Bring Australia’s Colonial history to life in your classroom.
I loved learning about colonial Australia at school. My strongest memory of a unit we did was Australian Explorers with Mrs Gunn in Year 3. It was awesome! I also remember learning about the First Fleet in 1988. I was Grade 5 and it was the Bicentennial Year which was a big deal. Today the curriculum requires that students learn greater range of content that explores the experiences of the European settlers, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Peoples their interactions and the development of the colonies. Let’s take a closer look at what’s required for Year 5 HASS Australian History topic.
What does the Curriculum say?
According to the History Achievement Standard by the end of Year 5 students can:
- Describe how people and events/developments can bring about change.
- Identify relationship of cause and effect of these changes on particular communities while identifying aspects that have stayed the same.
- They can describe the experiences of different people in the past including European Settlers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
While studying the curriculum content students will develop the following skills:
- Sequencing information about people and events into chronological order on timelines.
- Developing inquiry questions about the topics.
- Classify and use a range of sources to locate, collect and organise information related to their topic of inquiry.
- Analyse sources to determine the origin and purpose and determine different points of view.
- Organise, prepare and present written work, especially narrative recounts and descriptions using appropriate vocabulary and ideas.
What should I include in my curriculum plan?
There are a number of topics that can be included in your planning for Colonial History. Some of these include:
The first settlers and their experiences on arrival in Australia – looking at different groups of people such as the convicts, soldiers, women and children and free settlers.
The Explorers – This topic ties in nicely with the developments that bring about change. The explorers played an important role in helping the colonial settlers move beyond the colony to establish new farming land to ensure food security, to find water and accessibility for communication. Remember to include how the movement and discoveries of the explorers impacted the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Gold Rush – This topic is always great fun and there’s no question that the gold rush of the 1850s was a catalyst for great change in the development of colonial Australia. I also like that learning about the Eureka Stockade is excellent prep for Year 6 when students learn about Federation.
Famous Colonial Australians – There are many European and Aboriginal and Torres Strait people who can engage students and give them great insight into life in colonial Australia. Caroline Chisholm, Truganini, Ned Kelly, Ben Hall, Mary MacKillop, Jandamarra and David Unaipon are just a few examples.
Planning and Teaching the Eureka Stockade
To help you plan the ultimate unit on colonial Australia we’ve created a huge range of resources and activities 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). All you need to do is print and teach
If you’re looking for a complete planning and teaching package our Colonial Australia HASS unit includes an entire term of lessons along with a detailed unit plan, assessment activities, room displays, curriculum aligned assessment tracking sheet and differentiation guide. It’s an entire term of work that’s ready to go!
To get you inspired we’ve created our FREE Colonial Australia What If Card Set. These cards are perfect for prompting discussion in class, checking for prior knowledge or checking understanding during your unit. Sign up to our FREE Resource Library to download them.
We’d love to hear from you about your experience teaching Australia’s colonial history. Feel free to leave a comment.