This Australian Gold Rush unit investigates the historical discovery of Australia’s Gold Rush period, from the mid-to-late 1800s. Ideas include the discovery of gold, mining lifestyle, wealth and success, social consequences, and how these shaped the Australia we live in today.
It consists of 9 lessons of approximately 60-minutes duration, with the opportunity for multi-session student activities.
The sequence of lessons and suggested time frames should be regarded as a guide only; teachers should pace lessons in accordance with the individual learning needs of their class.
A knowledge check for monitoring student understanding of the unit objectives is included and will require an additional lesson.
Teachers are encouraged to collect samples of students’ work throughout the unit to add to a learning portfolio. These can also be used to assess students’ understanding of the unit objectives.
To read more about these amazing resources, check out Emma’s blog Eureka! It’s a Gold Rush Unit Plan (+ Assessment!)
This unit plan includes the following resources:
- The Rabbits – Worksheet
- Australian History Pop Quiz – Teaching Presentation
- Australian Gold Rush: Advent Calendar
- Australian Gold Rush – Word Wall 2
- Australian Gold Rush – Flip Book
- Australian Gold Rush: That’s Gold! – Teaching Presentation
- From Trade to Currency Comic – Template
- Australian Gold Rush: Race to Eureka – Game
- Australian Gold Rush: Gold Fever – Teaching Presentation
- Australian Gold Rush: Map Where It’s At – Worksheet
- Australian Gold Rush: A Digger’s Life – Teaching Presentation
- Australian Gold Mines: Y-Chart – Template
- Australian Gold Rush: A Golden Democracy – Teaching Presentation
- Gold Miners’ Bulletin – Project
- Australian Gold Rush: First Nations – Teaching Presentation
- Australian Gold Rush: Native Police Venn Diagram – Template
- Australian Gold Rush: Melting Pot – Teaching Presentation
- Celebrating Family Ties – Template
- Australian Gold Rush: Eureka Stockade – Teaching Presentation
- Australian Gold Rush: Eureka Stockade Still Frame – Worksheet
- Australian Gold Rush: Living Wax Museum – Project
- To revisit prior knowledge about the initial phase of British colonisation in Australia.
- To learn about gold as a mineral, why it is sought after, and how it became a valuable currency that is still popular today.
- To use mapping skills to track the discovery of gold across Australia and learn how those discoveries formed and changed Australia's cities and landscapes.
- To learn what it was like to live as a miner on the goldfields. Lessons will focus on daily routines, challenges, living conditions and conflict between groups.
- To learn how events during the gold rush influenced Australian laws, taxes, equality and voting rights, and how they shaped our current democracy.
- To learn about the lives and roles of Australian Aboriginal peoples during the gold rush and to examine different perspectives and cultural complications.
- To learn about the influence different cultures had on Australia, the challenges newcomers faced, and how they made Australia what it is today.
- To learn about the Eureka Stockade and how it affected life for miners and changed Australia’s political outlook.
Preparing for Learning
This HASS unit provides excellent opportunities for cross-curricular integration. Look for ways to meaningfully integrate the content of the unit with other learning areas, e.g. Literacy and Geography.
Prior to commencing the unit, use relevant posters to develop a classroom display that focuses on the Australian Gold Rush. Display word wall vocabulary and learning goals that the students will engage with throughout the unit to stimulate their learning. For examples of additional teaching resources to display in your classroom, browse the Australian Gold Rush collection on the Teach Starter website.
Many of the resources that accompany this unit plan will need to be prepared prior to teaching. For this reason, it is advised that teachers browse through all lessons before commencing the unit.
Some of the activities suggested in lessons within this unit require particular materials. Additional adult supervision at some of these stations would be beneficial.
Throughout this unit, you can add a higher inquiry level by brainstorming with your class for ideas around gold, the Australian Gold Rush, and what the students would like to find out about.
Australian Curriculum alignment
Develop appropriate questions to guide an inquiry about people, events, developments, places, systems and challenges
Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sources
Sequence information about people's lives, events, developments and phenomena using a variety of methods including timelines
Examine primary sources and secondary sources to determine their origin and purposeElaborationsinferring the nature, purpose and origin of artefacts to determine if they have evidence to offer an investigation of a time, place or process (Skills: Lit...
Examine different viewpoints on actions, events, issues and phenomena in the past and present
Work in groups to generate responses to issues and challengesElaborationsundertaking a project that responds to an identified challenge or issue with strategies to be used that will achieve desired outcomes (for example, bush fire readiness plan, a s...
The nature of convict or colonial presence, including the factors that influenced patterns of development, aspects of the daily life of the inhabitants (including Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples) and how the environment changed
The impact of a significant development or event on an Australian colony
The reasons people migrated to Australia and the experiences and contributions of a particular migrant group within a colony
The role that a significant individual or group played in shaping a colony
The influence of people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, on the environmental characteristics of Australian places
The environmental and human influences on the location and characteristics of a place and the management of spaces within them