The learning environment we create for our First Nations students will either support our students to feel culturally safe, valued and respected, or it simply will not. Here is a list of classroom resources (in no particular order) that can help teachers to have a welcoming classroom. The resources range from classroom decor, feedback tools, teacher attire and learning objects. A combination of these aspects will have a positive impact on your relationship with First Nations students and their families. Should you wish to purchase any of the following resources, please use the link provided which will direct you to Riley Callie Resources, Koori Curriculum or another Aboriginal-owned store where possible. If not, the next most appropriate store will be suggested.
AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia is made up of many different and distinct groups, each with their own culture, customs, language and laws. This map attempts to represent the language, social or nation groups of Aboriginal Australia and is a great visual for children to understand the diversity of First Nations people in Australia.
Narragunnawali Terminology Guide
Using respectful and inclusive language and terminology is an essential part of strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and families. Narragunnawali have a terminology guide on their website. The Narragunnawali website is free to access and provides practical ways for educators to introduce meaningful reconciliation initiatives in the classroom, around the school and with the community through Reconciliation Action Plans, professional learning and curriculum resources.
The Teaching Tools x Holly Sanders Feedback Stamps
Contemporary Aboriginal artist and teacher, Holly Sanders, is a proud Bundjalung woman and the artist behind this teacher stamp collaboration with The Teaching Tools. This set of 14 stamps will provide feedback to your students and help your jarjums (kids) to feel proud of their work!
Teacher Latte x Mooki Pen Feedback Stamps
Mainland Australian's often know little about Zenadth Kes (the Torres Strait Islands). Celebrate the unique First Nations culture, language, art and community of the Torres Strait with this teacher stamp collection designed by 'Mooki Pen', a Zenadth Kes artist.
Kinya Lerrk Acknowledgement of Country Plaque
Kinya Lerrk is an Aboriginal owned and operated business that creates signage to celebrate Aboriginal culture and respectfully acknowledge traditional owners of land. I recommend creating a unique and meaningful Acknowledgement of Country as a school and contacting Kinya and Lerrk to have your Acknowledgement written onto one of the many plaque design options available. Your Acknowledgement can be proudly displayed in a significant location at your school where students, staff and parents can see it often.
The Murri Teacher Ultimate Teacher Bundle
This "back to school" growing bundle includes a welcoming door display, birthday chart, word wall and clock labels, as well as an editable "We are learning on ___________ Country" sign. A First Nations QR Code Library, set of inquiry cards and influential First Nations people posters are also included.
Wingaru Kids - For Schools
Wingaru Kids is an online learning platform for schools that is jam packed with teacher professional development, curriculum-aligned lesson plans, digital activities/videos and printable classroom resources, and authentic content presented in an engaging, interactive and easy-to-use format! You can sign up for a free 10-day school trial to explore everything Wingaru Kids has to offer!
Deadly Ed Primary History Pack
The Deadly Ed Primary History Resource Pack has over 50 hours of lesson plans, instructions and over 40 culturally appropriate resources to support your teaching of ALL Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander cross-curriculum outcomes in the Early Stage 1 to Stage 3 History Syllabus.
Australian Native Animal Finger Puppets
Finger Puppets are a great low cost affordable prop that can be used in multiple ways to embed Aboriginal perspectives in early learning centres and primary schools. Children can use the finger puppets during play time, but also to act out (and comprehend) a range of First Nation Dreaming stories.
Larger native animal soft toys are also available in the Koori Curriculum online shop and may be more appropriate for your classroom.
Yarn Strong Sista 'What Can You See - Kit'
The Yarn Strong Sista online store has a range of educational resources including First Nations artefacts, dolls, children's music and books, games, hand and finger puppets, puzzles and felt mats for story-telling. I particularly love their story kits such as the 'What Can You See Kit' pictured here. This kit includes the book In the bush I see, a camping bush mat and finger puppets to match the animals in the text. Students use the story mat and puppets to act out or retell the story.
Our Land Our Stories Series
Our Land, Our Stories is a landmark series exploring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, peoples and cultures. The series, developed in partnership with AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Studies), includes rare and historically important photos, artwork and audio-visual resources with many texts and stories written by leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors. Click here to view the Our Land, Our Stories catalogue for much more information.
Tjanpi Desert Weavers Sculpture
Aboriginal people and cultures do not exist only in the past - in fact Aboriginal cultures are some of the oldest surviving cultures in the world! Tjanpi Desert Weavers are a contemporary fibre art group who use native grasses to create mostly animal sculptures. This style of art is extremely unique to Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in central Australia. Ensure your art lessons are not limited to traditional paint forms of art by purchasing an authentic sculpture from the Tjanpi Desert Weaver website to display and discuss in your classroom.
'Awaken' TEACH Tee
Add this deadly t-shirt to your teacher wardrobe. The Awaken TEACH Tee is a unisex cotton t-shirt made for mob and allies. Featuring original artwork by Aboriginal artist, Russell Yilamara, this t-shirt is available in 5 different colours and matching lanyards are also available on the website.
Lakkari Art x Teacher Latte Lanyards
Lakkari is a proud Gamilaroi yinarr (woman) and the skillful artist behind these lanyards available on the Teacher Latte website. Country, waterways, the sky and significant meeting places are symbolised in each design and the colour palette of each lanyard celebrates the diverse and rich beauty of these elements. Attach your keys and name badge to one of these lanyards and wear proudly throughout the school day!
Fraser & Felt 'Pride' Trivets and Garlands
These Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flag coloured trivets and garlands are the perfect touch to add a sense of pride and respect to your classroom. Please note, the trivet stands are not included but you can currently purchase some similar stands from Kmart. Otherwise, they can be pinned to a classroom wall or leant against a wall on a shelf.
Holly Sanders x Mrs Edgar Teacher Planners
Holly Sanders is a Bundjalung artist and teacher who has designed multiple covers of Mrs Edgar's teacher planners! There are limited numbers of each diaries available each year and they often sell out quickly. Planners come in a weekly or daily layout with a spiral binder, or there is a weekly classic planner too.
Emro Designs Outdoor Mats
Emro Designs outdoor mats are made from recycled plastic and come in a range of beautiful Aboriginal designs by Bundjalung artist Christine Slabb. The outdoor mats are so versatile and perfect for sitting outside (or inside) with your class. This circle mat would be great for a yarning circle! They are easy to clean -either hose down, sweep with a broom or light scrub for any stubborn dirt. All mats are reversible and have a different colour of the design on each side.
Possum Skin Ball
Possum skin foot balls (also known as Marngrook) have been used for generations to play Traditional Games. Gunai/Kurnai woman and the founder of Wurruck Yambo, Emmy Webbers, uses a technique her mother adapted and passed down to her to create these possum skin balls for children to enjoy.
Yulunga Traditional Indigenous Games
Yulunga: Traditional Indigenous Games is a selection of games and activities played in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies. Traditional pastimes have been included along with some contemporary versions. Click below to download the free PDF of Yulunga to embed in your Physical Education (PE) lessons. I suggest purchasing a possum skin ball from Riley Callie Resources to include in your lessons also.