HistoryYears 5 - 6The Australian ColoniesMigration to the Australian ColoniesMigration to the Australian Colonies

We Came from Distant Shores



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Stimulus Resources

Teaching Notes

Key Concepts, Skills and Understandings

In this lesson, students will investigate the movements and influence of various migrant groups in the Australian Colonies. They will use their visual literacy skills to analyse and develop inquiry questions about different groups eg Afghan Cameleers, Japanese pearl divers. Adopting mapping skills, they will locate the countries of origin and locations in Australia where the migrants settled. Developing research questions to guide an inquiry into one migrant group, students will present a case study which analyses the reasons for migration and their contribution to life in the Australian Colonies.
Students will discuss and analyse stereotypes and unfair treatment of migrants through viewing photographs and cartoons of the era. Please be aware that some of the historical images are confronting and students may find them upsetting. We include these images in our lessons to develop the students’ critical thinking skills; their ability to consider that values and perceptions evolve over time and what might have been accepted in the past is now considered inappropriate and can also be illegal. They will view and study photographs of migrant groups and infer meaning about how they were treated according to their positioning and seating. Browsing and reading through the information presented in the Harvest of Endurance interactive scroll, students will learn about the story of the Chinese in Australia over the last two hundred years.
Historical concepts addressed in this lesson are sources, significance, perspectives and empathy.

Focus Question

Where did migrant groups come from and how did they contribute to the Australian Colonies?

Australian National Curriculum


NSW Syllabus

HT3-5, HT3-2, HT3-1

Victorian Curriculum





5 - 6


The Australian Colonies


Migration to the Australian Colonies

Lesson Name

We Came from Distant Shores

Lesson Time

120 mins


Inquisitive Team

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