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Australian Curriculum History – The first fleet – Year 4 digital unit

This is a 27-page ebook from the Australian Curriculum History series that covers:

  • Stories of the First Fleet, including reason for the journey, who travelled to Australia, and their experiences following arrival (ACHHK079) 


  • Discussing reasons for the First Fleet journey, and looking at the groups who were transported.
  • Investigating the daily lives and social standing of those who travelled to Australia on the First Fleet, including families, children and convict guards.
  • Discussing reasons for the First Fleet journey, and looking at the groups who were transported. Discussing treatment of the prisoners at that time.
  • Discussing past and present views on the colonisation of Australia; investigating someone who travelled on the First Fleet, why and what their life was like before and after.

Key inquiry questions

  • What was life like for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people before the arrival of the Europeans?
  • What was the nature and consequence of early contact?
  • Investigating pre-contact ways of life of the Aboriginal people.
  • Why did the great journeys of exploration occur?
  • Why did Europeans settle in Australia?
  • What was the nature and consequence of contact between Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and early traders, explorers and settlers?

Historical skills

  • Sequence historical people and events (ACHHS081) 
  • Use historical terms (ACHHS082) 
  • Pose a range of questions about the past (ACHHS083) 
  • Locate relevant information from sources provided (ACHHS084) 
  • Identify different points of view (ACHHS085) 
  • Develop texts particularly narratives (ACHHS086) 
  • Use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, and written) and digital technologies (ACHHS087) 
  • Identify sources (ACHHS216) 

Historical concepts

  • Cause and effect
  • Sources
  • Significance
  • Continuity and change
  • Empathy
  • Perspectives

Take a trip through history and learn how the past has helped shape today, with this engaging, content-packed seven-book series covering the Historical knowledge and understanding strand for each year level. Students will be enthralled learning about the first circumnavigation of the globe, Australia’s first people,migrants who have crossed the sea for a new life, and much more.


A supporting teachers page which provides:

  • the content description being addressed
  • an elaboration relating to the specific aspect of the content description being developed
  • the key inquiry questions being addressed
  • the historical skills practised by completing the activities
  • the historical concepts addressed by the activities
  • background information to support that given in the student pages
  • teaching notes to assist in classroom organisation or to highlight specific activities
  • additional activities to extend the topic and develop historical skills
  • resources to supplement information/activities for teachers/students
  • a time line related to specific people and events

Three student activity pages which consist of:

  • a stimulus text to inform students about the theme and to promote discussion
  • an activity page related directly to the text but requiring research, evaluative comprehension and application of historical skills
  • an additional activity page which may be either a continuation of the previous page or an extension activity related to the topic but not directly related to the text
  • a fact file on each of the two activity pages that provides an interesting or unusual fact related to the topic

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