Support Notes for Teachers

This WebQuest aims to deepen students' understandings of the multiple perspectives surrounding the events of British colonisation, by immersing them in an interactive, motivating, problem-based scenario.

It is recommended for use by Stage 2 / Year 4 students.

‚Äč Curriculum Relevance
The 'British Colonisation of Australia' WebQuest assists students in achieving Stage Two outcomes in the KLAs of both HSIE and English.

Strand: Change and Continuity
Sub-strand: Significant Events and People
Outcome: CCS2.1: Describes events and actions related to British colonisation of Australia and assesses changes and consequences.
  • Refers to different viewpoints and perspectives on a significant historical issue
  • Explains why terms such as 'occupation', 'settlement', 'exploration', and 'discovery' reflect different perspectives on the same event
  • Describes some aspects of ways of life and achievements in the early colony for male and female convicts, Aboriginal people, officials and officers
  • Describes some of the consequences of the British invasion for Aboriginal people.

Talking & Listening
Outcomes: TS2.1: Communicates in informal and formal classroom activities in school and social situations for an increasing range of purposes on a variety of topics across the curriculum
TS2.2: Interacts effectively in groups and pairs, adopting a range of roles, uses a variety of media and uses various listening strategies for different situations.
  • Uses spoken language to express a point of view with justification, attempting to persuade others towards that point of view or a course of action
  • Recognises and uses the main organisational structures and key language features of simple spoken expositions
  • Experiments with varying voice, tone, volume, pace, body language and gesture to persuade an audience

Suggested Pacing Guide
It is recommended that this WebQuest is completed over a period of 3 x 45 minute lessons.

Lesson 1
Students are given time to formulate their research questions (in the form of a mindmap); and use the given resources to find answers to these questions.
Lesson 2
Students use the online LAMS forum to share their experiences in a group and locate others who agree with their views.
Lesson 3
Allow groups time to prepare their key arguments. The debates can then be held.

Recommended Prior Knowledge & Experiences
HISE Component: Students' Prior Knowledge/Experiences

Prior to completing this WebQuest students should understand what life was like for Aboriginal people prior to British Colonisation as well as the explorers of Australia prior to the British. Students should discuss the voyage of James Cook in relation to colonization and world exploration at the time. They also should have a deep knowledge about the First Fleet voyage, such as why they travelled to Australia, who was on the ships, what conditions on the ships were like, landing of the ships and so forth. They should be aware of the establishment of the British colony in Australia including key aspects of life and significant people.

English Component: Students' Prior Knowledge/Experiences

Ideally, prior to participating in this WebQuest, students would have been introduced to, and particpated in, the text type of exposition. It is recommended that students are familiar with the purpose and structure of expositions, the construction of effective arguments for or against a particular issue/problem, and the importance of body language and voice in the presentation of oral expositions. Experience with producing both written and oral expositions for particular audiences is therefore recommended prior to students' particpation in the WebQuest.

Other Recommended Prior Experiences

Students must be competent in completing WebQuests independently, utilizing LAMS, making a mindmap using Inspiration software, working as a cooperative group member and producing their own oral debate. Students should be able to ask questions, adopt a critical stance, and extract required details when searching a variety of information sources about the lives of people during British Colonisation.

Other Task Considerations
  • Roles should be distributed to students prior to the commencement of the WebQuest. A few extra students will need to be assigned to the explorer and governor/official roles, so as to ensure a balance of 'for' and 'against' numbers in the concluding debate.

  • Access to both 'Inspiration' and LAMS software is needed for this WebQuest. 'Inspiration' is a software tool which allows students to visually organise information, concepts and ideas into a range of graphic organisers. LAMS (Learning Activity Management Systems) is an online lesson design planner tool which enables educators to construct lesson sequences using a variety of generic activity templates. Learners can then particpate directly in the completed lesson sequence.

  • The LAMS forum requires careful grouping of students, so as to ensure a balanced number of 'roles' in each of the forum groups. For example, in a class of 24, three forum groups of eight could be constructed, with four 'for' roles and four 'against' roles in each. This will enhance the quality of student interaction when they come to locate others in their group who agree with their stance.

Further Assessment/Activity Ideas
  • Review the tape of the debates and discuss the different perspectives put forward by the different groups. Discuss how there exists multiple, contrasting viewpoints on the same event, and talk about why this might be the case. Emphasise the need for a balanced perspective when exploring the events surrounding British colonisation of Australia.

  • Either during the debates themselves or the replaying of the debates, students could be asked to take notes of the different perspectives and the evidence to support them.

  • From this, students may construct a concept map or a PhotoStory to demonstrate their understandings of the multiple perspectives surrounding this important historical event. These items could be used for HSIE assessment purposes.

  • Students may participate in an interview-style activity, requiring them to 'interview' a colony member to ascertain what life was like for them in the colony. They may individually formulate the questions they wish to ask their colony member (a chosen peer). This will act to extend students' understandings regarding the existence of multiple viewpoints surrounding colonisation.