This unit presents a learning sequence for a topic, the mystery of Narrabeen Man, which is a case study for investigating the nature of the sources for ancient Australia and what they reveal about Australia’s past.
Time is not seen as a linear construct in all cultures. Teachers should be mindful that the backward documentation of time in the BC era may cause confusion for students with the backward notation of the years.
Students will have to deal with both the subject content and the language needed to synthesise this content. Encourage the use of a thesaurus when teaching this skill. Work with the vocabulary and conjunctions needed to show understanding of the sources used. The use of supports such as retrieval charts in the early stages of this activity will be beneficial.
Vocabulary building is most important in this area. Nominalisation (the changing of a verb into a noun) is used widely in historical texts (settle – settlement, invade – invasion). These texts are difficult for EAL/D students to unpack and to reproduce. Oral repetition of the words, continual aural and visual reinforcement of the words and their meanings, and simple explanations of the skills required are useful. Build lists of nominalised verbs in context and ensure that these are available to students.