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Using this unit in the classroom

This unit of work focuses on students exploring how a variety of traditional and contemporary cultures have sought to explain the concepts of night and day through stories, while also building scientific knowledge and understanding of the phenomena. The students will engage in activities that allow them to explore their prior knowledge and to develop their questioning and analysis skills. Assessment tasks are open ended and provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their new knowledge, skills and understandings in a variety of formats. 


While the 12 sequences of this unit build upon each other to engage the students in the topic, there are separate pathways you may use when working with your students. Sequences 1–6 focus on exploring the science concepts through enquiry and literacy activities, with particular emphasis on developing understandings of the particular organisational and language features of texts such as information reports and explanations. Sequences 7–12 examine Dreaming stories and folktales from other cultures that have the common theme of night and day or Sun and Moon. In the final part of the unit the students will write their own narrative using the folktale genre.

You may decide to focus solely on the science aspect and develop student knowledge and understanding of the topic while they learn how to describe and explain the phenomena using the information report and explanation genres. Sequences 1-6 would be best suited for this approach, although it is recommended that student interest be engaged through the use of some of the literature activities from Sequences 1 and 2. 


Each sequence is designed to take one to two 45-minute lessons to complete, with additional time needed for students to carry out research during Sequence 4. There are opportunities throughout the final part of the unit for further development of the topic and to conduct group research into each of the countries from which the folktales are drawn. The students will require additional time to complete the assessment tasks.