Australian Gold Rush Unit Plan

Unit Plan

Australian Gold Rush Unit Plan

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Free on Plus | 8 x Lessons |1 x Assessment | Suitable for Grade: 5

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!)

 Overview

Objectives

  • 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.

 Lessons

60 minutes
Lesson 1

Australian History - Revisiting the Past

A 60-minute lesson in which students recap their prior knowledge of Australian history and the British colonisation of Australia.

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60 minutes
Lesson 2

Gold – Defining It

A 60-minute lesson in which students will learn what gold is and how it helped shape the currency we use today.

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60 minutes
Lesson 3

Gold Fever - Kick Starting the Australian Gold Rush

A 60-minute lesson in which students learn about the discovery of gold and initial phases of the Australian Gold Rush.

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60 minutes
Lesson 4

A Digger's Life – Exploration of Life on the Goldfields

A 60-minute lesson in which students learn about the working and living conditions of miners on the Australian goldfields.

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60 minutes
Lesson 5

A Golden Democracy – Laws, Taxes and Voting Equality

A 60-minute lesson designed to explain how events during the gold rush influenced Australian laws, taxes, equality and voting rights, and how they shaped our current democracy.

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60 minutes
Lesson 6

First Nations – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Involvement in the Gold Rush

A 60-minute lesson in which students explore the impact the Australian Gold Rush had on Indigenous peoples.

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60 minutes
Lesson 7

Melting Pot – Exploring the Cultures That Made the Australian Gold Rush

A 60-minute lesson about the influence different cultures had on Australia during the gold rush years, the challenges newcomers faced, and how they made Australia what it is today.

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60 minutes
Lesson 8

Eureka Stockade – Fighting for a Vote

A 60-minute lesson in which students learn about the events that led to the Eureka Stockade and how they changed Australian society.

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60 minutes
Lesson 9 (Assessment)

Assessment: Living Wax Museum – Australian Gold Rush

A 60-minute assessment designed to assess students' knowledge and understanding of the people, politics and events of the Australian Gold Rush.

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  Australian Curriculum alignment


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