THE AUSTRALIAN GOLD RUSH

This unit of work focuses on the Australian gold rush. It aims to inform students about how the Australian gold rush has shaped history and contributed to the Australia that we know today. We have outlined multiple objectives, links to VELS, resources and links to other subjects. Eight lesson plans have been provided that will introduce new knowledge and consolidate understanding in the minds of the students. On completion of this subject we expect that students will have a greater understanding of the gold rush and how it changed the course of Australian history.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

Knowledge Objectives
· The students understand the key events in the history behind the Australian gold rushes.
· Students will gain an understanding of how the Australian gold rush has influenced the history of the establishment and growth of Australia.

· Students also learn about prominent figures that played a significant role in shaping the future of Australia.
Skill Objectives
· Students will improve their researching and problem solving skills through structured and inquiry based learning.
· Students will use a range of written, visual, oral, and electronic sources to study the history of the Australian gold rush.

· By working in groups during a variety of activities, students will further develop their communication and cooperation skills.
Attitudes/Sensitivities/Values Objectives
· Students gain an appreciation and understanding of the way of life experienced by those involved in the gold rush era and how this is different to their lives today.
· Students become aware of how the gold rush has contributed to shaping the Australian identity.
Social Action Objectives
· As a result of the teacher(s) acting in a passionate and proactive the students will become motivated to actively participate in all aspects of the unit.
· Students will become excited as the gold rush era comes alive for them through such means as role plays, excursions and music.

VELS EXAMPLES (Links to Progression Points)
Progression Point 3.25
Historical knowledge and understanding
· sequencing of significant historical events in Australia and/or an Asian country
· awareness of a significant event in Australia and/or Asia and associated key people; for example, European settlement of Australia and Captain Arthur Phillip
· comparison between aspects of life in the past and present; for example, family life in Australia today and at some time in the past

Historical reasoning and interpretation
· development, with teacher assistance, of questions about the past in response to sources such as stories, pictures and descriptions of events
· simple historical understandings presented in written, oral and visual forms

Progression Point 3.5
Historical knowledge and understanding
· knowledge of significant events in Australia’s past, such as Federation, and the associated role of people such as Henry Parkes, Edmund Barton and Alfred Deakin
Historical reasoning and interpretation
· historical understandings presented in written, oral and visual forms which include appropriate historical language
Progression Point 3.75
Historical knowledge and understanding
· analysis of key events in Australia and/or Asia, and the contributions of key individuals; for example, the building of the Great Wall of China and the role of Ming emperors
Historical reasoning and interpretation
· development and planning of research questions, and planning of inquiries with teacher support
· historical explanations presented in a range of forms and using appropriate historical language and concepts