Implementation of “Australia: the Land down under and Aborigines” (SOI-HR-377)

Author: Jasmina Klanac, English teacher

School/Organization: Osnovna škola Bukovac, Zagreb

I chose the “Australia: the Land Down Under and Aborigines” scenario by Emiliana Rufo with my

12-13 years old students, because they are always eager to learn about different countries and

cultures, and their level of motivation, makes those types of lessons successful. CLIL lessons

always turn out to be the most inspiring ones since they give students the sense of learning

something meaningful and making connections across different curricula. Also, it was a great

opportunity to include yet another subject/topic in this scenario and that was art and dot painting

thus giving it added value.

Learning language across different subjects

The learning scenario was implemented offline during three English lessons (each 45 min) with a

group of 14 students learning English as a second foreign language. The students have been

learning English for six years but are very fluent, some of them already A2 level. Learning about

the culture, tradition, geography, history and art of English-speaking countries is an important

part of the curriculum of learning English as a foreign language every school year. Broadening

their knowledge of Australian culture, history and tradition students gain important knowledge of

the world around them, they can contrast it to their own cultural heritage and learn tolerance.

Introducing the topic

As an introduction to the topic I used following photoes and a video prompting the students to

guess the topic of our lesson. These are the materials which were not used in the original


plansch, skolplansch, Australnegrer | Europeana

Australien. Ayers Rock | Europeana

Ornithorhynchus anatinus | Europeana

Gudanjabro: Didjeri | Europeana

Baby kangaroo just born at | Europeana

What is Europeana?

After that, I used the same visual materials and steps of the original learning scenario allowing

students to learn more about the subject, discuss some issues, connect the subject with their

history and geography lessons on the topic, and to use the Europeana platform to find other visual materials that they can use in their presentations.

Mind mapping in Loopy CC BY-SA

Group work

They were given roles within their groups, as the author of the original scenario suggested, which worked brilliantly. What I did differently was giving each group a narrower topic for their presentation, so 1st group got geography, 2nd group had history, 3rd group got Aboriginal culture and 4th group got places worth visiting. They were also allowed to search for the materials outside the Europeana platform but were advised to name the source and the author of a particular material. They started working on their presentations in class but had to finish them at home.

Presentation and assessment

During the next lesson, each group presented their work in front of the rest of the class. We discussed certain facts, and the students were given self and peer-assessment papers. They had some concrete observations and suggestions for their peers, and I recommend using the Two Stars and a Wish type of peer assessment.

Presenting group work product (Padlet) CC BY-SA

Introduction of a new topic

I introduced a new topic – dot painting practiced by Aborigines. We analyzed the technique introducing vocabulary related to art and we discussed some of the paintings found in Europeana. I also added some more from other sources showing original Aboriginal pieces, but also pieces inspired by them.

painting (art) | Europeana

painting | Europeana

painting (art) | Europeana aboriginal dot painting – Google pretraživanje

How to draw and paint DOT ART | STEP BY STEP | TADA-DADA Art Club – YouTube

Art workshop

In the next class, students brought their paints and were invited to paint their pictures using this technique. This activity was immensely fun, and students enjoyed being creative. They commented that art activities should be done more frequently in other subjects and not just in art classes. They felt relaxed and positive.

Rich learning experience

Students develop and improve all language skills (reading, listening, speaking, writing) and their communication, collaboration, peer learning, and critical thinking skills. They revised and broadened vocabulary related to different subjects.

They develop their digital skills, design skills, and creativity by using a web tool (Padlet), the Europeana platform but also basic art skills (dot painting).

Inspired by Aboriginal art- done by 12-13 years old students at Primary School Bukovac CC BY-SA

Due to their comments, they enjoyed painting the most because they felt well, relaxed, and more positive about the time spent in school.

Teaching with Europeana is a great source of different kinds of materials, inspiration, teaching, and assessment techniques. They open a whole new view on different teaching practices and with each learning scenario or story of implementation, you learn something new.

Europeana platform is a neverending and useful source of different kinds of materials that can be used both by educators and students. It is necessary to teach and show by example how to search for a particular material, and how to narrow your search using different filters but it has proven to be very easy to use with students as young as 12 or 13 years old. I found plenty of other teaching resources for this learning scenario (links above).

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Australia: the Land down under and Aborigines (EN-CUR-606) created by Emiliana Rufo

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? You might also like: 

Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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