Subtheme(s): Celebrations,Customs and traditions,Indigenous perspectives
As a class, view the clip and discuss the relationship between the two children, Barangaroo and Mung. As an Indigenous female child, Barangaroo is skilled in catching yabbies and looking after the younger members of the group. Although she is a natural leader, she finds opposition to her ideas from the boys. The clip illustrates the education of Indigenous children and the expectations on them to learn the ways of the group and be brave when faced with the Mumuga.
In Episode 26 | 1778: Before Time: Barangaroo the children plan a feast and catch yabbies and fish in preparation. Use the websites below to find out when events which celebrate or commemorate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures will fall this year:
Create a calendar of events that includes local festivals held in your region.
Encourage students to find out more about what happens on each of these occasions and what each day celebrates and commemorates. Students should plan, organise, create and participate in a celebratory festival for that day.
Choose an event which is occurring soon. Students should research the reasons for the celebration or commemoration and write a letter to the school principal explaining why they think it is important that the class either organise a festival to celebrate the event or take part in festivities organised by a local community group.
Next, students should brainstorm ways they can celebrate the event in a culturally sensitive way. This could include creating an exhibit, artistic display or performance and inviting an Indigenous community member, cultural teacher or Elder into the school for the day.
Once the class has decided on how they will celebrate or participate in the event they can use the checklist provided in Student Activity Sheet H26.3: Celebrate! to plan their involvement. Allow time for students to create their event or choreograph their performance.
Students should also design posters to market and promote their event.
As a class, view the clip, Yabbies, and discuss the relationship between the two children, Barangaroo and Mung. As an Indigenous female child, Barangaroo is skilled in catching yabbies and looking after the younger members of the tribe. She is a natural leader though finds opposition to her ideas from the boys. The clip focuses on the expectations for children to learn their cultural heritage.
In My Place Episode 26, Barangaroo and her friends have been warned away from the area where the Mumuga lives. The Dharawal people, from the south coastal areas of New South Wales, tell stories about the Mumuga, a monster which lived in caves in mountainous areas.
Ask students to explore, find, document and share at least one other Indigenous story at the following website:
Students should identify the relevant group and area when they share the story.
Divide the class into small groups and ask them to develop their own story of the Mumuga based on the evidence revealed in the TV series. Students should jot down what is said about the Mumuga by the different characters and analyse each of the accounts to determine whether it is a first-hand account or a second-hand account.
A first-hand account is reported by the person who actually had contact with the subject of the account.
A second-hand account is reported by others and is not always considered to be as reliable as first-hand accounts.
Once they have analysed the episode and collated the accounts, they should write a newspaper article about a sighting of the Mumuga using the accounts they have collected. They should illustrate what they think the Mumuga looks like and include this as an illustration in the article.
Remember that when teaching and sourcing Indigenous stories to be respectful of their significance and meaning. Students should understand that they can't copy Indigenous stories or artworks as these may have special cultural meaning to the community and to individuals. If you are in doubt about how to teach Indigenous perspectives, connect with your local Indigenous community to discuss and share their ideas about such issues.
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.
As a class, view the clip and focus attention on the opening shot of the Mumuga's mountain. Draw students' attention to the use of loud and foreboding music, mist, a close-up, and Mung's frightened assertion. These are various ways that the filmmaker creates a sense of fear for the audience. Ask students to evaluate the effectiveness of these techniques to convey meaning and expression. Students can show their response by placing themselves on an imaginary line that ranges from completely effective at one end to not at all effective at the other.
As a class, list the different camera angles used to deliver a sense of foreboding about the Mumuga. Students should also assess the style and tempo of the music used to enhance audience response.
As a class, find out about different Indigenous stories in your local area or research stories from a particular country/language group across Australia. These stories are often oral traditions that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Some may be traditional stories that have been passed down over hundreds of thousands of years while others will be more recent, contemporary stories. Many have now been written down.
Stories may include life histories (individual or collective), spiritual narratives (including creation stories) and cultural practices (teachings about ways of doing things, seeing things and being). Some of these stories are meant to evoke 'fear' in the reader which is important in the art of children's storytelling. Ask students to suggest reasons why the story is written in this way and how it would act as a warning to children.
Ask students to research and find many different types of Indigenous stories and Indigenous writers. Have students choose one Indigenous story from their local area or from a particular language group or region across Australia. They should consider the following questions about the story and respond using Student Activity Sheet E26.3: Fear.
Who are the main characters in the story?
What is the setting? What country and/or people is it connected to?
What happens and how is it linked to the place?
How does the story end?
Does it have a particular message and if so what is it?
How is 'fear' translated in the story?
Why was 'fear' used in the story?
Find examples of Indigenous children's book writers using the following websites:
Ask students to design the front and back covers of a storybook for their chosen Indigenous story. On the front they need to include the title, the author's name and a meaningful illustration that draws the viewer's attention. On the back they should write a short summary of the story without giving the ending away. Refer students to Student Activity Sheet E26.3: Fear.
Character,Gender roles and stereotypes,Indigenous perspectives
Prior to watching this clip, discuss with students the ideas of leadership, working as a team and facing your fears. Brainstorm things that students are frightened of and list the ways they have tried to overcome those fears.
As a class, view the clip and focus on the part in which Barangaroo and Mung are catching yabbies. Ask the students to respond to the following questions:
How is Barangaroo catching yabbies?
How is Mung catching yabbies?
What does Barangaroo say to Mung that makes him leave?
How do you think it may have made him feel?
Have students focus on the part when Barangaroo returns to the camp site. Ask students the following questions:
Why is Wiyanga angry with Barangaroo?
Where does Barangaroo think Mani has gone?
What is her reason for thinking this?
Who is the first to go to find Mung?
What are the two reasons given by Mani's friends for why they don't want to go into the Mumuga's cave?
What does Mani say to convince them to stay?
Barangaroo wants to be considered the leader of the children. Ask students to list how she proves that she is a good leader. Ask students to list what they feel makes her a good leader.
Ask students to write an action plan for Barangaroo and her friends that they could use to find Mung. They need to work as a team and systematically list the stages of the search and who is responsible for searching particular areas. Make sure that the plan elects Barangaroo as the leader. It should articulate her role to oversee the search plan.
The action plan instructions could include tools the children might need, a map of the territory with an escape route drawn on it, and a list of food items they could take with them.
Students need to keep to the authentic time and setting of the clip. They should complete research into how Indigenous Australians lived and what resources they utilised through their understanding of their environment.