Stage 2 students investigate local government

This term, Stage 2 students will be using the Penrith City Council website to learn our about local government.

Which of the images featured in the clip below are looked after by Penrith City’s Local Council?

Penrith NSW Australia – things to do – places to see

Services of local government include:

* Sustainability:

Sustainable Cities 2012 Overall Sustainable Council – Penrith City Council

* Recycling and waste management:

Penrith recycling

National parks: Crown of thorns starfish and cane toads

In Stage 2’s exploration of the HSIE unit, Australia’s national parks, we are looking at the problem of introduced species, feral animals and fragile ecosystems that become unbalanced.

Invasion Of The Deadly Cane Toads – Australia with Simon Reeve – BBC

Killing Star Fish to Save the Great Barrier Reef – Australia with Simon Reeve – BBC

Crown of thorns starfish Monster from the shallows trailer

Federation in Australia: Stage 3’s political cartoons

Stop the presses!

Traditionally, a newspaper’s political cartoons are created close to deadline.

Congratulations to our Stage 3 students, who rose to a unique occasion. Following our intensive investigation into Democracy and Federation in Australia (HSIE unit), I challenged them to break into pairs and, armed with just a black felt pen, a piece of paper and heads full of concepts and ideas, to create a political cartoon in just 20 minutes. No pencils or erasers permitted.

Federation political cartoon

Our complete Flickr slideshow is HERE.

The path to Federation

Stage 3 students have been learning about democracy in HSIE. Now we move on to the Australian arena. A rather irreverent look at the history of Australia, by Daven Bettridge, this animated video clip demonstrates several elements of persuasive texts.

A brief history of Australia

We then investigated the Youtube search engine and found that by adding the descriptor “Parkes” (as in Sir Henry Parkes, Father of Federation), with “Australia” and “Federation”, we could bring up a useful selection of short student assignments from other schools, and promotional clips aimed at tourists. We discussed potential problems and strategies for using such information, and ways to enhance our own learning. Two of the most useful clips, for an introduction to Federation in Australia, were:

The Federation Show with Henry Parkes and Smiley Smiles

Grave of Sir Henry Parkes, Faulconbridge, NSW

Four routes to Australia

In their HSIE unit, British colonisation of Australia, Stage 2 students are investigating four different travel routes to Australia from Britain:

Plymouth (August 1768), rounded Cape Horn, Tahiti (observe transit of Venus), Pacific Islands of Huahine, Borabora and Raiatea (all claimed for Britain), unsuccessfully attempted to land at Rurutu, then New Zealand, then Botany Bay, then north along Australian east coast, then Batavia in Dutch East Indies, rounded Cape of Good Hope, then arriving at Deal in Britain (July 1771, almost three years later).

The first voyage of James Cook

Route to Australia - Cook

Portsmouth (May 1787), Rio de Janiero, Cape Town, through Great Southern Ocean to Botany Bay (January 1788), then Sydney Cove, Port Jackson.

First Fleet – Behind the news

Route to Australia - Phillip and First Fleet

Britain, Port Said (in Egypt), Port Aden (in Yemen), Colombo (Ceylon, now Sri Lanka), Fremantle, Melbourne, Sydney.

Suez Canal time lapse mp.4

Route to Australia - via Suez Canal

In 1935, the route from London to Brisbane had taken 12.5 days, which included a rail trip between Paris and Brindisi. QANTAS first flew the route in 1947, from Sydney to London, with stopovers in Darwin, Singapore (overnight), Calcutta, Karachi, Cairo (overnight) and Tripoli. Return fare was £585 = 130 weeks x average wage.

In 1960, fastest trip was 34 h 30 min with eight stops. In 1989, QANTAS set a world distance record for commercial jets when a Boeing 747-400 flew non-stop, London to Sydney, in just over 20 hours. From 2012, all QANTAS services began making Sydney-London stopovers in Dubai.

The longest hop – Qantas’ Kangaroo Route

Route to Australia - Qantas Kangaroo

Australia’s place in the world

These video clips of Australian maps will enhance the lessons in which Stage 2 students invesigate Australia’s location on the world globe for their HSIE unit, British colonisation of Australia:

World map – Australia & Oceania

Australia’s geographic challenge

Climatic zones of the Earth: British colonisation of Australia

Despite the Equadorian slant and the misspellings of “Arctic” and “Antarctic”, this short presentation is a useful summary of information (“Equator”, “hemisphere”, “northern”, “southern”, “climate”, “temperature”, etc) already covered in HSIE lessons with Stage 2. It also introduces the terms “precipitation”, “tropical zone”, “temperate zone” and the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

Climatic Zone – Logos Academy