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

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