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Week 38: Exploration

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 38: Exploration ]

[ View the related 'Weekly Post': Week 38 - lost in the bush ]

This week we hear that Mary Thomas is reluctant to leave Kangaroo IslandĀ  without knowing what happened to the six men who set out for Nepean Bay and are now missing. She knows the dangers of exploring in unfamiliar territory after becoming lost in the scrub with her husband. We also check in with Colonel Light who is still exploring and seeking the best place for the settlement but is feeling pressure from the settlers who are eager to know where their new home will be. We will look at how explorers navigate new environments while keeping safe and how they make decisions based on their discoveries.

Dama Wallaby, 1897

Inquiry Questions:

How did the settlers go about exploring their new environment?

How did these early explorations impact on the development of the colony?

What dangers did the settlers face in an unfamiliar country and what  strategies did they use to keep safe?

What skills were needed by those settlers who were exploring and surveying the coast and inland areas?

Read through this week's journal entries. What emotions and feelings are described as these people explore their new home?

Research Topics:

What role did Colonel Light play in surveying and exploring South Australia?

Who were some other significant explorers and surveyors in South Australia and what were their notable discoveries?

Investigate major decisions made as a result of exploration in South Australia and in other states.

Historical Skills:


Historical terms and concepts

 Create a time line showing key discoveries in the sea and land exploration of Australia.

Make a list of   significant explorers in Australian history. What makes these people significant?            

Historical questions and research

Pose questions about the history of your local area.

Who are the significant  explorers in your area and how did their discoveries shape the development of the area you live in?

Using and analysing sources
Read through this week's journal entries and identify all of the place names mentioned. Locate these places on  a map and do some research to find out what life is like for people in these places today. How do these places compare to the descriptions in this week's journal entries?
Perspectives and interpretations
Read through this week's journal entries and find the two references to the six men who have gone missing on Kangaroo Island. How do these two accounts compare? Who wrote these journals and why was this incident important enough for them to record in their journals?
explanation and communication

Produce a map of South Australia showing all the places mentioned this week and in previous posts.

Use the map to retell the story of Light's investigations over the past few weeks.

Activity Suggestions:

1. Imagine you are preparing to explore a country that you have never visited before. You do not know if you'll be able to find fresh water or where the sources of food will be. As you prepare for your expedition make a list of all the things you will take with you. If you were only allowed to take ten items with you what would they be. How did you make these decisions?

2.Plan a camping trip for a group of friends using these guidelines from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in South Australia. Write a list of rules for the group to follow to ensure that everybody stays safe and respects the environment.

3. Imagine that you have just arrived in South Australia from England in 1836. What would you notice about the animals and plants in your new land? If you had to describe an Australian animal or plant for a friend back in England who had never seen it before what words would you use? Would you be able to compare it to a plant or animal that your English friend may be familiar with? Write 'what am I?' clues about Australian animals and plants for your partner to solve.

4. Collect a range of Australian animal toys and hide them throughout the classroom. Ask students to explore the classroom looking for signs of wildlife. Ask students to sketch the animal they find imagining that they have never seen it before.

5. Investigate the techniques used by Aboriginal people to navigate and find their way around. What role did astronomy and the stars play in this? Explore this website and make some notes of things to look out for when you are looking at the night sky tonight.

6. Investigate some of the skills explorers need to navigate new places without getting lost by playing some orienteering games.

What if?

What do you think would have happened if Colonel Light got lost during his explorations? Where do you think the settlers would have chosen to live?

What do you think?

Consider the following statement and form your own opinion:

Exploring new places is fun. Explorers do not need any special skills or equipment.

Stay tuned...........................

While learning about their new home and exploring unfamiliar places it is important for the settlers to keep track of time. Next week we will look at devices and methods used for telling time in 1836.

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