The Australian Colonies

Year B
(Year 6)
Term 2



Term 2

Unit description
Students learn about colonial Australia in the 1800s, the founding of British colonies and the development of a colony. They learn
about what life was like for different groups in the colonial period, significant events and people, political and economic
developments, social structures and settlement patterns, applying a variety of skills of historical inquiry and communication.
Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

1.5 hours / per week
Reasons (economic,
political and social)
for the establishment of
British colonies in
Australia after 1800

The nature of convict or colonial presence,
including the factors that influenced patterns of
development, aspects of the daily life of
inhabitants (including Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples peoples) and how the
environment changed

The impact of a significant development or event on
a colony; for example, frontier conflict, internal
exploration, the expansion of farming.

What do we know
about the lives of
people in Australia’s
colonial past and how
do we know it?

How did an Australian colony develop
over time and why?

What were the significant events and who were the
significant people that shaped Australian colonies?

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

How did
change the
Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Outcomes HT3-1, HT3-2, HT3-5
HT3-1: describes and explains the significance of people, groups, places and events to the development of Australia
HT3-2: describes and explains different experiences of people living in Australia over time
HT3-5: applies a variety of skills of historical inquiry and communication

Week 9

Week 10

1. Prior knowledge
of Australian
Colonies and
Primary and

2. Industrial
revolution and
social, economic
and political
reasons for



discuss why the
government set
up colonies in
Australia after

T asks for Ss ideas about Australian Colonies and records them on the
whiteboard. T then introduces the focus question: What do we know about the
lives of people in Australia’s Colonial past and how do we know it?
T explains what a KWHL chart is and has Ss complete one in pairs on the
focus question.
T and Ss go through the KWHL and write some ideas on the board. The KWHL
chart will be a pre-assessment. The T will focus on the H column – how do you
know? And begin a discussion on the variety of sources we use to find out
information about Australia’s Colonial past.
The T will introduce to the Ss primary and secondary sources using the
PowerPoint and have Ss think about and list a variety of sources under these
source headings. Show examples
Ss explore a scoop it page on Primary and Secondary sources and fill in a
table justifying what makes that source primary or secondary.
Come back as a class to discuss – fill in last column of KWHL chart.
Revise previous lesson. Discuss focus question and talk about primary and
secondary sources.

discuss why the
government set
up colonies in
Australia after

Ask the Ss why the British Colonisation occurred. T begins discussing the
Industrial Revolution. T walks Ss through cartoon handout of the industrial
revolution showing Ss images along the way.
T asks the Ss about the key reasons for colonisation – social, economic and
Jigsaw activity: The T will assign the Ss to a specialist group. There will be two
groups researching economic reasons, two groups researching social reasons
and two groups researching political reasons. The Ss will have 15 minutes to
research the task and fill in their part of the retrieval chart. The T will ask the Ss
to stop researching and team-teach the class so that students can fill in the rest
of the retrieval chart.
Submission to Lord Sydney: Ss individually write a letter to Lord Sydney about
the social, political and economic reasons for transportation using correct


PowerPoint on
Primary and
Scoop It page:

Images – hulks,
Retrieval chart
History books

3. Colonial

discuss why the
government set
up colonies in
Australia after
Discuss the
different people
involved in the
colonisation –
who came on
the first fleet,
who was
already here,
how didn’t
come? Different

4. Free Settlers

Investigate the
everyday life of
men and
women in post1800 colonial
using a range of

historical terms.
Sum up lesson looking at cause and effect – create consequence chart and
make links between cause and effect.
Revise previous lesson and ask about social, political and economic reasons of
colonisation and discuss the cause and effect of these reasons.
Introduce the new focus question How did an Australian colony develop over
time and why? The T will ask the Ss about their thoughts on this question and
any ideas they may already have. Ask Ss about the different people involved in
the settlement including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Explain that over
the next few weeks we will be looking at different people involved in the
colonisation of Australia whom have different perspectives of events.
This lesson will specifically look at the life of a convict.
Discuss how British people became convicts, how the colony developed, how
many convicts there were and show a map of the journey taken.
Students get into pairs and use the Weebly site filled with primary and
secondary sources to fill in a retrieval chart about the life of a convict.
Students come back as a class to reflect. Show Ss video of Sam the convict to

History books

Students develop character profile on a made up convict using their knowledge
– must include the name of the convict, their conviction, what they do now, date
of them leaving Britain and arriving in Sydney.
Ss use character profile on convict to write a journal entry for that convict. The
journal needs to include correct terminology and historical concepts – industrial
revolution, reasons for colonisation, dates, people involved. It also must include
everything from before that person became a convict to how they are living now
in Australia
Recap previous lesson about the different people and colonies involved in the
British Colonisation of Australia. Ss and T discuss the term free settler – give
definition. Explain the first arrival of free settlers was in 1793.
Explain that free settlers funded their own journey and were often wealthy
people. They were often given land grants and convicts to work for them. Some
of the free settlers were not just farmers, but doctors and military families

information sheet
and images

sources and
explain their

5. Indigenous

Discuss the
impact of
settlement on
peoples and the
Discuss the
peoples and the

looking for a better way of life.
Focus on the Bathurst as a colonisation area, where the Wiradjuri tribe was
located. Ss are to use information sheet to answer questions about the life of
free settlers in Bathurst, and discuss findings with the class. Questions may
include how that colony developed, what they ate, what they wore, what they
did for work etc.
Ss get into groups to develop a short role play to look at the life of a free settler
in Bathurst.
Recap previous lesson. Create timeline of events on the board starting from
Captain Cook’s arrival to the arrival of free settlers. Discuss briefly social,
economic and political reasons for transportation. Discuss social aspects and
Joseph Bank’s letter on settling in Australia.
Discuss that this lesson is looking at the perspective of Aboriginal people on
British Colonisation. Mention that Aboriginal people have been living in
Australia for over 40,000 years. Discuss what the Ss think the life of Aboriginal
people was like before settlement and contact with the British Colony. How
were they living? How many different tribes were there? Where did they live?
What materials did they use? What food did they eat? How did they make
those foods? How did they travel? How did they entertain themselves? How did
they work? Where did they work? The T will record some of the Ss responses.
Watch video on Aboriginal nations and show Ss map of Australian nations. Link
back to previous lesson on the Wiradjuri people of Bathurst. Ss work in pairs to
create a mind map on the way of life for these people using an information
sheet. Ss discuss as a class their findings.


Map Australia
Map Bathurst http://www.bundyi
White board
A3 paper
Letter of Joseph
Lap tops

History books

T discusses that settlement had a significant impact on Aboriginal people and
land, as well as this; there was a diverse relationship between the British and
Aboriginal people. Write ides on the whiteboard.

6. Impact on the

Discuss the
impact of
settlement on

Split class in half to research the impact and the relationship to create a poster
of findings.
T recaps the previous lesson on colonising groups and explains that settlement
has a direct impact on the environment. T shows the Ss a quote ‘We cultivated
our land, but in a way different from the white man. We endeavoured to live
with the land; they seemed to live off it. I was taught to preserve, never to

peoples and the

destroy’ – by Tom Dystra (Aboriginal man). Ss and T discuss the meaning of
this quote and record ideas on the board.
The T will explain how Aboriginal people lived a hunter and gatherer life. The
men hunted the large animals such as kangaroos; emus and turtles and the
women and children hunted smaller animals and collected fruits, berries and
other plants Every part of the animal and plant was eaten or used to make
things such as clothing, baskets, tools and weapons. Discuss how the
Indigenous people were very sustainable.

White board

History books
White board

Discuss how species of flora and fauna were introduced with the arrival of the
First Fleet. Discuss some species. Provide Ss with a list of species. Ss answer
questions about species and then develop a short news segment on their
7. Frontier conflict

Identify events
that have
identity and
discuss why
they were

This lesson will mark the beginning of the final inquiry question: What were the
significant events and who were the significant people that shaped
Australian colonies? Ask Ss about the significant events and people that
shaped Australia. The T will have the Ss discuss with their table group and
write down as many events and people that they know of that shaped Australia
(this will act as diagnostic assessment of the inquiry question.)
The T will ask the Ss what they know about frontier conflict and give a
definition. T will explain that this lesson will specifically look at the Myall Creek
Massacre. Myall Creek Massacre occurred on June 10, 1838 when twelve
European settlers, seeking revenge after conflicts with local Indigenous people,
came across a group of approximately thirty Wirrayaraay people at Myall Creek
who they captured and subsequently murdered. The men returned two days
later to the scene of the massacre to burn the bodies.
Ss research in pairs the why this event was so important to Australian colonial
history and Aboriginal people today. The Ss are to complete a worksheet that
include questions and looking at primary sources.
Reflect on these questions with the Ss and then explain that using the primary
source – Letter from J. H Bannatyne the Ss is now to write home in the shoes
of a European recounting the events and significance of the massacre.

8. Internal
Exploration –
Crossing the Blue

Use a range of
sources to
investigate ONE
development or
event and its
impact on the
chosen colony.

T will go over the previous lesson and ask the Ss what they remember and
what they have learnt thus far. The T will go over the different events they have
looked at during the unit (create timeline on the board). Write the word
‘explorers’ on the board. Together as a class they will dissect what it means to
explore and how that applies to Australia’s colonial past. The T will ask the Ss
to list explorers that they are aware of. The T will record the Ss answers on the
Ask the Ss what they know about the Blue Mountains. The show the Ss a map
of the Blue Mountains to put it into context. The T will explain that three
explorers set off to cross the Blue Mountains: Gregory Blaxland, William
Wentworth and William Lawson. The T will explain that we know this
information due to primary sources of information – journals. The T will place a
journal on the IWB for the Ss to see. The T will give a brief rundown of the
crossing on the Blue Mountains.

  

Ss are to get into groups to look at the different accounts written by these three
explorers. The T will get the Ss to answer questions based on those journals
such as the date of exploration, the length it took, the route taken. The Ss will
also look at the journal of Macquarie to look at the significance of the crossing.


Using the information gathered the Ss develop a series of questions for
Lawson, Blaxland, Macquarie or Wentworth. The T will give the Ss time to
research possible answers and discuss with the other Ss in the class. These
questions will be used in a hot seat activity where students will be selected to
be one of the explorers and Ss are to ask their questions to them.

9. Internal
Exploration –
crossing the

Use a range of
sources to
investigate ONE
development or
event and its
impact on the
chosen colony.

Explain that the previous lesson looked at William Lawson, William Wentworth
and Gregory Blaxland; three explorers whom found an appropriate route to
successfully cross the Blue Mountains. The T will explain that this lesson will
look at two other explorers, Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills.
These two explorers set out to cross the continent south to north. However,
their journey began with high hopes but ended with tragedy.
The T will explain that Burke and Wills set out from Melbourne to travel to
the Gulf of Carpentaria, QLD. This mission brought a lot of public interest.


 Whiteboard
 Markers
 History books
Map of route
 History books
 Images
 Map of route

The T will show the Ss a map of the journey taken by the two explorers.
The T will explain that working in pairs the Ss is to research the journey
taken by Bourke and Wills. The T will have questions for the Ss to answer
about the expedition such as: when the expedition began, how long it took,
what they took with them, the significance of the journey, the
successfulness of the journey. Ss record their findings on a mind map.
Reflect on the findings. The T will have the Ss in groups develop a song or
poem about the journey.


Use a range of
sources to
investigate ONE
development or
event and its
impact on the
chosen colony.


 Copy of letter
from Wills to