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 selection of photographs and video clips taken during the day.
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. Can you hear the different animal sounds in this didgeridoo story? (Press the play button below)
Please click on the play button below to listen to the didgeridoo Jonny played for us at the end 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.
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
The Aborigine people have to hunt for their food, there are no supermarkets in the outback. Nothing is wasted, leather is used for hats and boots and fur for rugs or clothing to keep warm.
'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.
Aboriginal art is made up of tiny dots and symbols that have meaning. For example a round circle can represent a waterhole, bollabong or meeting place.
Jonny's special basket has been hand woven by an Aborigine woman and he keeps his special and very precious Aborigine paint in there. The paints are found in river beds. When they are dry they look like stones, but when they are wet they turn very soft and can be used as paints. There are four colours, white, brown, red and black. The black comes from charcol. You can see these colours painted on Jonny's musical instruments.
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!
The duck bill platypus has poison in their back webbed feet
We listened to an Aboriginal 'Dreamtime' story (stories from the creation of Australia, passed on to generations by Aborigine families). '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.
Aboriginal people love to dance, a lot of their dances are animal dances. We learned to dance and match the movements of a dingo, emu 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!