LEARNING ACTIVITY
Local seasons: exploring First Nations weather knowledge
Climate Region: Arid | Temperate | Tropical
State or Territory: ACT | All States/Territories | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA
Age Range: 7-13

STORY

Adam is a Wiradjuri man living on Ngunnawal land, so these perspectives are a mix of both of these local areas. Jarrah had a question for Adam and was looking forward to going for a walk with him in the bush on Wiradjuri Country. Jarrah asked “It’s Autumn at the moment but the leaves aren’t turning red and falling off the trees. Why?”

Adam replied “the plants in Australia don’t do that, we have different plants, animals and weather. The idea of four seasons comes from places in the Northern hemisphere like Europe where the plants lose their leaves in Autumn. We don’t have four seasons in Australia. We even have different seasons all over the country. First Nations Peoples have always known what the different seasons are by observing the changes in the weather, the sky during the day and night. They also know what happens to the plants and animals at different times of the year.” Jarrah was really interested in what Adam had to say. “Wow! That’s amazing, can you tell me more?” asked Jarrah.

ACTIVITY OVERVIEW

Australia is a large country with different climates (such as temperate, tropical and arid). The Northern Hemisphere model of the four seasons (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring) does not fit with Australia’s different climatic regions.

First Nations peoples across Australia have a detailed understanding of their environment, passing it down from generation to generation. They observe their environment closely, and use this knowledge to understand the changes in plants, animals and climate. Changes in the environment indicates what to eat, when to eat it, what to do, where to live and when to move. A deep understanding of the environment means survival and the continuation of the resources used for future generations.

Traditional stories have an importance for First Nations peoples in sharing how to live with the changing of seasons.

Outcomes

For children to:

  • observe daily changes in weather and the environment using their senses
  • explore how First Nations peoples are aware of the changing seasons through observing the weather, plants and animals explore local First Nations peoples seasons through Jarrah’s story to create a local seasons journal.
SEASONAL NOTES

This activity can be done at any time of the year.

Did you know?

Take what you need not what you greed – is a respectful practice or Yindyamarra in Wiradjuri language. Wiradjuri people are the largest group of First Nations peoples in New South Wales.

Did you know?

The sky can tell you when certain things are happening on the Earth. The position of the stars, moon and sun let people know what season it is, when the rains are coming, when to hunt and when to collect food.

Did you know?

Ants build the entrances to their nests depending on the weather. They use dark material during the cool weather to absorb the heat and use light material when it is hot to reflect the heat.

Did you know?

Take what you need not what you greed – is a respectful practice or Yindyamarra in Wiradjuri language. Wiradjuri people are the largest group of First Nations peoples in New South Wales.

Why not try one of our other Junior Landcare learning activities?

Whose Country: exploring First Nations peoples languages map (0-7yrs)

First Nations Perspectives

Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: site assessment

First Nations Perspectives

Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: planting

First Nations Perspectives

Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: resources from the bush

First Nations Perspectives