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1813: Destination Australia

1813: Destination Australia

Unit Summary

This is an integrated unit that focuses upon learning and working as a team. In this unit, students learn about life aboard a 19th century sailing ship. Students role play the journey from England to Australia on a convict transport ship in the year 1813. Working in teams, they adopt the role of the captain, the navigator, the cook or the surgeon. They explore and evaluate the contribution these key crew members make to a successful and safe journey, and they research the issues faced by each member. They learn about decision making processes in this setting and compare those processes to the way society operates today. As they work together to solve the challenges that are presented to them, they learn the importance of cooperating as a team, and the value of the specialised skills that each key member brings to the team.

As evidence of their responses to the curriculum framing questions, students will design and produce a range of products including personal logs, charts, inventories, instrument kits and other artefacts. During and at the conclusion of the “journey” students will present their reflections on the curriculum framing questions i) using a KWHL ii) through individual contributions to a class 1813 Wiki*, iii) the construction of various learning products and iv) use the online Seeing Reason Tool to demonstrate their understanding of the relationship between their particular role and the success of the “journey” and, iv) showcasing artefacts from their “journey”.

Curriculum-Framing Questions
 

  • Essential Question
    Why take risks?
  • Unit Questions
    What does history tell us about the human spirit? 
    How do we decide what risks to take?
    How does technology impact on human endeavour and personal safety - then and now?
    Who decides who lives and who dies?
  • Content Questions
    What would life on the ship be like during the journey in 1813?
    How do human rights in 1813 compare to today?
    How did the navigator make decisions about which route to take?
    What did people on board eat? How did they keep their food fresh?
    What medical issues existed on board ships in 1813 and what treatments were available?
    What powers did the captain have and what skills did he need?

Assessment Processes

View how assessment is used in this unit plan. These assessments help students and teachers set understandable goals, monitor student progress, provide feedback, assess thinking, performance and products and reflect on learning throughout the activities.

Prerequisite Skills

Students’ Prior Knowledge 

  • Students will begin a KWHL to explore their collective knowledge of 19th century long distance voyages by ship and life on board these ships.
  • Students will work in groups of 4 (max of 5) which comprise the key crew for each “ship”.
  • “Captains” will be coached in leadership and how to write a log by the English teacher.
  • “Navigators” will be coached by the mathematics teacher who will assist them with navigation techniques and how to keep accurate navigation charts.
  • If possible “Surgeons” will be coached by a parent volunteer or member of the community on medical procedures and keeping a log of medical treatment. Often there are parents with nursing or other medical experience willing to assist. Setting up an email address for this purpose is an easy way for communication to take place if face to face discussions are impractical.
  • “Cooks” will be coached by the food technology teacher who will support them in exploring food preservation techniques (without refrigeration), developing recipes with ingredients that would have been available on board, and in keeping an inventory.
  • Students require regular access to the Internet and email.

Teachers’ Professional Learning

  • Learning Team consisting of the teaching team involved in the unit plus student representatives will work with the eLearning and Professional Learning coordinators to develop skills in using Wikis, social bookmarking, publication and multimedia presentation applications. Review Bloom’s taxonomy as a group. This will occur three weeks before the end of the term before the unit is undertaken.
  • Professional Reading:

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This unit incorporates

  • Higher order curriculum framing questions.
  • Graphic organisers (KWHL).
  • Tasks which are open ended.
  • Tasks which require collaboration between members of the group.
  • Individual reflection in class 1813 Wiki*.
  • Online thinking tools (Seeing Reason Tool).
  • Students using multimedia to present tasks in written, visual (charts and drawings) and oral (sound recordings) formats.
  • Self and peer assessment at critical stages (assessment as learning).
  • Regular teacher feedback (assessment for learning).
  • Feedback from parents at key points in the project (assessment for learning).
  • An evaluation tool which will be provided for each task.
  • Mentoring by specialists (teachers and experts in the community).

Teaching and Learning Activities

  • Preparation for the unit
    A week before commencing this unit the teacher emails (or provides access through an electronic forum) the following documents to each student:

        
Ask students to find out what they can about life aboard an early 19th century sailing ship and convict transportation and to bring their findings to class for the beginning of the unit.

  • Introduction to the unit (4 x 50 minute periods, Internet access required)
    The teacher distributes a copy of a KWHL to each student. Students share their knowledge of the convict transportation period and of life aboard an early 19th century sailing ship. Teacher uses the Project Outline (doc) document to give an overview of the nature and scope of the tasks. The roles that students will adopt are discussed by distributing the Choose Your Role (doc) handout. Students discuss which role they each might be best qualified to undertake and form “ship groups” comprising of a Captain, navigator, cook and surgeon. A Role Resource Pack (doc) will assist in decision-making. 

    Following this discussion students brainstorm their ideas on what they want to find out. They complete the What do we know? and What do we want to find out? columns of their KWHLs. A poster of the curriculum framing questions is displayed in the classroom for student and teacher reference throughout the unit.
  • Working as a group (4 x 50 minute periods, Internet access required)
    During the first two periods the “Navigators” will work with a mathematics teacher who will assist them in understanding their role, research navigation methods, and support them in developing the mathematical skills required of a 19th century ship’s navigator. Likewise, all the “surgeons”, “captains” and “cooks” will work with experts who will provide ongoing support throughout the unit. They complete the How can we find out what we want to know? column of their KWHLs. In the second two periods students work in their ship groups, clarifying their roles to each other and making a start to planning their journey. They share and evaluate their choices by comparing them with other “ship groups”. They complete the What did we learn? column of their KWHLs.
  • Collaborating to solve problems as a group (2 periods per week over 10 weeks, or 1 period per week over 20 weeks if a “real time” journey is feasible, ICT access required- individual and in ship groups)
    Students begin their journeys. Each week they are presented with scenarios that are prepared by teachers (or other interested individuals). These scenarios provide weather information, incidents that occur that must be responded to, and problems that must be solved. Review the Example Scenarios (doc) support document. In their personal logs, each student writes up each day/week of the journey reporting events on board along with their solutions to the problems that each must solve according to their role. During this period they will collaborate with each other, research their problems to make the solutions reflect the resources and thinking of people living in1813. They post in the 1813 Wiki their reflections on the question: What would life on the ship be like during the journey? (CQ) and How do human rights in 1813 compare to today? (CQ).
  • Learning Artefacts (if possible work with teachers across the curriculum, in particular in Mathematics, Humanities, Technology and English. Encourage the allocation of time for some of these tasks into these subject areas)
    As evidence of their responses to the curriculum framing questions, students will design and produce a range of learning artefacts including personal logs, charts, inventories and instrument kits. Each group as a whole will be responsible for the research, design and production of these artefacts. However, each member, in collaboration with the group, will take the lead in researching and coordinating the production of each artefact according to their particular role. These artefacts are as follows:
    • A captain’s log that reports all ship activity in detail and responds to the questions: What powers did the captain have? What skills did he need? Why weren’t there any female captains in 1813? (CQs) The log is to be prepared in Microsoft Word* and prepared as a bound document when completed.
              
    • Navigators will research and assemble a “Navigator’s Kit” comprising models of the instruments used by early 19th century navigators. They will also prepare and maintain navigations charts throughout the journey. They will also keep a personal log in which they will address the question: How did the navigator know where they were? Is the shortest route the best route? Would travellers in the early 19th century get some form of jetlag? (CQ).
              
    • Surgeons will research and assemble a “Surgeon’s Kit” comprising representations of the instruments used by early 19th century surgeons. They will also keep a personal log in which they will address the question: What medical issues existed on board ships in 1813? How were these treated? (CQ).
               
    • Cooks will research and prepare ship biscuits as a sample of a common ship food. They will also keep a running inventory of food and water supplies throughout the journey. They will also keep a personal log in which they will address the question: What did people on board eat? How did they keep their food fresh? (CQ).
              
    • A multimedia presentation (ppt) that addresses the question: How do we decide what risks to take? (UQ) Captain is to coordinate this task.
            
    • A newspaper article for publication in a newspaper on the return to England that addresses the question: Who decides who lives and who dies? (UQ) Cook is to coordinate this task. 
             
    • A website which addresses the question: How does technology impact on human endeavour and personal safety - then and now? (UQ) Navigator and surgeon are to coordinate this task. After reading the support document Website Content Planner (doc), students prepare a storyboard that will be used to create their website.
               
    • Using the online Seeing Reason Tool students will demonstrate their understanding of the relationship between their particular role and the success of the “journey”. In their groups students discuss the value of teams incorporating people with different skills and reflect on the relationship between cooperation within a group and successful achievement of group aims.

Seeing Reason Elements
Seeing Reason Project Name:
Exploring the importance of working in a professional team.

Project Description (for the Seeing Reason workspace):
Working in teams can significantly increase the likelihood of success and minimise risks. On a ship in 1813 the captain was in charge. However, he worked in a team that consisted of experts in different fields. Arriving at their destination, and safely achieving the aims of the voyage, required the cooperation of everyone. Each person, the captain, the navigator, the ship’s surgeon and the cook, all contributed in different ways to the success of the voyage. Use the Seeing Reason Tool to create a cause-effect map that explores the contribution that each of these persons made to the success of the voyage. For each role, list the skills they bring to the team and show how these increase or decrease the risks or assure the success of the voyage. Be sure to add comments explaining why you think each factor is important and include any links between your factors.

Research Question (For the Seeing Reason workspace):
How do we decide to take risks? (UQ)

Practice Map (For your future quick reference)

picture3

 

 

Teacher ID: athwaites
Password:
Practice Team ID 1: 1813A
Password: 1813A
Practice Team ID 2: 1813B
Password: 1813B
Practice Team ID 2: 1813C
Password: 1813C
Practice Team ID 2: 1813D
Password: 1813D
Practice Team ID 2: 1813E
Password: 1813E

(Students should work in their ship teams for this activity.)

 

  • Showcasing Evidence of Learning
    At the conclusion of their “journey” students review their work together. Initially in their ship group they discuss the implications of their learnings to address the question: What does history tell us about the human spirit? (UQ). They then prepare a group presentation in which they will: i) showcase artefacts from their “journey”, ii) present their learning artefacts (Instruments kits, charts and logs) and iii) their website, multimedia presentations and Newspaper Articles will be uploaded to the college.

Accommodations for Diverse Needs

Students with Special Needs

  • Mixed ability partnerships/groups.
  • Tips for using multimedia software, peer mentoring, negotiated timelines, negotiated modifications of tasks.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Students

  • ESL teacher involved within the class – providing extra assistance for these students.

Gifted Students

  • Students are involved in open-ended activities, debating, developing collective understandings.

Indigenous Groups

  • Tasks can be negotiated according to individual needs.

Credits

Alan Thwaites participated in the Intel® Teach Program, which resulted in this idea for a classroom project. A team of teachers expanded the plan into the example you see here.



© State of Victoria 2007
Alan Thwaites attended an Intel® Teach Essentials course and provided the idea for this portfolio. A team of teachers expanded the project. Copyright is owned by the Crown in right of the State of Victoria. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for study or training purposes, subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source and no commercial usage or sale. Reproduction for the purposes other than those indicated above requires the written permission of the Department of Education. Requests and enquiries concerning reproduction and copyright should be addressed to the Liability Management Manager, Department of Education, 2 Treasury Place, Melbourne, VIC, 3002The State of Victoria accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any part of this material and bears no responsibility for any modifications made.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

1813: Destination Australia

At a Glance

Year Levels: 7 & 8 (Level 5, Victorian Essential Learning Standards)

Subjects: English, Mathematics, Humanities, Information and Communications Technology, Thinking Processes, Interpersonal Development

Time Needed: 10 – 12 weeks x 100 minutes per week. First 2 weeks of term, 2 x 100 minutes per week will be preferable.