Primary School Preparation Aboriginal Dot Painting.
This week in the Primary School Preparation (PSP) class, the students are learning about Indigenous Australia. Today they were introduced to the Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories as presented by Dust Echoes. The story we focused on today was Moon Man which explains the origins of the moon and why it rises full each month. The deeper meaning of this traditional story is to teach children to break the cycle of violence and that two wrongs do not equal a right.
The children watched the video and then retold the story, first by writing it in their notebooks and then by turning it into a 6-cell cartoon. After this we studied Aboriginal tools such as spears, message sticks, canoes, woomeras and boomerangs. They were surprised to learn that not all boomerangs are designed to return to the thrower, that there is another kind of boomerang which is heavier than the ‘returning’ one and therefore travels further.
Next it was on to Aboriginal drawings and the art of dot painting. We looked at how the pictures used in the paintings actually tell a story, the history of a tribe or are used as a map. The students began the lesson by creating a story about themselves on a picture of a message stick. These sticks were carried by Aborigines when they travelled and served as an introduction to another tribe or even as a type of passport. In the late 18th century, there were more than 250 distinct Aboriginal social groupings, each with a different language so communication was sometimes a problem.
Finally, the afternoon lesson concluded with a video explaining how to use sticks and paintbrushes to create a dot painting. The Primary School Preparation (PSP) students were given wooden boomerangs and Australian shapes to create their masterpieces.