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Eureka! It's a Gold Rush Unit Plan (+ Assessment!)

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Photo of Emma (Teach Starter)
Updated | 4 min read

Can you feel it? That moment when you unearth something so amazing that it’s worth its weight in gold!

Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to introduce our Gold Rush Unit Plan for Grade 5!

Written by our talented resource producer Royce, this unit plan has everything you need to teach your students about the Australian Gold Rush.

This Australian Gold Rush unit investigates the historical discovery of Australia’s Gold Rush period, from the mid-to-late 1800s. Ideas featured in this unit include the discovery of gold, mining lifestyle, wealth and success, social consequences, and how these shaped the Australia we live in today.

A Gold Rush Unit Plan - Display resources

This unit plan was created in response to dozens of requests by YOU, our amazing teachers. If you wish to request a resource that you can’t find on our website, it’s easy! Simply visit the Request a Resource widget and tell us what you need.


What’s in the Australian Gold Rush Unit Plan?

Consisting of 9 x 60-minute lessons, this curriculum-aligned unit plan gives students the opportunity to:

  • learn about gold as a mineral, why it is sought after, and how it became a valuable currency
  • use mapping skills to track the discovery of gold across Australia and learn how those discoveries formed and changed Australia’s cities and landscapes
  • learn what it was like to live as a miner on the goldfields
  • learn how events during the gold rush influenced Australian laws, taxes, equality and voting rights, and how they shaped our current democracy
  • consider the lives and roles of Australian Aboriginal peoples during the gold rush
  • learn about the influence different cultures had on Australia, the challenges newcomers faced, and how they made Australia what it is today
  • learn about the Eureka Stockade and how it affected life for miners and changed Australia’s political outlook.

There’s nothing mine-or about that!

Eureka it's a Gold Rush Unit Plan - Word Wall display vocabulary

This unit has it all – lesson plans, teaching presentations, student activities, and classroom displays, as well as assessment tools!

Each engaging resource in this unit plan will immerse your students in the life and times of the Australian goldfields during the 1800s.

Eureka! It's a Gold rush Unit Plan - Mining Map

Check out just a small selection of what the Gold Rush Unit Plan has on offer:

Image of Australian Gold Rush: Gold Fever – Teaching Presentation

teaching resource

Australian Gold Rush: Gold Fever – Teaching Presentation

A teaching presentation that explores the origins of the Australian Gold Rush.

Teach Starter Publishing15 pagesYear: 5
Image of Australian Gold Rush: Eureka Stockade Still Frame – Worksheet

teaching resource

Australian Gold Rush: Eureka Stockade Still Frame – Worksheet

A worksheet that enables students to design and share a story using still frame images.

Teach Starter Publishing2 pagesYear: 5
Image of Australian Gold Rush – Flip Book

teaching resource

Australian Gold Rush – Flip Book

A flip book designed to integrate interesting facts about Australian history into a unit of learning.

Teach Starter Publishing19 pagesYear: 5
Image of Australian Gold Rush: Map Where It's At - Worksheet

teaching resource

Australian Gold Rush: Map Where It's At - Worksheet

A fun mapping activity for students to pinpoint gold finds and gold rush locations between 1851 to 1893 on a map of Australia.

Teach Starter Publishing3 pagesYear: 5


Digging Deeper

The Australian History Pop Quiz Teaching Presentation sparks students’ interest and accesses their prior knowledge. Then, the fun begins!

Without a doubt, if you dig deeper into the lesson plans in this unit, you will unearth some amazing finds.

This plan is full of engaging lesson content, like Lesson 3: Gold Fever – Kick Starting the Australian Gold Rush. This lesson will introduce your class to the exciting method of panning for gold!

Eureka! It's a Gold rush Unit Plan - Panning For Gold

In addition to this, the panning for gold activity asks students to think a little more deeply. How might Indigenous peoples have felt with these conditions? How were conditions different for colonists and chinese immigrants?

Each week will feature a pan for gold, alongside other engaging lesson content. As the unit progresses, students will experience panning for gold with the same allowances and restrictions imposed on different groups during the Gold Rush. Once the tension has built and their knowledge has been strengthened, your students are introduced to the events of the Eureka Stockade.

In line with this, our Australian Gold Rush: Eureka Stockade – Teaching Presentation provides your students with the essential information to connect to their experiences.

 

This is the perfect activity for building historical empathy! And empathy, of course, is the key to helping students engage in the history curriculum.


Striking Gold

The culminating assessment piece in this unit plan is the perfect activity to bring your students’ knowledge and understanding together.

Eureka! It's a Gold rush Unit Plan - Inquiry Assessment

Turn your classroom into a ‘living wax museum’! Researching a character from the Australian Gold Rush, students will present their findings by taking part in the Australian Gold Rush: Living Wax Museum – Project.

But wait, it’s not just an oral presentation! This assessment piece gives your students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding on more than just pencil and paper – in character!

Your students can choose characters from a range of suggestion cards, such as Peter Lalor or Agnes Buntine. Alternatively, they can come up with their own notable characters to represent.

This project would make a great class exhibition that fellow students, teachers, school staff and even parents could visit and interact with. Students can make it even more authentic by dressing up and creating stations that viewers can interact with. The creative possibilities are endless!


Download the Gold Rush Unit Plan and immerse yourself in Gold Fever!

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