Domagoj Bosnjak

2109683 / bosn0010

Sub strand: History
Year level: 6
Year level theme – Students study the development of
Australia as a nation, the factors that led to federation,
democracy and citizenship, including Australia’s British
heritage and influence. Students will additionally learn
about the way of life of people who migrated to

Length: 4 weeks
Concept focus
Australia’s History and Development as a Nation

Knowledge and Understanding Content Descriptions
Inquiry and Skills Content Descriptions covered
 Examine primary and secondary sources to
 Key figures, events and ideas that led to
determine their origin and purpose (ACHASSI126)
Australia’s Federation and Constitution
 Examine different viewpoints on actions, events,
issues and phenomena in the past and present
 Stories of groups of people who migrated to
Australia since Federation (including from ONE
 Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and
country of the Asia region) and reasons they
conclusions in a range of texts and modes that
migrated (ACHASSK136)
incorporate source materials, digital and non The contribution of individuals and groups to the
digital representations and discipline-specific
development of Australian society since
terms and conventions (ACHASSI133)
Federation (ACHASSK137)

Knowledge and Understanding Achievement Standards
aspects assessed
 Assessed through formative and summative
approaches, including a group presentation
about a selected group of migrants, a short
speech about a famous migrant or Aboriginal
and a timeline that shows Australia’s Prime

Inquiry and Skills Achievement Standards aspects
 This will be done by assessing the number of
sources utilised to find information, the number
of different viewpoints covered in their work and
ability to present information through different
multimodal means.

Brief description of the unit’s purpose
The purpose of this unit is to introduce (or expand)
students’ level of knowledge pertaining to: significance;
continuity and change; cause and effect; place and
space; interconnections; roles, rights and
responsibilities; and perspectives and action.

Key Inquiry questions to guide unit thinking
How have key figures, events and values shaped
Australian society, its system of government and
How have experiences of democracy and
citizenship differed between groups over time
and place?
How has Australia developed as a multicultural
society with global connections?
How have migrants influenced the development
of modern Australian society?

Opportunities to incorporate Cross Curriculum
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories
and Cultures – this would be covered through
the focus on Indigenous Australian influences, as
well as the speeches about famous Aboriginal
Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia – this
would be covered through the focus on migrants

Opportunities to incorporate General Capabilities
This will be covered through the continuous
investigation/research of literature and
multimodal information.
This will be covered when creating a timeline
which represents Australia’s Prime Ministers.
ICT Capability

from the Asian region, as well as their influence
in Australia.

This will be achieved through constant use of
computers and utilising ICT to present findings.
Intercultural Understanding
This will be covered through the investigation
and presentation of a selected group of migrants.

Learning activities/experiences
A “Thinker’s Keys” approach will be used to
introduce and engage students in the topic.
Investigation into federation, the Westminster
System and Australia’s past and present Prime
Ministers. This will be presented in a timeline.
1-2 minute presentation (in groups of 2 or 3)
pertaining to one selected group of migrants.
Short individual (30-60 seconds) speech on a
famous migrant or Aboriginal.

Assessment tasks

ICT resources available

Learning resources available


Laptops (with internet access)
iPads (with internet access)
iPod touch or camcorder (with video recording)

Lesson outline for the 4 week unit

Exit cards will be utilised to gain an
understanding of student progress through the
means of formative assessment.
Participation and engagement during the class
time students are given to complete work.
A timeline including Australia’s Prime Ministers,
the time of federation and introduction of The
(modified) Westminster system
Split into 2 parts:
1-2 minute presentation (in groups of 2 or 3)
pertaining to one selected group of migrants.
Short individual (30-60 seconds) speech on a
famous migrant or Aboriginal.


Textbooks about Australia’s history and

Based on 2@90 minute periods per week

Where applicable incorporate the 5E inquiry teaching and
learning model into you session progression/structure.

Week 1

Week 2

Session 1
Engage – The initial session for this unit will consist of
students working in table groups, brainstorming and
creating a mind map of prior-knowledge (pertaining to
Australia’s federation, systems of government,
influential individuals, reasons behind migration and the
influence on Australian society) which they have
acquired through their years of schooling, discussion
with adults or watching the news.
These mind maps will then be presented to the rest of
the class which will open a Q&A style forum. This will
give students the opportunity to talk about what they
already know, ask questions about things they do not
know, whilst simultaneously learning new information
regarding this topic.

Session 1
Explore – This session will commence by going through
the “Thinker’s Keys” worksheet. Students will have the
opportunity to discuss their ideas and approaches to
completing the worksheet. As this worksheet does not
necessarily have incorrect or correct answers, the work
that students come up with will be interesting and
engaging for all, including the teacher.
The rest of the lesson will consist of the teacher going
through the assignment which students are about to
complete. Hand out the assignment sheet and go through
it as a class. If there is still time, students may begin their
timeline investigation. Remind them that this is due at
the end of Week 3’s initial session. Students should be
advised to do as much of this work at home as possible.

Session 2
Engage/Explore – In this session, students will receive
the “Thinker’s Keys” worksheet which aims to engage
students through different means of exploration.
Students may work in pairs or groups of three to
complete this worksheet. What isn’t completed in the
lesson during class time will be expected to be

Session 2
Explore – This will be the first opportunity students have
to dive into the assignment. Students must be reminded
(or introduced) about time management as work is due
throughout this unit at different times. Students are to be
advised that homework time should be used effectively in
order to ease the workload within class time. Students

completed for homework before next week’s initial

will have this session as well as the next session to
complete their timeline.

Week 3

Week 4

Session 1
Explain/Elaborate – This session is the last session to
complete the formative assessment: timeline. Students
will be expected to hand up their timelines (either
tangibly or electronically) by the end of the lesson. For
students who are ahead, they should be forming pairs or
groups of three in order to start investigating a selected
group of migrants. This will be presented in session 1 of
week 4.

Session 1
Explain – Students will be presenting their short group
presentations in this session.
Following this, students will have the opportunity to
begin composing their short individual speech which is to
be recorded and handed up by the end of Friday this
week. Students will have the whole of this week to work
on this speech.

Session 2
Explore/Elaborate – By this stage, all timelines should
be handed up and every student should be working on
their 1-2 minute group presentation.
Be sure to walk around the classroom, assisting groups
who are struggling.
Explain to students that there will be an additional group
session at the end of this week to work on this task as it
is to be presented in the first session of next week.
Students must understand that they are not restricted
from working on their own individual parts at home or in
spare class time. When they return to class, they can
compile their work and put together their presentation.

Session 2
Explore/Elaborate/Explain – Similarly to the second half
of the previous session, students will be required to work
on their speech.

Potential HASS sub strand connections
Geography would potentially be covered through the
investigation of migrants – for example, what
country/continent they came from?
Civics and Citizenship would potentially be covered
through the investigation into Australia’s democratic
institutions and forms of government.

Potential other learning area connections
English would be covered through the continuous
investigation/research of literature and multimodal
Mathematics would be covered when creating a timeline
which represents Australia’s Prime Ministers.

Topic background resources (for teacher use only) to
support teaching learning for the unit

Pedagogical resources to support the teaching of the

Atkinson, A. (2013). Federation, Democracy and the
Struggle against a Single Australia. Australian Historical
Studies, 44(2), 262-279.

The 5E Model Explained:

Grimshaw, P. (2002). Federation as a turning point in
Australian history. Australian Historical Studies, 33(118),

The “Thinker’s Keys” Explained:

Sawer, M., Abjorensen, N., & Larkin, P. (2009). Australia:
The state of democracy. Federation Press.

How to teach History?

Ability to be planned and prepared for each lesson.
Timeline of Prime Ministers and federation.
1-2 minute group presentation about one selected group of migrants.
30-60 second speech on a famous migrant or Aboriginal






Essay and justification of unit

The section above is a unit plan which covers the grade 6 historical component pertaining to the
formation of Australia’s federation and democratic government. It includes influences from notable figures
such as Prime Ministers and other individuals, as well as the way in which migrants have shaped modern
Australia. The unit utilises a range of approaches and strategies which are justified through academic
investigation in the essay below.
The purpose of this unit is to introduce or broaden the knowledge base of students in the topics of
Australian history, the formation of a federation and democratic government and the influence of
migration. Academics have cried out about the detriment pertaining to the disappearance of “history” in
school curriculum around the world (Taylor, 2009). As seen in the new Australian Curriculum, the topic of
“history” has lost much of its substance through the process of being merged into a super strand,
consisting of 4 subject strands, known as “Humanities and Social Sciences”, often referred to as HASS
(ACARA, 2016). Taylor (2009) suggests that due to the gradual deterioration of “history” in schools,
students and educators are learning to “love themselves” more so than the world – and if there is anything
to be learnt from history, it is that selfishness and greed will lead humanity to self-destruction. Additionally,
Rivera (2010) claims there should be a focus on history in schools, although sometimes it might be difficult
and painful to learn about, it is humanity’s only solution to avoid repeating the same historical mistakes.
History not only provides students with knowledge, but with an opportunity for learning about choice –
from sequencing, relationships, cause and effect, to how things fit into the world. Although many students
may not appreciate or enjoy hearing about some tragedies which have occurred in the past, knowing
history can assist students by motivating them to carefully consider future choices (Rivera, 2010).
This unit will be covering numerous content descriptors from the Australian Curriculum, HASS
section. The “Knowledge and Understanding Content Descriptions” covered are:

Key figures, events and ideas that led to Australia’s Federation and Constitution (ACHASSK134)
Stories of groups of people who migrated to Australia since Federation (including from ONE country
of the Asia region) and reasons they migrated (ACHASSK136)
The contribution of individuals and groups to the development of Australian society since
Federation (ACHASSK137)
The “Inquiry and Skills Content Descriptions” covered are:

Examine primary and secondary sources to determine their origin and purpose (ACHASSI126)
Examine different viewpoints on actions, events, issues and phenomena in the past and present
Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate
source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and
conventions (ACHASSI133)

This unit utilises the implementation of group work. Academic investigation has come to conclude
that group work, if implemented correctly and appropriately, harnesses a form of unity amongst peers,
assisting one another in their learning and progressing at a faster pace (Caruso & Woolley, 2008; Chapman
& Van Auken, 2001). Additionally, the utilisation of group work has been linked to improving retention of
information as well as giving students the opportunity to practice skills which are necessary to prosper in
the professional world, once they leave school (Caruso & Woolley, 2008; Chapman & Van Auken, 2001).
This group task is intertwined with an oral presentation. Oral communication is vital in producing successful
citizens who are capable of conversing and dictating in front of others (Campbell, Mothersbaugh, Brammer,
& Taylor, 2001). According to Campbell et al. (2001), workers in the business sector considered oral
communication situations to be their most challenging communication episodes endured in the workplace.
This can be overcome through repetition and practicing the skill of oral communication in schools,
particularly in front of peers, simulating an audience.
The 5E model was used a guide for each session throughout the 4 week unit. The 5E model has
been considered as one of the most useful educational and investigative tools, assisting in the learning of
the skills required for the 21st century (Bybee, 2009). According to Bybee (2009), these skills are as follows:
adaptability; complex communication/social skills; non-routine problem solving; self-management/selfdevelopment; and systems thinking. According to the paper, the 5Es (engagement, exploration,
explanation, elaboration, evaluation) are the key to unlocking the skills necessary to prosper in the 21st
century. Therefore, utilising this model will introduce students to an approach which could be applicable
throughout their life, as they grow and as the world changes. In addition to the 5E model, the Thinker’s
Keys approach was utilised at the beginning of this unit. The Thinker’s Keys approach places an emphasis
on creative thinking – this is emphasised by stimulating the creativity in learning, in turn manifesting
emotional involvement, boosting the effectiveness within memory systems (Ryan, 1990). The “Thinker’s
Keys” consists of 20 different approaches and strategies when covering a topic. They can be used with
many topics within the curriculum, removing the barrier of limitation found in many educational
approaches to learning and creative thinking.
It is important to have a small run-through (discussion) of teachers’ expectations, what is about to
be learnt as well as a recap on what has been covered in previous lessons. It assists in refocusing students,
particularly after sessions such as PE or lunch. Be sure not to only ask the students with high-end readiness
(Alber, 2011). Repetition of standards and expectations will bring forth an environment where students
understand and learn to respect the expectations of the teacher – this in turn produces a rich learning
environment (Saville, 2011). At the end of each session, a concluding discussion is implemented in order to
establish the key learning objectives, as well as provide an opportunity for students to discuss what they
learned, enjoyed and found challenging (Doubet, 2012). Through discussion, students are likely to retain
knowledge better, contemplate essential inquiry questions and have any questions answered which were
restricting them from achieving their greatest potential throughout the lesson. In addition to a concluding
discussion, exit cards will be used as a means of formative assessment. The implementation of exit cards is
a useful way to assess ongoing learning and can also be used as a means of engaging students in future
lessons by assessing their interests as well as areas they might be struggling in (Doubet, 2012).
Giving students a choice when conducting work makes the topic more relevant to them, in turn
engaging students in the learning process (Jarvis, 2013). By tapping into the interests of students, a teacher
sets an environment where students feel comfortable and are engaged enough to want to learn.
Throughout this unit, students are given a choice between one or more aspects – this aims to engage them,
making them feel like they are a part of the construction of the assessment piece. In addition, offering
Indigenous students the opportunity to focus their work around Indigenous aspects of the set topic will

engage the often disengaged Indigenous students. Harrison (2011) suggests that Indigenous Australian
students learn best when the learning intentions relate to their culture or heritage. Luckily, Australian
history should be taught synonymously with Indigenous Australian history, therefore there is no issue with
allowing any student to cover the indigenous component in this unit.
Throughout this unit, multimodal forms of information are provided to students so that information
can be accessed by every student, regardless of their learning and comprehension difficulties or limitations
(Hassett & Curwood, 2009). Limiting students to a single form of information disadvantages too many
children. Having a variety, through multimodal means, exemplifies the educator’s knowledge in
differentiation, as well as their ability to cater for all students, not just the average (Hobgood, 2015; Jarvis,
2013). Additionally, students are not limited by the way in which this unit expects them to produce certain
tasks, such as the timeline. The timeline offers students the opportunity to experiment using a form of
presentation they have not yet tried, or utilise a form in which they feel comfortable with. From voice
recorded podcasts, to video recorded webcams, art work, written format and forms of ICT.
This justification brings forth the validation and accuracy behind the implementation of particular
approaches and strategies which are seen within the unit plan. Without justification through the means of
academic literature, the approaches and strategies stated above lack the acknowledgement and
certification needed to create a successful unit plan.

Reference List
ACARA. (2016). Humanities and Social Sciences - The Australian Curriculum (v8.1). Retrieved from
Alber, D. (2011). Are you tapping into prior knowledge often enough in your classroom? Edutopia. Retrieved from
Bybee, R. W. (2009). The BSCS 5E instructional model and 21st century skills. National Academies Board on Science
Education. Available online at http://itsisu. concord. org/share/Bybee_21st_Century_Paper. pdf.
Campbell, K. S., Mothersbaugh, D. L., Brammer, C., & Taylor, T. (2001). Peer versus self assessment of oral business
presentation performance. Business Communication Quarterly, 64(3), 23-40.
Caruso, H. M., & Woolley, A. W. (2008). Harnessing the power of emergent interdependence to promote diverse
team collaboration Research on Managing Groups and Teams (Vol. 11, pp. 245-266): Emerald Group
Publishing Limited.
Chapman, K. J., & Van Auken, S. (2001). Creating positive group project experiences: An examination of the role of
the instructor on students’ perceptions of group projects. Journal of Marketing Education, 23(2), 117-127.
Doubet, K. J. (2012). Formative assessment jump-starts a middle grades differentiation initiative: A school focuses on
formative assessment to support its efforts to differentiate instruction. Middle School Journal, 43(3), 32-38.
Harrison, N. (2011). Aboriginal ways of learning Teaching and learning in Aboriginal education (Vol. 2, pp. 39-56):
Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.
Hassett, D. D., & Curwood, J. S. (2009). Theories and practices of multimodal education: The instructional dynamics
of picture books and primary classrooms. The Reading Teacher, 63(4), 270-282.
Hobgood, B. (2015). Reaching every learner: Differentiating instruction in theory and practice. LEARN NC. Retrieved
Jarvis, J. M. (2013). Differentiating learning experiences for diverse students In P. Hudson (Ed.), Learning to teach in
the primary school (pp. 52-70): Port Melbourne, Vic.: Cambridge University Press.
Rivera, M. (2010). On the Importance of Teaching History to Children. The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, 20,
14, pp. 15.
Ryan, T. (1990). Thinker's Keys. South Coast Education Region, Queensland. Retrieved from
Saville, K. (2011). Strategies for using repetition as a powerful teaching tool. Music Educators Journal, 98(1), 69-75.
Taylor, M. (2009). Waving the white flag for history risks a self-fulfilling prophecy: Letters. The Times Educational
Supplement, 4859, pp. 40-43.