I started out by showing the kids a map of the world. Kids know about the native Americans (hopefully) and the Aboriginals in Australia have similar culture. Discuss things about Australia and the Aboriginal life.
Students were fascinated about the Aboriginal symbols. They had lots of questions about them. We start out by using the symbols to write a story. They have to write the story in English and in Aboriginal. Once they have a story they can tell it to one another at their tables to see if they make sense to each other.
Then they use the back of their planning paper to sketch out how the symbols will be arraigned compositionally. Some symbols can be larger, others small. Can we repeat symbols to fill up space like stars or animals or trees. Symbols don’t even need to be right side up. Once a design is sketched they move it to a big brown paper, pencil first, outline sharpie. The symbols that can we colored in we used earth tones and made a list together what earth tones are and why.
Dots. As a class we practice making dots on a practice paper. Show them how to gently make the dots using Qtips. Show them how it to do it like to not bang the Qtip. Once they get the hang of it they can apply the dots to final paper!