rail_line_workers.jpg

La Trobe University
Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary)

Lesson Plan 1

Name: David Barclay
School: La Trobe University

Topic: Where did the miner come from?

How did he travel to (Victoria's) goldfields?

Learning Area: Gold Rush ~ Victoria 1850s

Date: N/A

Year Level: Level: VELS Level 4; Grades 5 & 6

Duration: 75 - 90 minutes


Learning Purpose:
This lesson follows on from the students’ recently completed Immigration Unit (and visit to the Melbourne Immigration Museum). In this lesson, students will gain an insight into the 1850’s Victorian Gold Rush immigration boom and of the onerous ‘homeland to goldfield’ journey undertaken by its seekers of gold. The lesson’s theme will enable students to contrast modern methods of travel with that of the past and allows scope for further inquiry into cultural pressures.

An overnight camp excursion to Soverign Hill during Week 1 establishes a solid foundation among students for upcoming understanding and knowledge of the life of a gold miner.

VELS references:
Historical knowledge and understanding

At Level 4, students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of significant events in Australian history including …the 1850s gold rushes…They demonstrate an understanding of the histories of some cultural groups which make up Australia today. Students are knowledgeable of aspects of past societies and can identify change over time.
http://vels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/assessment/ppoint/humanities/history/index.html

Geospatial skills
At Level 4, students use atlases...to accurately describe the distance, direction and location of places.
http://vels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/assessment/ppoint/humanities/geography/index.html

VCAA (2008) Victorian Essential Learning Standards: Interdisciplinary Learning- ICT and progression points (level 4 standard). Revised Edition February, 2008.
Retrieved 20 May 2009, from http://vels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/essential/interdisciplinary/ict/level4.html


Group set up
Materials
Engagement: (25 minutes)
What sacrifices would you make to become rich?

Students verbalise their responses and a brief classroom discussion ensues.

Photocopied pages ‘The Gold Rushes,’ ‘The Discovery of Gold,’ & ‘Gold Rush Journeys’ distributed and read aloud by individual students; as delegated by teacher.


Procedure: (35 minutes)
Students to be divided into five groups of approximately five students. Each group is provided with instructions and support material for their independent task (see appendices).

This procedure style is designed to minimise task requirement confusion by students and maximise class activity time.

Group 1:
Students are given written instructions by teacher as follows:

“Create an A4-sized newspaper advertisement for a shipping company using a positive focus about sailing with this shipping company to Australia to work the very lucrative goldfields.”

“You will need to present your work to the class.”

Group 2:
Students are given written instructions by teacher as follows:

“Write a sailor’s (i.e. prospective miner) mid-voyage travel diary extract with a focus on the ship-board living conditions experienced during sailing to Australia.”


“You will need to present your work to the class.”

Group 3:
Students are given written instructions by teacher as follows:

Task A: “On the A4-sized world map provided locate and colour the countries from where ‘gold rush’ miners originated and plot their sailing journey to Melbourne.”


Task B: "Using the 'Victoria's Goldfield Map' identify the main goldfields and their direction and distance from Melbourne."

“You will need to present your findings to the class.”


Group 4:
Students are given written instructions by teacher as follows:

“Using the classroom computers, create two graphs based on the information provided in your group's handout."

“You will need to present your work to the class.”

Group 5:
Students are given written instructions by teacher as follows:

“List the advantages and disadvantages of travelling to Victoria’s distant goldfields by the following methods: Walking, Horse-drawn cart, Horse-drawn coach, Camel train, Steam train.”

“You will need to present your work to the class.”


Pulling it together: (20 minutes)
Group members will all stand together with all groups forming a sequentially numbered circle around the classroom. Here the journey starts...

In (number) order groups will present their work / findings to the whole class. Each contribution will progress the miner’s journey from a country of origin to the final leg of the journey; Victoria’s goldfields...


Group work can be displayed in chronological order for class viewing & reviewing.


Teacher talk

Class discussion

Teacher delegated students to read aloud to class

Students are grouped according to their seating arrangements, i.e. closest proximity.

Group work

Classroom computers

Teacher talk

Students in groups form a circle around the classroom

Student verbal input


Marker pen

Each student receives 3 photocopied pages from books:


Parry, A. (2007)
The gold rushes: gold rush journeys. p 4 & 5.

Parry, A. (2007)
The gold rushes: the discovery of gold. p 5.


Blank A4 paper, ruler and black marker pens.



Group 1: Task instruction handout with picture of sailing ship (Clipper)





Group 2: Task instruction handout with picture of sailing ship (Clipper)







Group 3 Task A: Task instruction handout with world map




Group 3 Task B: instruction handout with ‘Victoria’s Goldfield Map’


Group 4: Task instruction handout with migration statistics


Group 5: Task instruction handout with picture of Walker, Horse-drawn cart, Horse-drawn coach, Camel train & Steam train




Observations of students’ learning:
The procedural design of this lesson allows the teacher the freedom and time to move between each group to observe students’ group contribution.

Teacher to note student’s depictions of positive and negative aspects of topic, imaginary and creative thinking processes, geographic comprehension and group cohesion. Teacher will collect group’s worksheets to review accuracy and complexity of detail.
Teacher’s Resources:
Parry, A. (2007) The gold rushes: the discovery of gold. Macmillian Education Australia Pty Ltd

Parry, A. (2007)
The gold rushes: gold rush journeys. Macmillian Education Australia Pty Ltd
Catering for inclusion:
Overall, this activity caters for all learning styles: visual, auditory and kinaesthetic.

Post Lesson (Extension):
Comparing contemporary transportation networks and methods to those of the past. Scope also for timeline usage.

Understanding conflict and resolution incidents between Australia’s migrant populations, i.e. Chinese vs. Westerners on the goldfields.