For teachers



  • Students will learn about colonial Australia by taking on the roles of some people living in Melbourne from the 1850s. There are five challenges (scenarios) that make up the learning adventure.
  • Students should be put into groups of four, preferably mixed ability. Let them choose a name for their team, which you put in the scoresheet. The name should be related to Australian history or identity.
  • Each person in the group takes on one of four roles. They should rotate which role they take on after each challenge.
  • Once a group have completed all the challenges in their exercise book, they should share what they’ve learnt with each other.
  • The teacher pretends to be the Mayor of colonial Melbourne in this learning adventure.
  • When a group has finished a challenge and shared their learning with the others from their group, they come up to the teacher who will quiz them. The teacher should look at the work they’ve done in their exercise book, and then ask any of them any question they like about the challenge. By verbally questioning students, the teacher should be trying to gauge the depth of what they’ve learnt, and whether they’ve shared their learning well enough.
  • The teacher then awards the team between £1-5, which is recorded on the scoresheet.
  • Project the scoresheet onto a monitor or projector the whole class can see, to promote cooperative competition.
  • The teacher can award extra bonuses for additional tasks they think up on the spot.
  • The teacher can give teams fines (in pounds) for not having completed at least one challenge per class hour, or any other reason they see fit.
  • There are rubrics on the second tab of the scoresheet that the teacher can use to assess a student’s current ability level on the skills listed. The teacher’s chance to make this assessment should come up when asking them questions about each challenge.
  • Teachers can ask any questions they like, but for assistance, a list is provided.


Possible questions to ask after Challenge #1 “Meet Our Heroes”

  • What kind of things did people get sent to Australia for committing?
  • How many convicts were transported?
  • How big was Britain’s Empire? Where was the empire?
  • How religious were indigenous people?
  • Who or what is ‘Bunjil’?
  • How is ‘Bunjil’ important to indigenous people?
  • Why did people settle in Australia? What were they looking forward to in Australia and what did they want to leave behind in Europe?

Possible questions to ask after Challenge #2 “A Day in the Life…”

  • What was daily life like for convicts? What would be something you’d enjoy? What sounded not so great?
  • If you had been a convict in a British prison in the 1800s and they had offered you a chance to be transported to Australia, would you have gone? Why/why not?
  • Why did people explore Australia?
  • What would have amazed the first Europeans as they explored Australia?
  • What was daily life like for indigenous Australians?
  • How did Aborigines use the land?
  • What technology did they use?
  • What makes a good colony?
  • What would you do differently if you were in charge of setting up the Australian colonies?
  • What does [colony, free settler, convict, colonise, hunter-gatherer, empire, artefact, immigration, traditional, indigenous] mean?


Possible questions to ask after Challenge #3 “Things Change,…”

  • How has Melbourne grown?
  • What factors contributed to how Melbourne spread out?
  • Who are some famous explorers of Australia?
  • Which parts of Australia did they explore and when?
  • How have indigenous people changed the landscape in Australia?
  • What impact did indigenous people have on wildlife and plants before European colonisation?
  • How could you convince people to settle freely in Australia from Europe?


Possible questions to ask after Challenge #4 “Many Meetings”

  • Why might convicts and free settlers not get along?
  • What were the main similarities and differences about convict life and free settler life?
  • What positive interactions can you tell me about between indigenous people and Europeans?
  • What was the Myall Creek massacre?
  • What was the Eureka Rebellion?


Possible questions to ask after Challenge #5 “How Will They Remember Us?”

  • Why should we remember John Pascoe Fawkner?
  • How did he make Melbourne a better place?
  • How can studying everyday objects help us learn about the past?
  • How were things used differently in colonial Australia?
  • What impact did colonisation have on indigenous people?
  • How significant is the history of Melbourne?
  • Why should we bother learning about the history of Melbourne or Australia?


Kahoot online quizzes

Challenge #1

Challenge #2

Challenge #3 


Score Spreadsheet

Download your own copy of this spreadsheet and use

Assessment rubric

Students learn lots of skills completing AusQuest. Here is a simple assessment rubric you could use to describe student performance against two history skills (perspective taking and cause/effect). Descriptions go from less to more sophisticated as you move up the rubric.

1.3 compares different perspectives2.3 applies understanding of cause and effect to a new situation
1.2 gives examples of perspective2.2 explains why/how effects are caused
1.1 recognises perspective2.1 lists cause and effects
1. understands perspectives2. understands cause and effect