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: English

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The Australian Curriculum: English aims to ensure that students:

  • learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
  • appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, convey information, form ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue
  • understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and written forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning
  • develop interest and skills in inquiring into the aesthetic aspects of texts, and develop an informed appreciation of literature.

English activities [2]

Activity 1: Sibling rivalry
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Subtheme(s): Indigenous perspectives; Relationships; Social order and education
  • Introduce the students to the idea of 'sibling rivalry'. Give the class a definition of this expression and brainstorm examples of sibling rivalry that the students have experienced. Discuss the kinds of circumstances that can lead to sibling rivalry.
  • As a class, view the clip Snakebite and focus students' attention on the conversation between the brothers, Bunda and Garadi, particularly when they are asking their father why he has taken them away into the bush. Ask students the following questions:
  1. What does Bunda say that Garadi has been doing to him?
  2. What has happened to Garadi's spear?
  3. What reason does Bunda give for throwing his brother's spear into the water?
  4. What does Garadi say in response?
  5. Why are the boys arguing?
  • As a class, view all of Episode 25 | Before Time: Bunda and ask students to complete a table which details the annoying and unwanted behaviour that each brother experiences from the other. Refer students to Student Activity Sheet E25.1: Sibling rivalry

  • Ask students to research their own family and the relationships between them and their siblings. They should talk to family members about their roles and responsibilities. They could also ask family members how these may have changed over time between generations. 
  • In the clip, Bunda's father is educating his sons in bushcraft and survival. Ask students to work individually or in pairs to research and document information about other bush survival knowledges and techniques. Each pair could contribute a report on an interesting aspect of survival knowledge to a class journal that could be published online or in print. Students could watch an episode of the TV series Man vs. Wild to get some ideas about bush survival, or invite a member of the Scouts to address the class on the topic.


Activity 2: Snakes alive!
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Subtheme(s): Culture; Customs and traditions; Indigenous perspectives; Social order and education
  • In relation to the clip Snakebite, focus students' attention on the part when their father tells the boys what to do if they are bitten by a snake. Ask students to write down the five instructions that the boys' father gives them. Refer students to Student Activity Sheet E25.2: Snakes alive!
  • Ask students to research dangerous snakes that may live in their local area. The following websites may be useful: 
  1. Australia Zoo, 'Venomous Snakes', www.australiazoo.com.au/our-animals/amazing-animals/reptiles/?reptile=venomous_snakes
  2. Australian Fauna, 'Australian Snakes - Overview', www.australianfauna.com/australiansnakes.php
  3. Museum Victoria, 'Australian Snakes - the Victorian Fauna', http://museumvictoria.com.au/bioinformatics/snake/
  4. Queensland Museum, 'Snakes', www.qm.qld.gov.au/features/snakes
  • Ask students to research information for the following aspects:
  1. the name of the snake, including any Indigenous names from local Indigenous languages
  2. its natural habitat 
  3. Indigenous uses: food, medicines, materials and technologies
  4. what it eats
  5. the months it is most likely to be active 
  6. the procedure to follow if bitten by it
  7. other Indigenous knowledges and stories associated with snakes.
  • Ask students to present their information in a table. Refer students to Student Activity Sheet E25.2: Snakes alive!

  • Ask students to create a poster, slideshow presentation or mini-film which is a procedural, multimodal text about what to do in the event of being bitten by a poisonous snake. Alternatively, choose a plant used by Indigenous people to support good health. Students will need to include a section in their presentations which informs the viewer about the relationships between local Indigenous peoples and snakes, with regard to medicine, first aid and food. 
  • Some useful websites are:
  1. Macquarie University, 'Bush Medicine', www.science.mq.edu.au/the_faculty/news_and_events/news/bush_medicine
    Research with Yaegl people of NSW
  2. Music Outback Foundation, 'Bush Medicine', www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF8gTYCzNPU
    Music video clip of Indigenous elders and kids from Laramba community
  3. Queensland Museum, 'Medicines', www.southbank.qm.qld.gov.au/Events+and+Exhibitions/Exhibitions/Permanent/Dandiiri+Maiwar/Living+and+working+the+land/Medicines
  4. Soul Food Cafe, 'The Digtree', www.outbackonline.net/digtree/dig_activity9.htm
  5. South Australia Museum, 'Ngurunderi: An Aboriginal Dreaming',samuseum.sa.gov.au/online/gallery/ngurunderi/ng3htm.htm
    Plant use including medicines
  6. University of Sydney, 'Our Indigenous Garden',
    An Internet web quest on Indigenous use of plants with many links


Student Activity Sheet E25.2: Snakes alive!

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