The reflecting phase of playbuilding with Aboriginal Pedagogies is the final section of a learning sequence for Stage 5 drama.

Learning maps: Plan your learning

Aboriginal ways of learning

Image: Learning Maps, Symbols and Images

Teaching strategies

Students present their place-based group performance to an invited audience from the school or local community. To begin this performance sharing, teachers should organise for Acknowledgement of Country to be delivered.

While watching each other’s performances, students can consider the questions below.

  • Are the links to land/place clear in this performance?
  • How and why is the place/land significant to the audience, the performers and the school/local community?
  • What is the impact of using non-linear story telling?
  • How did the group use images and movement to create dramatic meaning?
  • What elements of the natural world were used in the performance?
  • What new things did I learn from this performance?
  • What did this performance mean to me?

Students should be given time to record their responses to these questions in their logbooks (either drawn or written) so they can refer to them in the post-show yarning circle.

Teaching strategies

Following the performances, students take part in a yarning circle with the audience. The teacher could facilitate the discussion with questions such as:

  1. What did this performance mean to us as individuals and as a group?
  2. How can we use some of the knowledge we gained from the performances to improve our school community?
  3. Should we share these performances with anyone else? Why/why not?

Alternatively, display these questions on the board and give students and audience the opportunity to draw images and symbols of their responses to these questions. They could collaborate in this process by sitting in small circles and drawing on a shared sheet of paper, or they may do this individually. Some volunteers may then share these in a yarning circle.

Allow students at least one lesson to finalise their learning maps following the performance. Students submit these maps which visually represent their own experience of the process of the performance taking shape from initial ideas and exploration of land and place, through to the final staging choices and audience response to their performance.

Remind students that their learning maps should include:

  • a starting point
  • images and symbols
  • land links
  • the techniques explored
  • any changes in direction
  • the choices they made
  • the elements of drama used
  • the arrival at their final performance.

Students form small yarning circles and share their learning maps in their own groups and then move into a whole class circle to share highlights of the group’s journey with the cohort.

After submission and assessment, teachers can display these learning maps on the walls of the classroom, further recognising and embedding this Aboriginal learning practice of visual planning as a visible thinking routine in the drama classroom.

8 ways online date accessed 10/04/2021.

2016 Aboriginal pedagogy book - 8 WAYS by Dr Tyson Yunkaporta date accessed 10/04/2021.

Our Ways – Effective Practice in Aboriginal Education in NSW public schools date accessed 10/04/2021.

Map of Indigenous Australia date accessed 19/04/2021.

Narragunnawali date accessed 15/04/2021.

Blackstage date accessed 15/04/2021.

NSW AECG date accessed 15/04/2021.

PUTUPARRI and the Rainmakers date accessed 23/06/2021.

One Country, One People - Ngurra Kuju Walyja date accessed 08/06/2021.

Noongar people speak about a sense of place date accessed 22/06/2021.

Who We Are: Country Place date accessed 23/06/2021.

Yarning circle date accessed 14/07/2021.

The Arts Unit – Lunch Bites date accessed 13/07/2021.

NESA 2016 HSC OnSTAGE performance: The Dying Swan date accessed 13/07/2021.

Uluru Statement from the Heart date accessed 22/06/2021.

‘Ochres’ by Bangarra Dance Company date accessed 09/06/2021.

Partnership Agreement with the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc.. date accessed 23/08/2021.

Gambay Aboriginal Languages Map date accessed 23/08/2021.


Please note:

Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from Drama 7–10 Syllabus (2003) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017.


  • Drama 7-10
  • Stage 5

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
  • Teaching, Learning and Student Wellbeing
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