Doing so, however, can present some time and resourcing challenges for teachers. Finding resources which are age appropriate, engaging and well constructed is a time consuming, and often expensive, process.
Let’s take a look at some of the lower cost, higher quality resources currently available in Australia which help present Indigenous stories and storytelling to primary students:
This is a free online compilation of 12 Indigenous stories from Central Arnhem Land, which have been animated and retold in a language and style which is highly appealing for a middle primary audience.
Each story includes a synopsis, a study guide and an explanation of what the story means.
Children can reflect on their learning and comprehension by taking a short quiz after each story.
Visit edhq.co/2rX62DS to access them.
Walking with the Seasons in Kakadu
This beautifully illustrated book introduces children to the many seasons which exist in the Kakadu region of the Northern Territory and is published by Allen and Unwin.
It would be a highly useful title for using as background information for a nature table in an early childhood or junior primary classroom, or for encouraging independent older readers who are interested in non-fiction.
Cyclones and Shadows
This collection of four short stories which were originally part of the Waarda series of early readers published by Fremantle Press, is suited to junior to middle primary readers.
The stories are set in the ‘top end’ of Australia and are a wonderful way to introduce younger readers to contemporary Indigenous stories and storytelling.
The continuity of characters (Lill and Shadow) through the collection allow readers to develop a strong interest in the series as a whole, and to begin to understand the context in which the stories are based.
Under a Bilari tree I born Locating suitable content for an older readership can be particularly challenging.
Under a Bilari tree I born is by Alice Bilari Smith, who grew up on the stations, government reserves and bushland of the Pilbara in Western Australia.
Born in the 1920’s, Alice spent her early years in the Pilbara and only narrowly escaped being caught by the ‘welfare’, before marrying and raising her own children in the bush, retaining their traditional language and customs.
It was only much later in life that she moved to the town of Roeburne where she continued to raise not only her own family but was also foster mother to another 15 Aboriginal children.
Alice’s story captures a vital part of Australia’s history and is essential reading for secondary students who want to gain a deeper understanding of the life and experiences of Aboriginal women living in Australia.
SPELD SA Readers For Indigenous students who require additional support with their literacy skills, SPELD South Australia has a series of phonics readers under development to complement their existing free phonics readers series which is already available on their website.
The new titles are set on the APY lands (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) in far northwest South Australia, and have been written to specifically suit the needs and interests of Indigenous students.
The readers are currently being written and trialled by teachers and students, and will be ready for release soon. Titles include A Trip in the Big Wet, Stuck in a Rut, Kora and the Kangaroo Tail and Digging for Honeypot Ants. Visit http://edhq. co/2rjuSBK to access them.