A celebration of NAIDOC week at St Nicholas Early Education Newcastle West
The 2017 theme ‘Our Languages matter’ aims to celebrate the essential role that Indigenous languages play in both cultural identity, linking people to their land and water, and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.
The gorgeous children in the Wilai room have been hearing traditional Aboriginal dreamtime stories, including ‘How the birds got their colours’ and ‘How the Kangaroo got his tail’. The children loved seeing all the lovely bright colours in the big books.
Using yellow, black, orange and brown, we developed our artistic skills by painting on paper plates to create snakes!
The children have been saying their good morning promise, acknowledging the traditional owners of the land.
Susan shared photos of her trip to Katherine in the Northern Territory and spoke about all the sacred places she was able to visit. The children loved seeing the pictures of the crocodile jumping out of the water!
To help give the children of the Yunung room an understanding of this year’s NAIDOC Week theme we have incorporated ‘Ani-gunyah’ which is the Awabakal word for hello to our morning greeting song. We sing this together to begin our day. We are also learning the song “Heads, shoulders, knees and toes” using the Awabakal words to replace each body part.
Other activities we are enjoying this week include colour dye sand paintings, natural playdough with bush herbs and rosemary, natural element collages, musical exploration with clapping sticks and more.
We enjoyed the story of ‘Tiddalick the Frog’, which is a traditional Dreamtime story of the Awabakal people. The children appreciated the story both on the computer, and through Juanita’s drawings on the whiteboard. We discussed the meaning of sharing which is a theme of the story. We then created a group artwork of Tiddalick.
Megan kindly brought in her Thermomix so we could make some bush tucker damper.
We studied our Australian flags and talked about the meaning of the colours. We painted with the colours of the flags at the easel.
The children were also exposed to a variety of Aboriginal symbols. The children engaged in sand drawing in the big tray using the symbol visuals.
Children in the Mowane Room listened to some traditional Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, including ‘How the birds got their colours’ and ‘Tiddalick the Frog’, which is a story from the Awabakal people.
We continued saying our ‘Acknowledgment of Country’, with a new friend saying it in front of the class each day.
We made a collaborative Aboriginal flag, discussing the meaning of each colour. It is proudly on display in the front entrance. It has been lovely hearing some children explain these colours to their parents each morning as they walk through the door.
Children also explored traditional Aboriginal symbols and created their own ‘story stones’ by painting on some of these symbols for our own story telling.
We also were lucky enough to make our own bush tucker damper using Karina’s Thermomix. Children took turns adding the ingredients. We then enjoyed it for afternoon tea, yum!