It’s no secret that our Grasshopper children are very creative and love expressing their imaginations in different and innovative ways, such as dramatic play and storytelling.
As they engage in story telling experiences through the creative arts we decided to introduced an Aboriginal digging stick to the children during our yarning circle. We came up with many theories as to how it was traditionally used and we could see the children’s minds ticking over, wondering and analysing the stick before coming to their own conclusions.
‘What about a type of spear to catch the barramundi?’ Or to ‘scratch the bark off the tree for our Gunyah’, were some suggestions, until we established that the flat end was for digging in the dirt and the pointy end was for drawing the symbols on the land to tell a story, like how we have books.
Learning the Traditional Aboriginal art of storytelling, provided the Grasshoppers with so much joy and enthusiasm as they were given the opportunity to create their own story in the sand box. We placed the Aboriginal symbol cards around the sand box to allow the children the opportunity to utilise these throughout their story. Holding the stick with both hands they each took turns in creating their own stories.
“The cows are chasing the Aboriginal people so they have to hide in the trees to keep safe” – Oskar – 4.11yrs
“I made the sky and the rainbow snake is in the sky. He is stuck in the storm so we have to tell everyone to be careful if there is a storm because he might smash our houses. See here are the clouds and he is hiding. He is very cheeky” – Aaliyah – 4.11yrs
“There are lots of Zombies in the bush and they can’t eat the brains anymore and they have to eat the wriggly grubs because they hurt too many people so now they have to eat the bush tucker like the Aboriginal people” – Leo – 4.10yrs
“The dinosaurs are chasing the Aboriginal people so the Aboriginal people have to hide in the humpies” – William – 4.3yrs
“The Aboriginal people are eating the bush tucker with the scary monsters because they aren’t afraid of them and the monsters are being nice to them because they are sharing their food” – Hudson – 4.10yrs
Throughout this experience the Grasshopper children were able to develop their interest in storytelling by utilising traditional writing methods used by Aboriginal people, which provides children with numerous learning opportunities, including literacy and pre-reading & writing skills with Indigenous perspectives added into the mix.
Emily & Caitlin