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Guide students towards recognising any broader categories that the range of suggestions might fall under.
Of course, Wright also explored universal themes common to all poets in all times.
Activity: Prior understandings placemat Prepare five large sheets of paper, each with ONE of the following headings and numbered one to five: Before the activity, ask students what major challenges Australia faces in the present and into the future.
In a 1963 ABC television interview (video extract), Wright talks of ‘conquering’ ten years before the term appears in ‘Two Dreamtimes’.
Compare Oodgeroo Noonuccal‘s poem ‘We are Going‘ (1970) to ‘Bora Ring’ (p.8) and ask students to comment on how their knowledge of the cultural backgrounds of the two poets influences their response to the poems.
Extension (time permitting): Students can be asked to rank the topics in terms of urgency and/or importance for Australian society to deal with. Actively listen to a lecture on Judith Wright Have students actively listen to a lecture on Judith Wright by Professor Lyn Mc Credden, broadcast on Radio National’s web page.
The total length of the lecture is 50 minutes, but for the purposes of this activity, it is sufficient to end the lecture at .An opportunity to address the Information and Communication Technology General Capability exists with this task, by allowing students to use an online mind-mapping tool.Mind-maps can reflect upon: After being given the opportunity to do this individually, it would be worthwhile to enable students who have mind-mapped the same poem to compare observations, ideas and responses.If possible, it would be useful to have print-outs of the poems available to stick to a larger sheet of paper.The branches of the mind-map can then emanate from the poem, with relevant connections and annotations.Activity: Artistic interpretation Draw two pictures that represent ideas concerning the poet’s role and/or challenge using the image depicted in each of the two stanzas.Use the pictures, with relevant references to the poem, to drive a discussion about the nature and functions of poetry.Teachers may nominate aspects to compare in each set, for example: The tension between Wright’s pastoral family history and her despair for the ill-treatment of Aboriginal people, the violent dispossession of their land and destruction of culture, is well documented.Wright addresses this in her book of essays, (a title taken from a line in ‘Two Dreamtimes’, p.315).The poems discussed in the lecture and page numbers are listed in the Note-taking Framework.Students select one of the poems discussed in the lecture and create a mind-map that forms connections between different ways of reading it.