Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Dreaming stories

About this Illustration of Practice

A year 4 classroom teacher uses an Aboriginal dreaming story to engage Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in her class. She connects parts of the story through questioning to the students’ world and experiences, and uses the activity as a springboard for an imaginative writing task. The teacher encourages students to share their stories orally in small groups before drafting, writing, rereading and illustrating their final texts. The teacher is supported by a colleague in enabling a group of Aboriginal students to record and play back their stories on USB microphones.

Standard 1
Know students and how they learn
Focus area 1.4
Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
Career stage
Design and implement effective teaching strategies that are responsive to the local community and cultural setting, linguistic background and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Other descriptors
Standard 3
Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Focus area 3.4
Select and use resources
Career stage
Select and/or create and use a range of resources, including ICT, to engage students in their learning.
  1. What strategies might you use to target the learning needs of individual Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students?
  2. What digital resources or tools do you use to support the participation of all students in classroom activities?
Learning area
Year level
Year 4
Australian Curriculum content descriptions
Tom Price Primary School
Western Australia
Year level
Year 4
Related subject
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
Very Remote
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The school is located on the Innawonga and East Guruma Lands in the mining town of Tom Price, around 1600km from Perth. Twenty per cent of the school’s 330 students are Aboriginal and the school has a diverse student population due to the town’s mining industry. The teacher has worked at the school for four years. She has previously undertaken professional learning to enable her to better meet the needs of Aboriginal students in her class. She believes that the literacy and learning approaches used with Aboriginal students are equally valid for non-Indigenous students.

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2012 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.