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The Corner Toolkit  >  Themed activities  >  The Corner goes Strait Home  >  Explore  >  My family tree

The Corner explores my family tree


Collecting colourUsing Collecting Colour by Kylie Dunstan as a literary launching pad, this activity will see children and parents working together to construct their own family tree illustrating things they have learned from each member of their family.


‘Family’ and ‘Kinship’ is very important in Torres Strait Islander culture. It determines one’s identity, totem and role within the community. Bloodlines also determine land ownership and sea boundaries; each family member plays an important role in passing on and maintaining Torres Strait Islander culture.

Key concepts
Relationships, genealogy and family learning

Key language
Family, learning

Family tree template
A prototype of the finished product


Activity steps

Introduce and read the book Collecting Colour by Kylie Dunstan. In the book, Olive’s Mum and Aunty take Olive and her best friend Rose out to collect materials to weave baskets.

familty tree template
Step 1: Purpose of the Family Tree

Explain the purpose of a family tree and show children the family tree activity and the finished prototype.


Strategic Questions:

Step 2:  Identifying family members and their roles

Using the family tree prototype, children can construct their own family tree drawing each member of their family – illustrating or writing down something they have done together.

Explain that all families are different in some way – you could have all brothers and no sisters, pets or even friends that make up your family. If you have boxes that don’t apply to your family you can leave them blank or include your friends, pets, aunties, uncles and cousins.

family tree identification

Strategic questions:

Step 3: Decorate

Once all their family members have been drawn, ask children to complete their family tree by drawing their own tree around the boxes constructing their own tree trunk, leaves and branches.

family tree

Strategic questions:



Last updated: 8th July 2013

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The Corner goes Strait Home

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