It was wonderful to welcome Jonny 'The Didgeridoo Man' to Goldfield to launch Year 1's Australia Topic. Our day began with a school assembly to share some Australian and Aboriginal culture. Year 1 then continued the day learning about Australian animals, Aboriginal stories and dance, as well as taking part in didgeridoo decorating and playing workshops. Please scroll down to enjoy a selections of photographs and video clips taken during the day.
Please click on the play button below to listen to the didgeridoo Jonny played for us at the beginning of our school assembly.
Why does the Australian Flag have a Union Jack flag on it?
What does the symbol and colours represent on the Aborigine Flag?
What language do people speak in Australia? English but with a strong accent, although Australians do use Aussie slang, for example: G'day (hello), Bruce (man), Sheila (woman), Dingo (dog), Roo (kangeroo), Arvo (afternoon). It can be very hard to understand when spoken fast.
'Yolngu' Aborigine people are native Australian's and they speak a very different lanuage which can vary depending on the area of Australia they live in.
A didgeridoo is a blowing instrument, once it was a tree, but now it is hollow. Did you know that the word didgeridoo is an onomatopoeia - not a real word - it is made up! The name comes from the sound the instrument makes when played. Press the play button below to listen to the sound when Jonny plays the didgeridoo, you can hear the difference when Jonny says the word 'didgeridoo' and the sound that the instrument makes when played?
The Aborigine word for didgeridoo is 'Yirdaki' and the Aborigine people use the instrument to tell stories especially about animals. Close your eyes, imagine you are in Australia. Can you hear the different animal sounds in this didgeridoo story? (Press the play button below)
Aborigine 'Bilma' (clapping sticks) and 'Yerrawar' or 'Waroo' (boomerang)
There are many types of boomerang, the Aborigne people use them for hunting, they are very heavy and dangerous
'Cadgee, Yarnde' (spear) used for hunting, the Aborigines throw the spear and use a 'Woomurra' (spear thrower) which increases their throwing power. It's like having an extra elbow joint and arm giving the spear greater speed and distance when thrown
Uluru (Ayres Rock)
A sample of the sand from the ground of Uluru
We looked at lots of Australian animals, some we recognised but some were very unusual!
Australian children learn about spiders at school, some spiders are very big (the size of a dinner plate) these tend to be harmless, it's the smaller spiders that are dangerous and extremely venomous!
'Coolaman' (food gathering bowl) used mostly by Aborigine ladies to gather nuts and berries, but it also makes an excellent baby rocker!
'Tjuringa' 'Bull-roarer' (ceremonial noisemaker)
Please click on the play button below to hear some 'Bilma' (clapping sticks), 'Tjuringa' 'Bull-roarer' (ceremonial noisemaker) and a hand made wooden bird lure.
We listened to two Aboriginal 'Dreamtime' stories (stories from the creation of Australia, passed on to generations by Aborigine families). The first story 'The Rainbow Serpent' told how a giant serpent slithered it's way across Australia looking for water to drink, travelling all the way across Australia until it reached the sea. The serpent drank huge gulps of water filling his entire body. But how could the serpent return home, it couldn't go forward and couldn't turn around? The serpent reversed all the way home and as he did so, the shallow trail he left enabled the sea to follow him inland creating the first river in Australia and allowing the land and animals to come to life.
The second Dreamtime story 'The First Ever Didgeridoo Player' told the tale of 'Yerdaki' a famous Aboriginal hunter. The village people had run out of food and asked Yerdaki to go hunting for food as they were all so very hungry. Yerdaki set out with his spear and spear thrower and his 'Dilly' (bag).
Yerdaki walked all morning but couldn't find any food. Yerdaki walked all afternoon but couldn't find any food and as it began to get dark and colder Yerdaki realised that it was too late to return home to his village. He would have to make a camp for the night. He searched for some dried bushes and lit a fire to keep warm, but the dried bush would quickly burn out, so Yerdaki searched for something that would last the night. Eventually Yerdaki found an old dried tree trunk. He snapped it off and hit it on the ground. Lumps of mud came out along with some termites. The more Yerdaki banged the trunk the more mud and termites came out until eventually the tree trunk was hollow except for two tiny termites stuck in the trunk. Yerdaki blew into the top of the trunk, the termites blew out of the bottom and Yerdaki made the most magical new discovery. The tree trunk gave out the most wonderful sound! Yerdaki did not mind that the fire went out that night he was so excited by his new discovery and practised making sounds. He returned to the village the following day, the villagers were a little sad that Yerdaki did not have any food with him but they loved Yerdaki's new discovery and danced and danced as Yerdaki played the first ever didgeridoo!
Aboriginal people love to dance, a lot of their dances are animal dances. We learned to dance and match the movements of a dingo, and Joey. Jonny played didgeridoo music and just like the game of Simon Says we tried to match his music with the right animal dance. Please click on the play button below to see our animal dances.
To complete our Australia Day we made our own didgeridoo, we decorated the special tubes Jonny gave us with stickers and tape and then learned how to play them. Best of all is that we can take our didgeridoos home! Please click on the play button below to hear our 'Didgeridoo Bands' and scroll down to view photographs.
We would like to say a huge to Jonny. What an amazing day we have had learning about Australia, the Aboriginal culture, Australian animals and especially learning to play the didgeridoo! If you would like to find out more information visit Jonathan Cope's company website: http://www.soundforhealth.com/