Australian Aboriginal Illustration

Free Lesson Plans, Games,

The earliest human inhabitants of Australia are called Australian Aboriginal people. They began living all over the continent of Australia over 50,000 years ago!

These early people were hunters and gatherers. But they also farmed. They set controlled fires to burn plants because some plants in Australia only drop their seeds after they burn. This also left behind rich ash soil, allowing editable plants to quickly grow again. This attracted wild animals, like kangaroos, which they then hunted for food. They fished with lines from the shore and dropped nets by canoe. They hunted with spears and boomerangs. They made clothing from animal skins.

Each tribe, or First Nation, who came to Australia, probably from Africa, had their own way of doing things, with their own history, customs, laws, and beliefs. They called their way of doing things "songlines". To become an Elder or a leader of a First Nation, that person had to know all the songlines of the tribe, and be able to teach those songlines to the kids. Not only did each First Nation have its own songline, it had its own language. There were over 250 different First Nations, and thus over 250 different languages spoken thousands of years ago on the continent of Australia.  

These early nations had something important in common. Somehow, they devised a system of request. Each nation made its home on a certain piece of Australian land. To move from one part of Australia to another, a traveler(s) would ask permission of the tribe living there. They carried a message stick with them.

They also had dances and instruments in common, perhaps not at first, but as time went on and as tribes traded and communicated with each other. The most unique instrument was the long didgeridoo, made out of hollow tree branches, and instrument still played today.

For Kids

Aboriginal People of Australia

The First Australian (Video for kids)

Digeridoo for Kids

For Teachers

Aboriginal Art and Story telling lesson plan

Australia's First People mini unit

Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories lesson plans

Australian Dot Art (video lesson)

All About Australia (free download, TPT)

Australia for kinderkids (free download, TPT)