalogue entry template' provided in the Student Activity Worksheet H 25.1 Curate an exhibition for their artefact.


  • The audio guide should provide audio files of each groups' entry for their allocated tool. Each entry should be digitally recorded and saved as a separate file, using the name of the tool as the file name. Use audio software such as 'GarageBand' or 'Audacity' to make these recordings.


Activity 2: Indigenous botanical trail
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Subtheme(s): Culture; Food; Indigenous perspectives
  • As a class, view the clip and discuss the relationships between the father and his sons, and between the brothers. The clip illustrates the education of the boys in the ways of bushcraft, bush medicine and working as a team. Ask students to list the skills, knowledge and technologies that the boys are learning to use.
  • List the skills, knowledges and technologies that have been passed down from one generation to another in families. These may include particular remedies for injuries or illness, cooking, making things and games. Share family stories about the skills, knowledge and technologies that are shared. List the similarities and differences in the stories.
  • In Episode 25 | Before Time: Bunda, the father shows his sons how they can use the acacia plant to cure a snakebite. Indigenous groups possess a deep knowledge about plants found in Australia. Indigenous knowledges and practices utilise many plants both as food and medicine.
  • To gain a better appreciation of these practices, ask students to design an interpretive walk around their school, focusing on local native plants that may have been used by local Aboriginal people. As a class, they can produce a web page or poster containing a map of the walk with labels to show where the plants are and information about the plants and the walk. Students can create a brochure or an audio guide informing those taking the walk about use of the plants and the rhythms of local patterns of nature.
  • If possible, visit an Indigenous garden or space in your local area or botanic gardens to build student interest in Indigenous knowledges and uses of the land. If appropriate, invite a local Elder to help students identify plants and their medicinal benefits. Be sure to acknowledge the time, expertise and knowledge shared by community members. 
  • There are many Indigenous garden displays around Australia, and botanic garden websites also provide excellent online resources for use in the classroom. If you are unable to visit the gardens on a school excursion, websites provide a good starting point to build knowledge and ideas. The website below can also be used to gain information about the New South Wales coast on this topic:
  1. Living Knowledge, 'Koori Coast', Bush Foods and Medicines, http://livingknowledge.anu.edu.au/learningsites/kooricoast/06_bush.htm

    The websites of larger gardens include:
  1. Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, 'Indigenous Connections to the Site', www.rbg.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/6808/Indig.pdf
  2. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, 'Education Service Teachers' Kit: Aboriginal Resources Trail', www.rbg.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/6711/ARTupdatedJan07.pdf

  • Divide the class into small groups and ask them to select features and plants from the garden to research and develop for the information guide. The Indigenous garden trail should highlight how local flora is used by Indigenous peoples, and how this may have changed over time. Reflect on how this knowledge is used locally, nationally and internationally. Combine the information about the plants from all the students and lay out the website. Nominate some students to develop the map, another group to design and produce the brochure and a group to record the audio for the walk.
  • Consider appropriate local protocols and invite Indigenous families, individuals and groups from the area to see what you have done. Ask them to inform and/or improve the information you have gathered before opening to the public. Ask appropriate community people and Elders to perform an official welcome or acknowledgement to country for the space, to acknowledge connections to the area from Indigenous groups of the past and present.
  • Invite parents to the school to be guided by the students. Visitors will be led through their walk with a brochure and audio guide.


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