(Sovereign Hill)

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

This lesson is the sixth lesson in a unit that teaches students about the gold rush. This lesson involves an excursion to Sovereign Hill where students are able to develop an understanding of change and continuity over time through the history that is presented to them. During the excursion the students learn about significant events that occurred during the Australian gold rush era and they are given the opportunity to explore the differences between Australian life during the gold rush era and the present.

On completion of the day trip to Sovereign Hill the students will have a thorough understanding about the importance of the Australian Gold Rush. They will have an understanding of what it would have been like to live during the gold rush era. Each student will have partaken in all activities that were planned for the day and will be able to reflect on their new knowledge in a future lesson.

Students need to:
· Return permission forms to school

· Each put their clip boards and a four pen in the designated box on the day before the excursion for the teachers to pack on the bus

· Wear school uniform, pack their lunch, bring spending money and get dropped to school early
Teacher(s) need to:
· Prepare and distribute permission and information forms.These will explain the costs of the excursion and explain that parents will need to drop students at school earlier than usual and pick them up later than usual as the excursion runs from 8am – 5.15 pm. These notes will also explain that students must wear school uniform, pack their own lunch and are allowed to bring spending money of up to $10.00 if they want to.
· Make bookings for Sovereign Hill
· Organise a bus to take the group to Sovereign Hill and organise parent helpers (who have police checks) and other teachers to come on the day.
· Photocopy maps of Sovereign Hill to give to students to use on the day of the excursion. Students will be asked to circle each of the places they attended as an entire class in red and places they visited in small groups in blue. This will aid in during reflection time in following lessons.
Permission/ information forms
Maps of Sovereign Hill

7.45 am
· Students are dropped at school. They are wearing school uniform and have packed their lunch and spending money for the day.
· Students have their name marked off the role and board the bus
Getting ready to board the bus:
· Pack clipboards, pens and students’ booklets on the bus
· Mark the students’ names off the role and complete a head-count once all students are present
· Pack the medical/first-aid kit and all permission forms into a backpack to load on the bus
· Board the bus
Medical/first-aid kit

The bus departs

The bus trip:
· Play a ‘G’ or ‘PG’ rated movie such as ‘Toy Story’ or ‘Finding Nemo’
· Hand out student booklets, clipboards and pens
‘G’ or ‘PG’ rated movie
Enter Sovereign Hill
Arrive at Sovereign Hill
· Get off the bus
· Ask students to check that they have all of their belongings
· Ask students to assemble in two lines so that a head check can be done
· Enter sovereign Hill

· Students eat their morning tea and go to the toilet
Morning tea:
· The group moves to open picnic area to eat morning tea.

(30 mins)
· The students are able to watch $250,000 worth of gold be melted and reset
Gold Pour:
· The group watches real gold get melted and re-set at ‘Gold Smelting Works’.

11. 50am
(40 mins)
· This tour gives the students information about what would have been expected to do if they had of lived in the gold rush era and also gives them general information about the gold rush.
Gold Mine Tour:
· The Group partakes in a guided underground gold mine tour. This tour helps students to understand more about the gold rush era.

· Students eat lunch and have the opportunity to go to the toilet
Lunch time:
· The students and teachers move back to the open picnic area to each lunch.

(1 hour)

· During this free time students may wish to:

-visit the ‘Bowling Saloon’
-make their own candles at ‘Candle Works’
- watch how lollies are made at the ‘Sweet Making Factory’
- go on a horse-and-cart ride
-explore the Chinese village

Free time:
· Students are asked to stay in groups of two or more and are given an hour of free time. During this time they are able to explore Sovereign Hill and use their spending money if they wish to. Students are to make sure that at least one person in each group has a watch and they are told to meet up in one hour at a designated spot.


The red soldiers:
· The group meets up after free time. They go and watch the ‘Red Soldiers’ parade which is a main attraction at Sovereign Hill.

· At the Education Centre the students are able to dress up in costumes they may have been worn during the gold rush era. They also get to experience how it would have felt to go to school during this era.
Education Centre:
· The group moves to the Education Centre.

2.40 pm
During this time the students are given the opportunity to pan for gold. If they want to they are able to purchase a small bottle for $1.00 to take their gold home with them.
Gold panning:
· The group moves to the gold panning creek.


Leave Sovereign Hill:
· The group leaves the Sovereign Hill premises and have a snack before they board the bus
· The group boards the bus
· Collect student booklets, clipboards and pens
· Complete head check
· Play a ‘G’ or ‘PG’ rated movie on the way home.
‘G’ or ‘PG’ rated movie
· Students must stay at school until their parents come and pick them up
Arrive back at school:
· Thank students for a great day
Ask students to wait until their parent(s) come to collect them from school premises.

NB: The hyperlink below links to the map of Sovereign Hill that the teachers hand out to students to circle during the excursion (see lesson plan for more detail):