Because of Her, We Can! NAIDOC 2018


Well not far now until NAIDOC is here, our school is having our NAIDOC celebrations on Thursday next week (Last week of Term 2). We have planned a great day of activities and have some special guests coming which is exciting! I am so inspired and also touched by this years Naidoc theme. Because of Her, We Can. It is because of those beautiful, strong, courageous women (and in some cases men) who have walked before us and along side us that have helped shape us into who we are today.


If you have seen the Video I shared on Tipiac’s Facebook page the following activities I have come up with a few follow up activities after watching the short film which is

produced by Lavene Ngatokorua from the Davenport Community who worked with Dave Laslett from

By the way the film would suit any class from Kinder to year 12. Such a beautiful dedication video that your students will be inspired by.

A huge thank you to Lavene and Dave for allowing me to share their amazing work!




After watching the short film with your class you could do a few activities around the 2018 Naidoc theme, I have listed below a few ideas.


Activity 1 – Discussion

Get your students to sit in a Yarning circle and have an object that represents a talking stick. Teacher starts the discussion by talking about what he/she liked about the film. Then discuss one woman in your life that has helped you become who you are today and why they are special to you. Then pass the message/speaking stick to the next person and continue the discussion around the circle. Make sure the rules are clear that the only person speaking should have the stick in their hand.


Activity 2 – Worksheet (Portraits)

  1. Watch the film above.
  2. Download the Free Worksheet. HERE
  3. Get your students to draw a portrait of their special person.
  4. Once finished – students can write a letter to their chosen person telling them why they are important to them.


Activity 3 – Create your own dedication video

Check this video out: for ideas =) 


Good luck with your NAIDOC celebrations! Would love to see some pics on our social media sites! =) Inbox us on Facebook with your work samples.






Gumbaynggirr Totems

Gumbaynggirr Country – Nambucca Heads Region

A few weeks ago TIPIAC had the opportunity to film on Gumbaynggirr country, Nambucca Heads, NSW, AUSTRALIA. Being able to listen and learn about Gumbaynggirr culture and history was such a great experience. We got to taste bush tucker, learn language and listen to Creation stories of the area. Our guide Michael Jarrett a local Gumbaynggirr man from the Baga-Baga clan of Nambucca Heads taught us about the local language and culture. We got a few short films made on the area and are working currently to develop some lessons and units of work around the knowledge that Michael shared with us. Below is a short film about Gumbaynggirr totems.

TIPIAC would like to thank Michael again for sharing his knowledge of Gumbaynggirr country. We loved listening to you speaking and also teaching us your local Gumbaynggirr language with us. Your time is very much appreciated!



Making Patterns Using Aboriginal Symbols

Using Aboriginal Symbols to make patterns in Maths. 

Lesson Plan:

Introduction and warm up:

  1. Ask: What do you know about patterns? Turn to your partner and explain to your partner what you know about patterns. ~Give students a minute to explain patterns~
  2. Discuss with class some of their answers.
  3. Give an explanation of the meaning of a pattern . eg: Patterns can be made from numbers or pictures. Each pattern is made up of a rule. eg: continued pattern using pictures chosen.
  4. Watch short video on Aboriginal symbols by TIPIAC.
  5. Students cut and paste Aboriginal symbols and make patterns in their books. (Early finishers or extension activity ~ Ask students to come up with their own symbols and make a pattern using them)
  6. Share patterns and discuss some of the rules to finish the lesson.

~7 minute short film for children on using Aboriginal symbols to make patterns in maths~

Click here to get Cut & Paste worksheet. 

Would love to see some pics of your students work, could be anonymous. =) Post below in the comments for this blog or on Facebook.


Using Aboriginal art symbols in storytelling

Aboriginal symbols are used in art as well as storytelling in Australian Aboriginal culture. I have made a short video explaining how you could use this simple activity in storytelling, oral language activities & story writing. You could also show this video to your students! Have it become a part of the lesson itself.


NOTE: Please make sure when using small rocks for these activities that the teacher must always be present, as a safety precaution. 

If you would like to use this activity as part of a rotation activity the equipment you will need:

Bag of small rocks (larger for preschool & Kindergarten age children)

Permanent markers

Print out of Aboriginal art symbols

Tray filled with sand

Normally when I am using this activity with my kinder class we go over rules and expectations before starting the activity. You could also use a message stick for the person who is speaking. This will set the expectation that only the person with the message stick can speak and play with rocks.

IDEA’s for this activity: (all rocks to be buried in the sand) makes it more fun finding them and getting a surprise.

  1. You could bury the rocks in the sand have students name and describe each symbol they find. (Could draw them and label them in their books)
  2. Use this activity to help develop oral language skills by getting students to find a stone in the sand and then come up with a sentence for that symbol. eg: Water –  The kangaroo was hot and very thirsty, so it hopped to the water hole to have a drink. Sentences could be broken down and you could ask questions about each sentence to test the listening skills of students. Extension: Students could choose more than one rock and make a sentence or story using the words.
  3. Using the stones students could pick 3 to 4 stones and write a short story using the words in their stories. (Students could work in pairs and could use the iPads to record their partner telling their story)
  4. Use as the beginning of an art lesson, students watch the video and then create a piece of art that represent the stones students picked out. Then write a paragraph about their artwork and what story it tells.
  5. Use the flash cards in group activities. Students could choose a card, write a story, do an artwork or write sentences and draw a picture to go with their sentence.

PDF symbol worksheet download available for free. You can also purchase the Aboriginal Symbol Cards for your resources in our shop.

Aboriginal symbols

Tips on Teaching Indigenous Kids

When you have Aboriginal children in your classrooms it is vital that you know how to build a trusting relationship with them and leave all your preconceived ideas at the door. You know those ideas that a majority of Indigenous kids can’t learn and are not interested in learning. If you leave all these thoughts and preconceived ideas at the door you begin to build a new relationships and find out that all any child wants is someone who cares for them, who wants to see them achieve great things in life, someone who believes in them and can understand them.

It is up to you as the teacher of these kids to get to know them not just when they are behaving or on task but in those moments of despair and anger. Show them that you care. By building a relationship with every child in your class you build up the rapport between both parties and your understanding of them begins to deepen. When a teacher knows their children, they know that the night before they may not have had any sleep, or they may not have had breakfast and maybe that is the underlying issue of the behaviour. Understanding Indigenous kids and their home life, culture, history is such an important part of building that relationship between you both. It’s not just about understanding them but also about caring. Letting them now you truly care about their well being. Letting them know that you believe in them and that you are there for them.

Making real connections with Indigenous children brings magic not only into their life but in yours as well. They begin to have hope; they begin learning new things that may just be their passion in life and you are that one person that they remember when they becaome successful adults. You are that one teach that helped them reach higher.



Tips on teaching Indigenous children

  1. Get to know their cultural background.
  2. Set higher expectations for them, just because they may have underperformed in their last class doesn’t mean they will do the same in your class.
  3. Show them that you are interested in their culture by providing lessons that relate back to their life and surroundings.
  4. Help them to become more confident by providing them with strategies to help them look and feel confident.
  5. Have more group and team activities rather than individual work tasks, until they become more confident in their own ability.
  6. Your programs should include lots of indigenous perspectives, teach them to own their culture and be proud. Use cultural dance and music themes in your CAPA lessons.
  7. Give the child more chances and let them know you really care when they are not showing the correct behaviour. Provide them with a quiet spot to go to when they are getting angry. Teach them how to react  differently by going into their spot to calm down then rejoin the class after 5 minutes. (set a time limit)
  8. Most of all build trust!


Post by: Bronwyn Cochrane January 17th, 2018

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