Playbuilding Task - Reconciliation

Years 9/10

Suggested duration: Two lessons


Students will use improvisation to complete a playbuilding task that represents the various incarnations of the reconciliation movement in Australia. They will focus on various visual and sound motifs through which they can dramatise reconciliation concepts. They will use the ‘Let’s Celebrate’ chapter of The Little Red Yellow Black Book as a resource for inspiration to create their work.

The reconciliation movement began with an effort by Australians to acknowledge the wrongs done to us, to promise that such actions would never be repeated, and to adopt measures to repair the pain and loss we have experienced. Reconciliation requires that Australia acknowledges the manner in which it acquired the land and the fact that it has frequently crushed our attempts to seek common justice (The Little Red Yellow Black Book, p. 180).

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to structure their drama skills to engage an audience in reconciliation concepts
General capabilities Cross-curriculum priorities
Personal and social capability Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
Critical and creative thinking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures organising ideas: 2, 3, 5, 6
Ethical Understanding  

Australian Curriculum content descriptions

Years 9 and 10 Drama

  • Improvise with the elements of drama and narrative structure to develop ideas, and explore subtext to shape devised and scripted drama (ACADRM047).
  • Structure drama to engage an audience through manipulation of dramatic action, forms and performance styles and by using design elements (ACADRM050).

Provisions for differentiation

Learning support

Students with special needs can enjoy participation in this activity. Teachers may make suggestions and give guidance about roles according to student ability.


Students can write a reflection statement about their own and others’ performances in their drama logbooks or class notebook.


  • Activity cards (PDF)
  • Performance space
  • The Little Red Yellow Black Book - an introduction to Indigenous Australia (4th edition), Aboriginal Studies Press, ‘Let’s celebrate’, AIATSIS, Canberra, 2018.

Suggested online resources

For teachers

Ensure that the guidance notes included in The Little Red Yellow Black Book teacher resource have been considered.


  • Reconciliation
  • Motif

Preparation: Make copies of the Activity card sheet; cut out the cards. You may choose to laminate these for repeated use.

Lesson 1

Step 1.

Ask students to read the pages 180-187 of the The Little Red Yellow Black Book. You may choose to read extracts aloud to the class. Discuss the key ideas presented in the reading.

Step 2.

Arrange the students into four groups of six or more and distribute one Activity card to each group.

Step 3.

Instruct students to develop a performance incorporating actions, body movement and dialogue that represents the topic they have been assigned on their group’s Activity card. Draw students’ attention to the following principles to ensure that they can successfully build their scene:

  • take note of the participants involved in the part of the story shown on their group’s activity card
  • think about the motifs that are described on the activity card
  • think about the emotive content of their topic and how this might be represented in dramatic form
  • work out how different participants will be positioned in relation to one another
  • decide whether you will need any lines of dialogue in your performance - perhaps you can improvise your own.

Students should rehearse their performance for presentation in the next lesson.

Lesson 2

Step 1.

Have the students assemble in the performance space (or alternatively invite another audience) and have each group present their performance.

Step 2.

Hold a short discussion in which students provide each other with feedback on their performances. The focus of this discussion should be on the degree to which the final performance accurately represented the topic on the activity card.

Assessment ideas

  • Peer assessment of performances
  • Self-assessment of individual contributions to the group
Last reviewed: 8 Nov 2019