First Nations Astronomy: Understanding the Stars

First Nations Astronomy: Understanding the Stars

Lesson 1 of 8 in this unit

  • Cool+
  • Secondary
  • Year 10
  • Science
  • Earth and Space
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • Social
  • Indigenous Education
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students learn about First Nations Australians’ knowledge of celestial bodies and how this knowledge was used by comparing interpretations of the night sky and researching observations made by a First Nations group.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand that many cultures have observed, interpreted and utilised information from the night sky
  • understand that all Australian Indigenous Nations developed knowledge of celestial bodies
  • understand that interpretations of knowledge vary between Indigenous groups across Australia
  • understand the methods used to collect astronomical data and the modes of dissemination of astronomical data by Indigenous Australians.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • reflect upon a range of cultural interpretations of celestial phenomena
  • identify an Indigenous sky figure from an Indigenous nation
  • articulate the diversity of knowledge generated from astronomical observation by Indigenous Australians
  • research an Indigenous Australian nation’s interpretation of natural phenomena based upon astronomical observation.

Lesson guides and printables

Student Worksheet
Teacher content info
Lesson plan
Understanding The Stars

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content descriptions:

Year 10 Science:

Students learn to:

  • Describe how the big bang theory models the origin and evolution of the universe and analyse the supporting evidence for the theory (AC9S10U03)

General capabilities: Intercultural understanding

Syllabus outcomes: SC4-12ES

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

Relevant parts of Year 10 Science achievement standards: They (students) sequence key events in the origin and evolution of the universe and describe the supporting evidence for the big bang theory.

Resources required


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • problem-solving
  • curiosity
  • research
  • cultural understanding
  • intercultural understanding
  • creativity
  • communication
  • reflection

Additional info

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that these lessons may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High - articulate the concept of scientific curiosity from an intercultural perspective, facilitate idea generation strategies.

This is an original Cool+ lesson.

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