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

Non-linear: New ways

Aboriginal ways of learning

Image: Non-linear, Learning Maps, Deconstruct Reconstruct

Teaching strategies

As each group reaches the structuring phase, in their yarning circle, direct them to the Non-linear symbol and facilitate a conversation around this image of two paths reaching a meeting point. Acknowledge the parallels between this way of Aboriginal learning and the creative process of structuring a playbuilt performance.

Remind students of the task description and that their final performance must be non-linear and may include flashbacks, a narrator and or be retold from multiple points of view.

When playing with structure, students may try performing their 4 minutes of material using some of the techniques outlined below.

  • Replay the scene from the different perspective of each character.
  • Play the scene in reverse.
  • Add narration to a scene.
  • Change the order of scenes.
  • Swap characters.
  • Use flashbacks.
  • Start at the highest point of tension.
  • Try different ways of transitioning between scenes (movement, sound, segues, narration, placards).
  • Return to the beginning (cyclical).

Continue rapid sharing and feedback cycles throughout this structuring phase, ensuring that the structure (path) serves the intended meaning (meeting point) and that the story being shared is still clearly linked to and inspired by the group’s chosen place. If this link is becoming unclear, students should be encouraged to return to the place and/or the material gathered on their field trip.

When groups have selected and structured their ideas into a 4-6 minute performance, they should move into the rehearsal phase.


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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