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How Did the Arrival of Convicts Shape Early Australian History?

In this unit, the students will investigate Australia’s convict history. The students will identify where the convicts came from. They will become familiar with the events leading to convict transportation and create a timeline to show these events. The students will give an oral presentation explaining the reasons why convicts were sent to Australia. They will create an imaginary convict and write a profile detailing information about his/her life and crimes. The students will ‘become’ these characters throughout the unit. They will write a letter from this convict’s point of view. The students will learn a folk song such as “Bound for Botany Bay”. They will form groups to research one of the boats of the First Fleet and contribute to a discussion about life on board a ship. The students will write a diary entry from their imaginary convict’s point of view and a newspaper article recounting the arrival of the First Fleet. They will participate in an excursion to The Rocks or Old Sydney Town (or alternatively watch a DVD) and research aspects of convict life in the new settlement. They will design a new convict uniform and write a biography for a real convict. The students will research the different types of pardons issued to convicts. They will then write an exposition in which they put forward reasons why a convict should be issued some form of a pardon. The students will then present their arguments to the “Governor”. 

Content Strand:
English, HSIE, CAPA
Word Document
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