Six teaching ideas for Australia Day

River Tree, Wellington Point Brisbane by Jennifer ReneeSorry but this post is actually a little bit LAST MINUTE because I got distracted by the whole celebrity thing (see the last post) and forgot this one. However, I did receive a request about this and being a fellow Commonwealth citizen thought I’d suggest some ideas. Here are six ideas to coincide with Australia Day which is celebrated on January 26. Use any of these for a class this week.

1. Do an Australia Quiz! This is the easiest and most straightforward activity. If you can’t think of questions beyond kangaroos and Crocodile Dundee then check out the official Australian citizenship test for more information. Either that, or get students to do the research on the internet and make their own quiz.

2. Talk citizenship! At the Australia Day site there is a section called My Two Cents. This has a lot of small texts by people talking about what it means to be Australian. You could take one or more of these, let students read them and then ask them to make a similar text about citizenship in their country.

3. Teach Australian words and expressions! Go to this site to find a list of Australian popular slang expressions. I’d take some of these and make them into an activity as follows. I’d give each group of students some of the words and definitions. They make two or three alternative definitions for each of the words and then present them all to another group who has to guess the correct definition.

4. Listen to some Australian accents! If you are Australian yourself then skip this one – they hear you enough already! However, I found the following site of world voices. It’s basically a place for voice actors to leave a clip (like an audio calling card). You can download samples for free. Maybe use some of these as a dictation, or play them along with other accents and ask students to see if they can spot the difference. 

5. Find out about Australian Aboriginal art! Find and print some images of aboriginal art (I used this site) and ask students to do a “compare and contrast” speaking exercise about them. Don’t tell them where the paintings come from, ask them to guess and speculate about the meaning behind them. Once they’ve finished, you could provide them with this information about Australian aboriginal art and the concept of Dreaming.  

6. Watch trailers  from films that feature Australia! If you have an internet connection you could get students to watch trailers of different films that feature Australia. Examples could be Australia, Crocodile Dundee, Gallipoli, Priscilla Queen of the Desert…Ask students to find out what the trailers have in common, i.e. what elements of Australia are they “fronting”. How is Australia being packaged? This could also be assigned for homework if you didn’t have the connection. Alternatively you could set up a “trailer treasure hunt” with these films. Make questions like “Which film is about WWI? Which film stars a man with a big knife?” etc

Published in: on January 26, 2009 at 9:23 pm  Comments (2)  
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