AHM BlogLesson Planning:

Australian History Lessons for Year 9 Students

Posted January 2017

We’ve made planning your Australian history lessons easy with our rich online resources for Year 9 students. The Australian History Mysteries secondary website includes a range of interactive case studies that have been designed specifically around the Australian Curriculum: history as outlined below:

Year 9 Level Description

The making of the modern world

The Year 9 curriculum provides a study of the history of the making of the modern world from 1750 to 1918. It was a period of industrialisation and rapid change in the ways people lived, worked and thought. It was an era of nationalism and imperialism, and the colonisation of Australia was part of the expansion of European power. The period culminated in World War I, 1914–1918, the ‘war to end all wars’.

The content provides opportunities to develop historical understanding through key concepts, including evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability. These concepts may be investigated within a particular historical context to facilitate an understanding of the past and to provide a focus for historical inquiries.

Key inquiry questions

A framework for developing students’ historical knowledge, understanding and skills is provided by inquiry questions through the use and interpretation of sources. The key inquiry questions for Year 9 are:

  • What were the changing features of the movements of people from 1750 to 1918?
  • How did new ideas and technological developments contribute to change in this period?
  • What was the origin, development, significance and long-term impact of imperialism in this period?
  • What was the significance of World War I?

Depth Study: Movement of peoples (1750 – 1901)

  • The influence of the Industrial Revolution on the movement of peoples throughout the world, including the transatlantic slave trade and convict transportation (ACDSEH018 – Scootle)
  • Experiences of slaves, convicts and free settlers upon departure, their journey abroad, and their reactions on arrival, including the Australian experience(ACDSEH083 – Scootle)
  • Changes in the way of life of a group(s) of people who moved to Australia in this period, such as free settlers on the frontier in Australia(ACDSEH084 – Scootle )
  • The short and long-term impacts of the movement of peoples during this period (ACDSEH085 – Scootle)

Australian History Mysteries Resources:
Who discovered Australia?

Students look at a variety of evidence to determine who ‘discovered’ Australia. In doing so they have to address the issue of what ‘discover’ means and what the implications of different definitions, or elements of an overall definition, are. Students are introduced to a range of ‘discoverers’, including Aboriginal people, Baijini gypsies, Chinese explorers, Macassan fishermen, Portuguese seamen, Dutch merchants, James Cook and Matthew Flinders. An interactive entitled, Build a timeline for the discovery of Australia, is also available for this case study.

What was life of a female convict really like?

Students are involved in a detailed investigation of the Ross Female Factory site in Tasmania. They ‘become’ archaeologists and find a variety of objects relating to convict life. They then have to draw on a variety of other sources of evidence to help them ‘interrogate’ and interpret each object, and to discover what it tells them about convict life and conditions.

An interactive entitled, Digging up the past — archaeological dig at the site of a female convict factory, is also available for this case study.

Lesson plans include:

  • Activity 1: Introducing archaeology
    Understanding the main concept(s) raised in the case study
  • Activity 2: Video visit
    Looking at the video segment of this case study and answering questions about it
  • Activity 3: Carrying out a site study
    Six steps to carrying out a successful site study

Can you Strike It Rich During The Gold Rush?

This decision-maker game will help students some of the experiences faced by hundreds of thousands of people during the Australian gold rush period in the second half of the nineteenth century (1850–1900).

The Eureka Rebellion – could you have stopped it from happening?

Students take on the persona of the people involved in the Eureka Rebellion and have to make crucial decisions. They are given choices and know that consequences will flow from their decisions. In this exercise students see that at every point in the story there were alternatives that might have been available, but were, for whatever reason, not taken. It engages students with some key historical ideas — empathy, causation, values, motivation and consequences.

An interactive entitled, The Eureka Rebellion – could you have stopped it from happening? is also available for this case study.

Lesson plans include:

  • Activity 1: A dramatic situation
    Understanding the main concept(s) raised in the case study
  • Activity 2: What happened at Eureka in 1854?
    Investigating an illustration of the event
  • Activity 3: Video visit
    Looking at the video segment of this case study and answering questions about it
  • Activity 4: What happened at Eureka in 1854?
    Decision maker game: Examining 10 situations from the Eureka rebellion
  • Activity 5: Reflection
    Investigating 4 memorials commemorating the Eureka rebellion

What does the Springfield farm tell us about Australian colonial life?

Springfield is a pastoral property which was established near Goulburn, New South Wales, in 1827. It still exists today. The contents of the historic home were donated to the National Museum of Australia, and many of these are on display now in the museum.

A study of this property and its historic objects can help us learn about colonial life — especially about economic, social and environmental features.

Case Study lesson plan structure:

There are three separate multimedia components of the inquiry unit:

  1. Take a quick trip through the National Museum of Australia to get a taste of the historic objects from ‘Springfield’ on display, and what they tell us about colonial life in Australia.
  2. Try the interactive decision maker – see if you would have been able to run a property like ‘Springfield’ and help develop Australia.
  3. See if you can work out what the 10 ‘Springfield’ ‘mystery objects’ are.

Depth Study: Making a nation

  • The extension of settlement, including the effects of contact (intended and unintended) between European settlers in Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACDSEH020 – Scootle)
  • Experiences of non-Europeans in Australia prior to the 1900s (such as the Japanese, Chinese, South Sea Islanders, Afghans) (ACDSEH089 – Scootle)
  • Living and working conditions in Australia around the turn of the twentieth century (that is 1900) (ACDSEH090 – Scootle)
  • Key people, events and ideas in the development of Australian self-government and democracy, including, the role of founders, key features of constitutional development, the importance of British and Western influences in the formation of Australia’s system of government and women’s voting rights (ACDSEH091 – Scootle)
  • Laws made by federal Parliament between 1901-1914 including the Harvester Judgment, pensions, and the Immigration Restriction Act(ACDSEH092 – Scootle)

Australian History Mysteries Resources:
Myths and Mysteries of the Crossing of the Blue Mountains

This a multimedia education resource to help middle secondary students explore an aspect of Australia’s early colonial history — the crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813.

An interactive decision-maker entitled, Would you be a Good Explorer? is also available for this case study.

Case Study lesson plan structure:

  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Focus Question 1: What are the Blue Mountains?
  • Focus Question 2: How were the Blue Mountains formed?
  • Focus Question 3: Why did explorers want to cross the Blue Mountains?
  • Focus Question 4: Who actually crossed the Blue Mountains?
  • Focus Question 5: How did the explorers achieve their crossing in 1813?
  • Focus Question 6: What was their journey like?
  • Focus Question 7: Were Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth really the first to cross the Blue Mountains?
  • Focus Question 8: What impacts did the crossing have?
  • Focus Question 9: How is the crossing of the Blue Mountains represented in the National Museum of Australia?

The Eureka Rebellion – could you have stopped it from happening?

Students take on the persona of the people involved in the Eureka Rebellion and have to make crucial decisions. They are given choices and know that consequences will flow from their decisions. In this exercise students see that at every point in the story there were alternatives that might have been available, but were, for whatever reason, not taken. It engages students with some key historical ideas — empathy, causation, values, motivation and consequences.

An interactive entitled, The Eureka Rebellion – could you have stopped it from happening? is also available for this case study.

Lesson plans include:

  • Activity 1: A dramatic situation
    Understanding the main concept(s) raised in the case study
  • Activity 2: What happened at Eureka in 1854?
    Investigating an illustration of the event
  • Activity 3: Video visit
    Looking at the video segment of this case study and answering questions about it
  • Activity 4: What happened at Eureka in 1854?
    Decision maker game: Examining 10 situations from the Eureka rebellion
  • Activity 5: Reflection
    Investigating 4 memorials commemorating the Eureka rebellion

Can you Strike It Rich During The Gold Rush?

This decision-maker game will help students some of the experiences faced by hundreds of thousands of people during the Australian gold rush period in the second half of the nineteenth century (1850–1900).

What happened in a frontier conflict in Broome in 1864?

Students investigate an incident of frontier conflict in Western Australia and are challenged to consider different interpretations of the event. They carry out an inquiry, calling witnesses and critically analysing the evidence presented. They also investigate a memorial, called the ‘Explorers Memorial’, which carries both the original inscription from 1913 and a later interpretation of events by Aboriginal people from 1994. In doing so they experience how history ‘hears’ and ‘silences’ voices and how people use the past in the present.

An interactive entitled, Key moments — can you make key decisions in Australian history? is also available for this case study.

Case Study lesson plan structure:

  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Activity 1: Comparing inscriptions
    Understanding the main concept(s) raised in the case study
  • Activity 2: Video visit
    Looking at the video segment of this case study and answering questions about it
  • Activity 3: Holding an inquiry
    Interrogating the evidence of witnesses to the event
  • Activity 4: Four representations of the event
    Discussing different images of the event and assessing their strengths and weaknesses as evidence
  • Activity 5: Reflection
    Examining the Explorers’ Memorial

Was Ned Kelly a hero or a villain?

Students investigate how people can interpret one set of facts very differently to come up with contrasting ‘Ned as hero’ and ‘Ned as villain’ interpretations. They then put Ned Kelly on trial for the event that set his fate — the killing of the three police at Stringybark Creek in 1878 by becoming witnesses, presenting evidence and being challenged about that evidence. In doing so they confront one of the icons of Australian history and decide for themselves the place of that person in their own sense of their national identity.

An interactive entitled, Kelly country — the race to Glenrowan, is also available for this case study.

Case Study lesson plan structure:

  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Activity 1: What is a hero? What is a villain?
    Understanding the main concept(s) raised in the case study
  • Activity 2: Video visit
    Looking at the video segment of this case study and answering questions about it
  • Activity 3: Ned Kelly biography
    Some facts about the life of Ned Kelly
  • Activity 4: Different representations of Ned Kelly
    Examining three different assessments of Ned Kelly
  • Activity 5: Putting Ned Kelly on trial
    Investigating the most important moments in Ned Kelly’s life and examining witnesses
  • Activity 6: Reflection
    Creating a museum display and conducting further research

What does the Springfield farm tell us about Australian colonial life?

Springfield is a pastoral property which was established near Goulburn, New South Wales, in 1827. It still exists today. The contents of the historic home were donated to the National Museum of Australia, and many of these are on display now in the museum.

A study of this property and its historic objects can help us learn about colonial life — especially about economic, social and environmental features.

Case Study lesson plan structure:

There are three separate multimedia components of the inquiry unit:

  1. Take a quick trip through the National Museum of Australia to get a taste of the historic objects from ‘Springfield’ on display, and what they tell us about colonial life in Australia.
  2. Try the interactive decision maker – see if you would have been able to run a property like ‘Springfield’ and help develop Australia.
  3. See if you can work out what the 10 ‘Springfield’ ‘mystery objects’ are.

Depth Study: The Industrial Revolution (1750-1914)

  • The population movements and changing settlement patterns during this period (ACDSEH080 – Scootle)
  • The experiences of men, women and children during the Industrial Revolution, and their changing way of life (ACDSEH081 – Scootle)
  • The short and long-termimpacts of the Industrial Revolution, including global changes in landscapes, transport and communication (ACDSEH082 – Scootle)

Australian History Mysteries Resources:
Myths and Mysteries of the Crossing of the Blue Mountains

This a multimedia education resource to help middle secondary students explore an aspect of Australia’s early colonial history — the crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813.

An interactive decision-maker entitled, Would you be a Good Explorer? is also available for this case study.

Case Study lesson plan structure:

  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Focus Question 1: What are the Blue Mountains?
  • Focus Question 2: How were the Blue Mountains formed?
  • Focus Question 3: Why did explorers want to cross the Blue Mountains?
  • Focus Question 4: Who actually crossed the Blue Mountains?
  • Focus Question 5: How did the explorers achieve their crossing in 1813?
  • Focus Question 6: What was their journey like?
  • Focus Question 7: Were Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth really the first to cross the Blue Mountains?
  • Focus Question 8: What impacts did the crossing have?
  • Focus Question 9: How is the crossing of the Blue Mountains represented in the National Museum of Australia?

What does the Springfield farm tell us about Australian colonial life?

Springfield is a pastoral property which was established near Goulburn, New South Wales, in 1827. It still exists today. The contents of the historic home were donated to the National Museum of Australia, and many of these are on display now in the museum.

A study of this property and its historic objects can help us learn about colonial life — especially about economic, social and environmental features.

Case Study lesson plan structure:

There are three separate multimedia components of the inquiry unit:

  1. Take a quick trip through the National Museum of Australia to get a taste of the historic objects from ‘Springfield’ on display, and what they tell us about colonial life in Australia.
  2. Try the interactive decision maker – see if you would have been able to run a property like ‘Springfield’ and help develop Australia.
  3. See if you can work out what the 10 ‘Springfield’ ‘mystery objects’ are.

Depth Study: World War I (1914-1918)

Students investigate key aspects of World War I and the Australian experience of the war, including the nature and significance of the war in world and Australian history.

  • An overview of the causes of World War I and the reasons why men enlisted to fight in the war (ACDSEH021 – Scootle)
  • The places where Australians fought and the nature of warfare during World War I, including the Gallipoli campaign (ACDSEH095 – Scootle)
  • The impact of World War I, with a particular emphasis on Australia including the changing role of women (ACDSEH096 – Scootle)
  • The commemoration of World War I, including debates about the nature andsignificance of the Anzac legend (ACDSEH097 – Scootle)

Australian History Mysteries Resources:

Did WWI divide or unite local communities?

In this unit students ‘create’ a family and community, and then explore how the people involved react to a series of situations that develop during the war. The unit provides a practical classroom-based way of developing knowledge, understanding and empathy while formulating hypotheses that can then be tested in a real local community, or at a state or national level.

Case Study lesson plan structure:

  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Activity 1: Understanding a key concept in forming initial hypotheses
    Understanding the main concept(s) raised in the case study
  • Activity 2: Creating your family
    Forming groups to become different families in wartime
  • Activity 3: Visiting the scene of the events
    Looking at the video segment of this case study and answering questions about it
  • Activity 4: Examining key information
    Responding as a family to 8 wartime situations by considering a variety of evidence
  • Activity 5: Community meeting
    Discussing the nature of wartime family experiences in a community meeting
  • Activity 6: How might the National Museum of Australia represent this historical theme?
    Exploring key objects in the museum which illustrate the case study theme