Go to page Content

Night and day

Sunset through clouds over a lake, with a clear blue sky above clouds and the lake shore in darkness

Above:  Sunset over Lake Illawarra, NSW, photo by Ozguy89, public domain image, no copyright

About this unit:

The primary focus of this unit of work is a literature study of Dreaming stories and folktales from a variety of cultures, related to the theme of night and day. The students will also explore the scientific concepts of night and day, to build scientific knowledge and understanding of the phenomena. More

Duration and sequence pathways:

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. 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. More information

Resources used:

See a list of resources used in each sequence, plus additional teaching resources.

Unit writer:

Danielle Cavanagh

Australian Curriculum: English Year 3

Sequence 1: What is in the sky?

Sequence 2: What words do we know about night and day?

Sequence 3: Sun up, Sun down

Sequence 4: Acting out and making models

Sequence 5: Information reports: What is in the sky?

Sequence 6: Information report planning and writing

Sequence 7: Australia’s first astronomers

Sequence 8: The Rabbit in the Moon, a Japanese folktale

Sequence 9: The Magic Brocade, a Chinese folktale

Sequence 10: Folktales from Nigeria

Sequence 11: How Maui Tamed the Sun, a New Zealand folktale

Sequence 12: Writing a modern folktale

Australian Curriculum: English Year 3

How Cross-curriculum priorities relate to this unit

The Cross-curriculum priorities are evident within the unit from Sequence 7. The unit has links to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia.

In Sequence 7 the focus of the activities is to explore and to develop an understanding of the unique belief systems of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. There is an opportunity for teachers to engage with local community groups and for students to develop an awareness of the spirituality of Indigenous Australians and their connectedness to land, sea, sky and waterways.

In Sequences 8 and 9 the focus of the activities is to explore the traditions and cultures of China and Japan through the examination of folktales and stories. The students are encouraged to explore the geographical, demographic and cultural traditions of both of these Asian nations as part of these sequences.

Australian Curriculum: English Year 3

How General Capabilities relate to this unit

In each sequence there is a focus on the Literacy general capability, with particular emphasis in Sequences 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on reading, viewing, writing and creating within the context of using and understanding science texts and methods and the way language is used in science in specific ways.

Sequences 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 and 12 focus on the Personal and Social capability with opportunity for students to work collaboratively in pairs and small groups. Sequences 5 and 9 focus on the Information and Communication Technology capability with students using information and communication technology for investigations, creation of presentations and to communicate ideas and new knowledge.

Sequences 5 and 6 focus on the Critical and Creative Thinking capability as students develop questions and investigate answers to these questions. Sequences 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 focus on the Intercultural Understanding capability as students engage in learning and activities that allow them to develop awareness, knowledge and understanding of other cultures.

Curriculum summary for this unit:

The summary tables provide links to Year 3 Content Descriptions for English across the three strands of literature, literacy and language and sub-strands with links to relevant elaborations, sequences and activities, and links to the science curriculum sub-strands of science understanding, and science inquiry skills.

Rich assessment tasks:

In Assessment task 1: Information report on the Sun, the students write a report that adheres to the class-constructed format. In Assessment task 2: Folktale about the Sun or Moon, the students write a story based on the folktale model. In both assessment tasks the students are provided with a rubric to guide their writing, which is also an assessment tool.