Teacher background information
Year 3 Science Content Description
Science Inquiry Skills
CommunicatingRepresent and communicate observations, ideas and findings using formal and informal representations (ACSIS060 - Scootle )
acknowledging and exploring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ ways of communicating information about anatomical features of organisms
This elaboration provides students with an opportunity to develop this core Science Inquiry Skill whilst addressing intercultural science inquiry skills relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures within the context of the following content description(s) from the Science Understanding and/or Science as a Human Endeavour strand(s).
Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)
A potential way to approach this content description is:
In engaging students in the development of the science inquiry skill of representing and communicating observations, ideas and findings, it may be useful to explain that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have long developed and used informal and formal means of communicating observations about important information. This elaboration provides students with the opportunity to explore the ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples represent and communicate scientific knowledges, including the anatomical features of living things. The use of a variety of means to represent and communicate scientific knowledges fosters a deep understanding and memorisation of the information. Methods for communicating the observable features of living things include storytelling, song, dance, petroglyphs and iconography.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have long represented and communicated knowledge of the behaviours and observable features of organisms through song and dance. An excellent example of this was recorded by the Guugu Yimithirr Peoples of the Hopevale region of far north Queensland who represent and communicate important information about dangerous organisms using song, dance and models of animals. The potential danger of the venomous stonefish is communicated through a cultural dance, with a warning about the consequences of treading on the stonefish spines. A beeswax model of the stonefish, including anatomical details of the spines, is used to represent its structural features and communicate the dangers of the organism.
The Muralag Peoples of Muralag Island in the Torres Strait represent and communicate observable features of the sawfish in song, dance and masks. Masks are constructed that represent the structural features of the sawfish, including the distinctive long series of teeth along the snout, the dorsal fins and heterocercal tail. Scientific information about living things, embedded in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ song, dance and various visual representations, ensures the behaviour, characteristics and locations of the living organism are expressed and communicated.
This elaboration provides students with the opportunity to acknowledge and explore the ways that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples represent and communicate information. Students can explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ songs and dances online to recognise different methods of representation and communication, and evaluate the knowledge and information about the observable features of living things that they convey. Additionally, teachers may seek permission, in consultation and with the support of the local community, for students to learn an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ dance that demonstrates the observable features of organisms.