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STEM Stories: Woodstock use Indigenous storytelling techniques to tell their personal histories

 STEM Stories Woodstock article

Woodstock students have been investigating indigenous stories, symbols and totems to create myths about their personal histories in a special unit called STEM Stories.

“They looked for patterns in images of the night sky, mapped constellations and developed stories based on what they found,” Year 1 teacher Mrs Martin explains. "They experimented with making paint from natural materials such as ochre, the traditional method used by Indigenous people, to tell stories by creating symbolic images on white paper."

The unit has been named STEM Stories as Woodstock girls have to work together to problem solve and recreate texts using drawing, writing, performance and digital forms of communication. The girls have developed those stories using shells, stones and symbols. They have used shadow puppetry, astrological cards and clapping sticks.

After constructing their personal stories, students worked in small ‘family groups’ across K to 2 to mind map and create a collective story. They have been performing their group ‘myths’ in the piazza.

“The project is gaining fresh momentum as questions have emerged regarding how our brains work when we are learning.” Woodstock Coordinator Mrs Froggatt says. The Woodstock Dome has been transformed into a brain as the girls made connections and made ‘neurons’ to represent their learning.

There is a lot of thinking, problem-solving and collaboration going on in Woodstock.