Wise Words indigenous materials have been devised to support parents, teachers and clinicians who may find it challenging to teach indigenous content because of concerns that they may not have the knowledge or understanding to ensure that the books, their stories and the complexity of the information is presented in a respectful and appropriate manner.
With thanks to Joedie Lawler who kindly edited these resources. Joedie Lawler is a Biripi woman from Taree who has strong connections to her country and culture. She has advocated in cultural heritage for the past 25 years. Joedie is a teacher of weaving and art who shares her skills and knowledge through her work with the Ngarra Consultancy. The Ngarra Consultancy is an Aboriginal owned and operated business that assists appropriate engagement understanding and experience of Aboriginal culture.
The Australian Curriculum has established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures as a priority. This will ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are able to see themselves, their identities and their cultures reflected in the curriculum of each of the learning areas. Exposure to these and other indigenous books can build awareness of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures amongst all Australian children.
USING BOOKS TO ENHANCE A CHILD’S UNDERSTANDING AND INCREASE HIS/HER EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE
You can use a book to expand a child’s
• Vocabulary (totem, generation, birthmark, kingfish, birdiya, sacred, cave)
• Understanding of concepts (e.g. promise, slimy, grateful, silently, clean)
• Ability to understand questions
The Mark of the Wagarl – Maadjit Wagarl is the sacred water snake and guardian spirit of all the rivers and fresh waters of Australias Nyoongar Country. This is the story of how a little boy questioned the wisdom of his elders and why he received the Wagarl for his totem.
Wise Words Scripts – offer clinicians, teachers and parents readily available questions designed specifically for each book. A script provides a variety of questions at each level of understanding for each page of the book. A teacher or clinician working with a group of children can tailor questions to each child’s language ability.
This script and other available scripts have been based on Marion Blank’s Model of Classroom Language.