LEVEL: Level four (4)
TOPIC: Australian Gold Rush
DOMAIN: The Humanities – history
DIMENSION: Historic knowledge and understanding and Historical reasoning and interpretation

This is the third lesson in a unit focusing on the Australian gold rushes. This lesson builds on student understandings through playing a game and role play. Students must put themselves into the life of someone during the gold rush and make decisions about searching for gold and dealing with money.

· Students will build understandings and appreciations for how people lived during the gold rush era and how this compares and differs to their lives now.
· Students will calculate different amounts of money and use addition and subtraction through the use of money.
· Students will be actively involved in role playing either a miner, shop owner or both.

· Dress ups and props including hats and shirts, plastic plates that can be used for gold pans, cut outs of picks, plastic cups and water and plain biscuits (these can be sold in shops).
· Laminated paper gold coins or plastic coins
· Miners licenses
· Shop prices
Rules/Explanation of Game:
· Each student receives 15 gold coins.
· Students must decide if they would like to search for gold or stay and start a business.
· If starting a business they must give 5 coins for and opening fee and to receive items to sell and price lists and set up their store. Students running a business must drink one cup of water and eat one biscuit every 20 minutes.
· If choosing to search for gold, they must buy a miners license for 5 coins. Miners Licenses used to only last a month, so for today’s class they will only last 10 minutes, students must buy a new one after that time or choose to stay back.
· If looking for gold, miners must first buy a pick and a gold pan must eat one biscuit and drink a cup of water every 10 minutes.
· Students can leave their store and search for gold at any time but they must buy a license, and miners can choose to set up a business but must pay the opening fee and receive items to sell.
· All licences and shop equipment can be bought from the teacher.
Shop Price List: (Print out to give copies to students)
1. Gold Pan – 2 coins
2. Gold Pick – 2 coins
3. Water – 1 coin
4. Plain Biscuit – 1 coin

Miners License:
Duration: 65 minutes

Before class (ten minutes)

Set up classroom by hiding coins around the room (fairly difficult places) and bringing in all equipment.
Props, dress ups, equipment.
10:00 – 10:15am
(15 minutes)

Students come in to the class and sit down together on the floor in a circle. They listen to how they play “THE GOLD RUSH GAME” and ask questions if they need to.
Teacher introduces today’s activity and how it is going to be a lot of fun but everyone needs to listen carefully to the instructions.
The teacher then reads through the rules and explanations (see above) and demonstrates the game to students. The teacher can also answer any questions the students have.
Rules and explanation sheet.
(40 minutes)

Students go off and play the game around the classroom.
Teacher sells the licenses, helps students set up shops, checks student’s miners licenses for expiry and if they have eaten etc.

10:55-11:05 ten minutes)
Students stop playing and help to pack up all equipment.
Then students sit on the floor together with coins.

Students and teacher talk about the game and what they liked/disliked.
Teacher stops students with a clapping pattern and asks them to start packing up, ask students to keep all their coins and come and sit on the floor when finished packing up, also helps to pack up equipment.

Talk with students about the lesson and what they had fun doing, and what was hard, ask who run out of money, who found lots, who made lots in the business, who found it hard with so little money and relate this to how it would of been back then.

Information to talk about when discussing life then compared to life then to now:
Originally the miner’s license cost 30 shillings until the Eureka stockade when it was fought and changed. It was replaced by a miner’s right and this lasted a year and costed a lot less.
The diggers would work all day, for as long as it was light for 5 days a week, they bought food and rested on Saturdays and Sundays and often also worked on Saturdays.
Campsites were hot and dusty and often muddy, it wasn’t very pleasant, there wasn’t much water and those that had their families with them found it very hard.
Diggers need a pick, shovel and a long steel bar with a pointed end, and an axe and bucket were also needed before starting to search for gold. For camping they also need a cooking pot, knives, forks, plates and spoons. If diggers could not afford a horse and cart they also had a wheelbarrow to carry everything.

Morrissey, D. (1986). A children’s history of Australia: The golden years. South Melbourne: The Macmillan Company.
Powerhouse Museum (n.d.) A framed gold mining license., 1853. Retrieved September 13 from http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=8512