When We Go Walkabout Learning Time

Resource type: 
Learning Time

When We Go Walkabout

Yirruwa Yirrilikenuma-langwa

By Rhoda Lalara and Alfred Lalara
Theme: Adventures (May 2014)
A beautiful story that brings to vivid life the unique world of Groote Eylandt and its Indigenous People.
Groote Eylandt is situated on the Gulf of Carpentaria, 640 kilometres from Darwin. ‘Groote Eylandt’ is
Dutch for Great Island, and the Dutch were the first Europeans to explore and map this region and
gave it this name. The Anindilyakwa language is an ancient Indigenous language that is still spoken
today on Groote Eylandt by the Warnindilyakwa people.This book was produced through the Emerging
Indigenous Picture Book Mentoring Project, a joint initiative between The Little Big Book Club and Allen
& Unwin, with funding from the Australian Council for the Arts.

Key Message for Parents: Children Learn Through Being Engaged and Doing

We can help children learn in an active, engaged way by:
  • Reading picture books, which provide opportunities to stimulate meaningful play experiences for children
  • Giving exposure to rich language, hands on experiences and the chance to repeat activities
  • Talking, singing and sharing stories. These early experiences help children develop language and social skills by making important connections in their brain.

Learning Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity

As educators we can promote knowledgeable and confident self-identities in children by:
  • Talking in respectful ways about the similarities and differences in people
  • Providing children with examples of the many ways identities and culture are recognized and expressed
  • Actively supporting the maintenance of home language and culture, and sharing languages with each other.

Before Reading

You can introduce the children to the book and explain that it is written in two languages. You may only
be able to read the English version, but you can point out the words that are written in Anindilyakwa, an
Indigenous language specific to the people on Groote Eylandt. You can talk about Australian animals
and ask the children if they can name any. If you have a picture or a soft toy of an Australian animal
you can share it to help the children build up their vocabulary and understanding of Australian animals
before you begin.

During Reading

If you are able to share both languages then take your time on each page with both versions of the
text. If you are reading the text in English, it is strongly encouraged that you give the Indigenous word
for each animal a try. This will enable the children to experience hearing words in a language other
than English and to help them to appreciate that each culture has their own words for the same things.
You can do this respectfully, highlighting the importance of appreciating our differences.
Depending on your setting, you may have children who speak more than one language who may also
know the word for an animal that they can share.

After Reading

If appropriate to your setting, you can listen to story creator Rhoda Lalara read the text in Anindilyakwa
You can also talk about all of the animals that you found out about in the book. Name each animal and
talk about where they were found. You can talk about the sounds of each creature. You can also talk
about the description of the animal: croaking, hiding, hopping, calling. You might like to try some
actions for each of the animals. You can also revist the song from the beginning of the session, and
sing it while doing some actions for each animal.

For full learning time sheet please download attached PDF
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