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Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.

Duration and pathways: Using this unit in the classroom

Each of the 12 learning sequences in the unit is expected to take about 90 mins of teaching time. The unit itself is intended to run from six to eight weeks but teachers may choose to spend less or more time on some of the activities, so shortening or lengthening the duration of the unit. Much of the reading time will take place outside these times. For example, teachers may read parts of the texts to the students during daily teacher read-aloud sessions and students may read the focus texts and others they have selected with similar themes during independent reading time or at home.

Ideally, the unit sequences would be taught in the order in which they have been written but other pathways are possible. Sequences 3 to 5 deal mainly with Land Rights and Sequences 6 to 11 treat The Stolen Generations. Teachers could change the order of teaching of these two blocks, although some aspects of The Stolen Generations are taught at the beginning of Sequence 12.

There is some overlap in the formative and summative assessment tasks, so teachers need to take this into account if they change the order of the learning sequences.

The formative assessment task is completed over three weeks in Sequences 6 to 10. In this task students construct an iceberg diagram showing events leading up to the National Apology to The Stolen Generations. They meet weekly in small groups to monitor each other’s progress and take advice from the teacher who asks them questions about the task.

The summative assessment task commences in Sequence 10 and must be completed one week before the opening of the class museum. The task, which is in two parts, requires students to choose a person or event that has made a significant contribution to the furthering of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. Students will create a presentation comprising a speech or petition designed to persuade their peers and their teacher that the person or event is worthy of inclusion in the class museum. The second part of the task requires students to create a literary text in a form of their choice about the person or event they have chosen.

Sequence Sequence title Texts Sequence links Assessment


Framing a historical inquiry






Whose history?


Land rights – Great speeches, part 1

Gough Whitlam’s speech to the Gurindji people

Land Rights


Petitioning people in power

Gurindji petition to Lord Casey


From little things big things grow

From Little Things Big Things Grow,
‘Waltzing Matilda’ and other ballads


The Stolen Generations – Great speeches, part 2

Kevin Rudd’s apology to The Stolen Generations;
‘Sorry Song’

The Stolen Generations

Formative assessment,
Sequences 6–10


Why say sorry?

Took the Children Away


Building background and cultural knowledge

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence


What was there to lose?


Taken away

Summative assessment, Sequences 10–12


The escape



Sharing what we know