Design a history lesson

Australian Curriculum: History, with Assessment caption

Assessment objective 1

Using the concepts highlighted in The Rabbits by Shaun Tan (see Assessment The Rabbits) and the passage below, students investigate the history of Australia in the period 1750 – 1918 in depth.

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)

 The Australian Year 7 History curriculum content description invites  Students [to] investigate the history of an Asian society OR Australia in the period 1750 – 1918 in depth.

Bruce Pascoe (2014), advises that at the time he was writing Dark emu, ‘a massive roller is at work crushing volcanic stone in [Victorian] Western District pastures. … The operator of the roller is “just doing what he is told”, but he wouldn’t be allowed to do it at Stonehenge or Easter Island’.

Destruction of Aboriginal sites was perpetrated by the initial visitors and witnessed by many Europeans. William Thomas (an Aboriginal Protector) saw several aquaculture systems such as the eel traps around Lake Condah. According to Thomas (2013), one such system belonged to a particularly large village near Port Fairy, which had more than thirty houses capable of accommodating around 200-250 people. The whole village was burned and the sluice gates of the fishery destroyed (Pascoe 2014).


Assessment objective 2

Using the concepts highlighted in The Rabbits by Shaun Tan (see Assessment The Rabbits) and the passage below, design a lesson that might be used at the Year 4 enquiry.

The nature of contact between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and … the Europeans, and the effects of these interactions on, for example, people and environments.

Destruction of Aboriginal sites took place in the 1800s, yet in 1963, “the dispossession was continuing. Police came at gunpoint under cover of darkness to Mapoon, an Aboriginal community in Queensland, and they ordered people from their homes and they burned those homes to the ground and they gave the land to a bauxite mining company. And today those people remember that as the ‘Night of the Burning’ ” (


Pascoe, B 2014, Dark emu: Black seeds: agriculture or accident?, Magabala Books, Broome, WA.