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

Symbols and images: Elements of production

Aboriginal ways of learning

Image: Symbols and Images, Non-verbal

Teaching strategies

In the class or group yarning circle, acknowledge that (like non-verbal communication) Aboriginal ways of knowing recognise that pictures and images can communicate meaning beyond words. Ask students if they can think of a way this idea is applied in theatre? Facilitate the sharing of use of elements of production/design to enhance dramatic meaning in theatrical performances. This may include:

  • set
  • costume
  • lighting
  • sound design
  • makeup
  • blocking.

Show suitable short clips from ‘Ochres’ by Bangarra Dance Company as inspiration for further embedding the natural world in group performances through production elements (costume, set and sound design).

Students spend this phase further refining and enhancing their performance through the addition of appropriate elements of production.

This is also an opportunity for students to visually map their design ideas and the ways they might use the production elements to create stronger links to land and place.


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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