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Ways to embed First Nations books in the classroom!

SO many wonderful First Nations children's picture books have been published in recent years, and there are SO many ways we can genuinely incorporate and learn from these books in the classroom. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Begin the year by creating a unique and meaningful Acknowledgement of Country with your new class. Use First Nations books to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures, languages and protocols.

    • Somebody's Land by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing

    • Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy

    • Come Together by Isaiah Firebrace

  • Choose a First Nations book to be the focus of a cross-curriculum unit of work.

    • Ask Aunty: Seasons, an introduction to First Nations seasons (there are opportunities to link this text to all subject areas!)

  • Use First Nations books to support lessons about significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander days/events, e.g. Sorry Day.

    • For 60,000 Years by Marlee Silva (Australia Day/Invasion Day)

    • Day Break by Amy McQuire (Australia Day/Invasion Day)

    • Freedom Day: Vincent Lingiari and the Story of the Wave Hill Walk-Off by Thomas Mayo and Rosie Smiler

    • Found by Bruce Pascoe (Sorry Day)

  • Introduce or reflect on a topic by reading a First Nations book, e.g. reading Kick with my Left Foot by Paul Seden at the beginning of a PE lesson.

    • First Scientists by Corey Tutt (at the beginning or end of a relevant science lesson)

    • Albert Namatjira by Vincent Namatjira (at the beginning or end of a relevant art lesson)

  • Read First Nations books or books with First Nations characters/representation in your teacher or shared reading time.

    • Kookoo Kookaburra by Gregg Dreise

    • I Love Me by Sally Morgan

    • Our Race for Reconciliation by Anita Heiss

    • Charlie's Swim by Edith Wright

  • Intentionally include First Nations books to model particular language features, punctuation, grammar, types of sentences, text types, etc.

    • Shapes of Australia by Bronwyn Bancroft for alliteration, similes, metaphors and descriptive language.

    • The River by Sally Morgan for nouns, verbs, adjectives and questions.

  • Making sure your classroom/school library has a variety of First Nations books that students can read and borrow.

    • Sea Country by Aunty Patsy Cameron

    • The Trees by Victor Steffensen

    • Wiradjuri Country by Larry Brandy

    • Bush Tucker Counting by Maureen Glover

    • We are Australians by Duncan Smith and Nicole Godwin

    • Waru and Dhangal visit the Torres Strait Islands by Connecting the Dots through Culture

    • My Culture and Me by Gregg Dreise

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