Bring this historic event to life in your classroom.
I’m not going to lie. Some of the topics in the Australian Curriculum are not very exciting and it can be a challenge to spruce them up and make them fun. Luckily there are other topics that you, and your students, can really sink your teeth into making it highly engaging and their learning rich and your lessons memorable. The Eureka Stockade is one of these events.
What does the Curriculum say?
The Australian Curriculum requires that Year 5 students learn about Australia’s colonial history and several events, people and concepts that impacted the development of the colonies. The Eureka Stockade ties in perfectly with Content Descriptor ACHASSK108 – The impact of a significant development or event on an Australian colony. The elaboration for this Descriptor breaks this down further:
“investigating an event or development and explaining its economic, social and political impact on a colony (for example, the consequences of frontier conflict events such as the Myall Creek Massacre, the Pinjarra Massacre; the impact of South Sea Islanders on sugar farming and the timber industry; the impact of the Eureka Stockade on the development of democracy; the impact of internal exploration and the advent of rail on the expansion of farming)” ACARA
In a nutshell you are required to teach your Year 5 students about a major event in colonial Australia that was so significant that it:
- changed life for the colonial settlers,
- impacted on the economy, and/or
- caused political change.
By studying this event they will have both knowledge and understanding of how individuals or groups of people or major events can bring about social, economic and political change.
Why the Eureka Stockade?
The Eureka Stockade is an excellent example of a ‘significant event’ that caused major social and political change in colonial Australia. It’s Australia’s most famous rebellion brought about by the intense frustrations of miners and colonialists with the corruption of lawmakers and the lack of representation for the ordinary people.
While colonialists had already started demanding greater political rights and protesting against the government, the Eureka Stockade brought their frustrations and the government failings into the spotlight. The governing powers in Australia needed to make changes and start to listen to the people. The colonies had reached a point where they demanded greater representation in the government and were prepared to fight for it. The colonial governments needed to establish greater democratic practices or face growing resentment and social unrest.
While the Eureka Stockade ticks all the boxes for the Australian Curriculum it’s also a really interesting event that students find fascinating and we both know what that leads to – maximum learning opportunities! Woo Hoo!
Novels and Class Reading.
There are great books by Australian authors that are written for upper primary age children. Here are some suggestions:
The Night They Stormed Eureka by Jackie French (I love this book, it’s a brilliant story that your students will beg you to read more of)
Journey to Eureka by Kerry Greenwood
The Night We Made The Flag: A Eureka story by Carole Wilkinson (this is a picture book that looks at the role of women in making the Eureka Stockade)
BTN 2013 Anniversary segment – the story starts from 6:54.
Feature History – Eureka Stockade on YouTube – A very informative video with great background information and links well with the curriculum requirements. Be aware that from 11:18 onwards is an advertisement so you might want to stop it there for your students.
The colonisation of the central Victorian goldfields – ABC Education – This entire video series is outstanding. Chapter 4 focuses on the Eureka Stockade.
Planning and Teaching the Eureka Stockade
Books and videos are an excellent way to capture your students’ attention and give an overview of events. It’s important to back up visual and audio resources with tasks and activities that allow students to interact with the topic encouraging a deeper understanding and genuine skill development. We’ve developed a great range of resources dedicated to Australia’s Gold Rush history and the Eureka Stockade that are hands-on, interactive and aligned with the Australian Curriculum. Each activity pack includes a detailed lesson plan, printables and answer keys (where applicable).
To get you inspired we’ve created our FREE Eureka Stockade Agamograph. Students love creating these and they make an amazing display in your classroom. Each student could write a paragraph to accompany their agamograph explaining the different scenes. Sign up to receive our V.I.T newsletter and you’ll receive the password to our FREE Resource library which includes our Eureka Stockade Agamograph..
We’d love to hear from you about your experience teaching the Eureka Stockade. Feel free to leave a comment.