In my final prac placement the class’ history unit surrounded the concept of important places in our local area. Throughout the term we looked at the history of Canberra, how the Ngunnawal people and the ‘white people’ have used and currently use the land and specifically the culture of the Ngunnawal people and how we can identify as being similar and different from their different cultural ways.

The teachers planned an excursion to Namadgi National Park, specifically Yankee Hat Mountain Rock Art, which has Ngunnawal rock paintings from thousands of years ago. Click here to read more. Although the art is not all we learned about!

  • We walked beside native and introduced animals (kangaroos, rabbits and wombats)
  • We explored the landscape and plants (giant rocks, the Australian Alps, tall gums, grasses and bushes)
  • We drew pictures of the landscape and left messages in the visitors box
  • We created a stick and bark hut
  • We took photos along our trip using the class’ Ipads

This excursion was so valuable to our learning and expanding the childrens’ ideas and concepts of the local landscape and Ngunnawal culture.

Although the rock art was supposed to be the key attraction, I’d say we all loved building the stick hut best!

While it had already been started by another group the children felt it could be greatly improved! So they started gathering sticks and bark to make it bigger but also more protected from the elements. While I had expected them to collect 1 metre branches they ended up finding branches 5 metres+ long! It was amazing they would pick them up as a small group, bring them to me as they knew they were too large for them to handle and I would carefully place them in the structure! We were all so wrapped up it is task we stayed for 45 minutes and eventually had to be dragged away from our amazing construction. It was clear from this experience that the children were demonstrating their knowledge of caring for the land, working together, behaving safely in the bush and using natural materials to create tools and structures.