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Get Students Excited About Australia With a Webquest Adventure

written by: Dawn Marcotte • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 10/31/2013

This Webquest on Australian History will allow students to design a new museum with interactive activities for adults and children. Students will create themed 'halls' on a variety of topics such as explorers, aborigines and colonization.

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    In this webquest, students will research the discovery, settlement and expansion of Australia from the days of the original inhabitants to the people who live there today. Imagine if your students were competing to design exhibit halls for the Australian History Museum located in Sydney, Australia. Let your students divide themselves into teams that choose their own topic, or you can assign teams and topics.

    Some suggested themes include the discovery of Australia, famous explorers, aborigines, cultures living in Australia, myths and legends or the impact of geography. Each hall should contain at least three artifacts, relevant historical facts and an interactive display. Students will design their assigned hall and present their idea to the class. A small model can also be built if time allows. Students will learn about significant events, famous people and how Australia fits into the larger world history.

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    Process

    Students should research the assigned topic to determine what artifacts should be put on display. Each hall should contain at least three separate paragraphs with facts on the subject. An interactive display should also be designed to help people gain a deeper understanding of the subject. An example of a hall that details some of the most famous explorers may have parts from a ship; an original diary kept by one of the explorers and a map the explorers drew. There would be at least one paragraph written about each explorer with details on where they came from, why they came to Australia and why they are famous. A model of one of the ships that was sailed to Australia will help people understand more graphically the hardships encountered by the early explorers. Students should be encouraged to use websites that end in .au as these are Australian websites and will be more accurate. Several helpful sites include:

    National Museum of Australia - History

    History Council of New South Wales

    DavidReilly.com: Sixteen Australian Explorers

    Aboriginal Culture

    Australian Art

    Geography of New South Wales (How Stuff Works)

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    Evaluation

    Students will be evaluated on a 5 point scale on research and presentation.

    1 – Assignment is incomplete. Less than three factual paragraphs are included. The interactive display and artifacts are missing or incomplete. The presentation is incomplete.

    2 – Assignment is almost complete. Less than three factual paragraphs are included. The interactive display and at least one artifact are included. The presentation is incomplete.

    3 – Assignment is complete with three factual paragraphs, an interactive display and more than two artifacts included. The presentation includes all relevant information and has a diagram of the final product.

    4 – Assignment is complete with more than three factual paragraphs, an interactive display and more than three artifacts with additional information included. The presentation includes all relevant information and a model of the display has been created.

    5 – Assignment is complete with more than 4 factual paragraphs, an interactive display and more than 4 artifacts with additional information included. The presentation includes all relevant information with a model of the display and a demonstration of the interactive activity.

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    This activity provides a creative method for students to display what they have learned about Australian history. Encourage students to use their imagination when designing each exhibit and interactive display. A final museum diagram can be created by combining the various halls envisioned by the students.

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