Outcomes: TS3.2, RS3.5, ENS3.6, WS3.9, LTS3.3, PSS3.5, INVS3.7, DMS3.8,
- Aboriginal Technology: Women?s Technology
- Mortar and pestle
- Wheat and grass seeds
- Ingredients and equipment to make damper
- Collecting pippies
- Pictures #6, 7, 8, 9, 10
- Student worksheet 2 - How to make damper
- Student work sample 4 - Grinding wheat
- Student work sample 5 - Making damper
- Emu, Brolga and the Grinding Stone text #11
- Strips of cardboard
- Large sheets of paper
Pose the question: 'What are the four essential items needed
for human survival?' (food, shelter, fire and water)
Suggested discussion points:
What roles did men have in traditional Aboriginal communities?
also had important roles; what do you think they were?
How do you
think children contributed to community life?
What roles do
people in your family have?
How do you contribute to your household?
Are the roles for women, children
and men different in today's Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal families?
Why is it important that everybody cooperates
and contributes to community life?
Read 'Aboriginal Technology:
Students list the roles of traditional
Aboriginal women and the types of technology developed, both traditional
and contemporary. Invite students to share their information. Teacher
scribes list for display.
As an additional or alternative
activity: Invite an Aboriginal woman to discuss the role of women in
traditional communities and the variety of technology they created to
fill their needs.
Show Thomas Dick Collection photographs
of women collecting pippies and cooking them in a sand oven.
Pose the question:
'Why was it so important for traditional Aboriginal women to have knowledge
How would the women know where to
find the food?
Would the seasons affect what the
community ate? Why?
In what ways would they prepare and
cook their food?
What safety precautions would they
How do we prepare our food?
What will occur if we do not prepare
our food properly?
How do we keep safe in the kitchen?
Use the National Parks and Wildlife
Service website for information.
Explain that most traditional Aboriginal communities harvested seeds of native millet, which only grows in the summer months. Some groups overcame the problem by gathering the grass seeds while they were green and stacking them in heaps until they ripened. Seed-grinding stones were larger and flatter than stones used to grind other plants. Show pictures of carrying dish from Aboriginal Technology: Women?s Technology (Barlow, p 9), #6, #7, #8 from Bush Food Aboriginal Food and Herbal Medicine (Isaacs, cover) and Aborigines Feeding from Beached Whales from The Lycett Album.
Activity: Show children a mortar and
pestle. Place some wheat or grass seeds inside. Invite students to
grind the seeds to flour (best done outside the classroom). Some students
wish to experiment with trying to grind the seeds with stones. (See
student work sample 4.) Discuss what students would mix with
the seed flour to make bread, how they would cook it if a stove was
the difficulties they could have and the amount of time it would
take to grind enough seeds to make a loaf of bread.
Review the rules
of kitchen safety,
cooperation and hygiene. Distribute copies of student worksheet
equipment and utensils. Read the instructions and discuss. In small
prepare and make damper.
Alternate activity: read Johnny
Cakes from Big Mob Books For Little Fullas. Make johnny cakes with
the students using the procedure from the text.
Take photographs of students preparing
and eating the damper (see student work sample 5).
Discuss the following: Would you
like to prepare and eat bread in the traditional Aboriginal way? Give
Visit a local supermarket or show
students some of the range of bushfoods sold today. A tasting may also
be able to be arranged through contact with a local restaurant. These
may include lemon myrtle tea, macadamia ice-cream, wattle seed damper,
wild tomato cheese, rosella jam.
Show images of bushfood (#9,
||Use Emu, Brolga and the grinding stone as a model and ask
students to write a Dreaming story about a cooking utensil. (See
copy of text from Aboriginal Technology: Women?s Technology p
||Research activity: Ask students to research the life cycle
of an Australian bird, reptile or insect. Discuss the importance
of this knowledge to traditional Aboriginal communities. What were
the restrictions applied to Aboriginal totems?
||Encourage students to try grinding grain seeds with two rocks.
Discuss the outcome.
||Research medicines used by Aboriginal communities – where were
they found and how were they prepared? Are these medicines used today?
||Discuss with a guest speaker or research Aboriginal health issues
today and compare them with traditional communities, eg sugar, breads,
alcohol, processed food, variety of protein foods.
||Organise a food festival. Each student brings in a plate of their
favourite food and the recipe used to make it. Create a class recipe
||Design a menu for ?The Bush Tucker Restaurant?.
||Grow wheat from seeds. Record growth. Investigate the process of
bread making from the farm to the table.
||Bake a ?damper? by using wheat seeds (grind with a coffee grinder
to speed up the process). Compare and contrast the taste of this
bread to damper produced using the recipe supplied for this lesson
continue on to
learning sequence 3