4 —Our neighbours in Papua New Guinea
Read the recount of A day in the life of Damian, an 11-year-old boy from Papua New Guinea.
Have students draw up columns and list the similarities and differences between Damian’s life and their own. What questions come to mind when they read Damian’s story? For instance:
- what information about the life of an 11-year-old in Papua New Guinea did you discover from reading Damian’s recount?
- if you lived with Damian for a short time, which aspect of your life in Australia would you miss the most? Can you rank the things you would miss from most important to least important?
- Does the diary format (.pdf 422 kB) used in the magazine draw you into the story?
- Do you have unanswered questions about Damian’s life?
Learning about Papua New Guinea
Read an information report on Papua New Guinea (.pdf 315 kB) and discuss the purpose of the different features: map, photographs, graph, chart, sub-headings and written text. Locate Papua New Guinea on a world map and emphasise the proximity of Papua New Guinea as a near neighbour to Australia (the small map in the information report gives a close-up view of proximity).
Read the following cartoons and identify the different perspectives of people on Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.
Guardians of the River
In preparation for watching the video Guardians of the River, lead a short discussion about local and national celebrations, such as school concerts, community fairs and Australia Day.
The video shows one example of a PNG village preparing for and undertaking a celebration. Watching the five-minute clip will assist students to learn about this village in PNG and appreciate some of the similarities and differences in cultural practices.
Prompt comments on aspects of the cultural event the video shows, including noting details of the preparation and undertaking of the celebration.
Form small groups and allocate a topic to each group for their viewing focus. Topics could include: carving and painting, the setting of the village, children’s activities, food, clothing at different times, care of the environment and celebrations.
View the video a second time and ask groups to observe and record information about their specific topic. Students then make an annotated drawing that reflects their topic, that they can display and present to the class. As a class, use the annotated drawings as the basis for a table that compares the PNG village’s way of living with the same topics in their own Australian community. Draw some conclusions about how people in Australia and our regional neighbour conduct celebrations.
As an extension, students could research aspects of our PNG neighbours. Provide topics for the research, print texts, websites or online articles.
Who are our neighbours?
Have students complete the following cloze activity on Pacific Islands.
Global citizenship in action
In small groups, play Millennium Development Goals in PNG – a simulation game(.pdf 224 kB). Present your findings to the class or grade.