Essential Question

How can we ethically engage with First Nations’ knowledges, stories and art to challenge the way we think about and compose performances using the dramatic element of ‘space’?

Warning — First Nations teachers and students are advised that this curriculum resource may contain images, voices or names of deceased people.

Unit details

Y7–Y8 Drama
Lesson Time: 40 minutes
Lessons: 8
Duration: 4 weeks

Australian Curriculum
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority.

Unit overview

It can be easy to reduce the dramatic element of ‘space’ to simple blocking exercises, but it offers us so much more. This unit will support your students to draw on First Nations’ knowledges and stories to find different perspectives on using space in their theatre- making. By refocusing attention on the spaces between bodies and objects, students can learn to move their bodies into the liminal spaces and create connections and relationships between their bodies that may not have previously been open to them. In this age bracket, this may be a welcome relief as bodies can become a source of anxiety as they change and grow during puberty.

The unit contains a range of observational, physical and philosophical activities that will challenge the class’s perspectives on space. Students will also have an opportunity to think about how cultural appreciation can enhance their theatre-making, while avoiding the pitfalls of cultural appropriation.

While this resource has been created so it can be taught in a linear fashion, feel free to start small. You may prefer to select a single activity that connects to what you’re teaching or about to teach. Even small actions can make a big difference.

Please keep in mind, you don’t need to be an expert on this topic – we often learn alongside our students.