Today we are going to share some of the things we have been learning as part of our Unit of Inquiry on Australian History and Explorers.
At the start of our inquiry we wanted to know what made people want to explore and what type of learner attributes would you need?
Most explorers wanted to learn more about the world that had not yet been discovered. Others wanted to explore the world by sea in search of trading partners, new goods, and new trade routes.
Explorers faced (and still do face) challenges, had to conquer their fears and were as a result able to achieve great things. They had to be great risk-takers.
Explorers have great courage and bravery. They had to face all kinds of challenges and hardships. Life was not easy for them.
We are learning about many famous explorers. We know about Christopher Columbus. He was born in Genoa (a part of Italy today) about 560 years ago. He dreamed of finding a new sea route to the East Indies so he could trade in the spices growing there.
Christopher Columbus sailed across the seas with tiny ships, poor food and with some of the crew thinking that the world was flat and that they might fall off the end. Once again he kept going – he faced the challenges and persevered, going down in history as the person that discovered America. His voyages changed our view of the world forever.
There was a lack of fruit and vegetables which caused a horrible disease called scurvy. It caused bleeding under the skin. It would rot their gums, which would turn black and blue and grow over their teeth. Many of the sailors died of scurvy every day.
Sailors were afraid to go on these long voyages. They knew that if the food and water ran out, they would die. Sometimes they plotted to kill the captain and turn back. This happened to Columbus in 1492.
Next is James Cook a British navigator and explorer who sailed and mapped much of the South Pacific.
CAPTAIN JAMES COOK: Cook introduced some innovative rules in order to keep his crew healthy and safe. He required his men to bathe every day, the ship to be kept very clean, and the bedding to be aired twice a week. He also brought lots of fresh fruit to keep his men from getting scurvy. These rules and planning helped his men to stay healthy throughout the long voyages ahead.
Cook set off for his first journey on August 26, 1768. His main objective was to observe the planet Venus as it passed between the Earth and the Sun.
James and his crew found all sorts of interesting animals and plants including the kangaroo. Unfortunately, the ship was damaged on some coral and they had to stop for a while to do repairs. Many of the crew got malaria from mosquitoes during this stop and over 30 of the crew died from the disease.
Finally, they returned home in July of 1771, nearly three years after their departure.
Back in March 1606, Dutch explorer Willem Jansz,
Co-mman-ded the Duyfken ship, mapped 300k’s of land,
Sailing down the western side, of Cape York Pe-nin-su-la,
He’d made history by dis-co-ver-ing the land Au-stra-li-a.
Luis Vaez de Torres / Pedro Fernandezde Quiros:
From Peru two Spanish seamen went on search for more terrain,
One named Quiros had rebellious crew and not much did he gain.
Torres led the expedition, he succeeded, found his fate,
Was the first to sail the seas up north, it’s now named ‘Torres Strait’.
When Dirk Hartog sailed to Java, his ship was blown off course,
It landed on an island, the winds had so much force.
He continued sailing north, mapping the WA coast
Then wrote a message on a plate and nailed it to a post.
In 1642, Tasman explored the southern seas,
He commanded two ships and navigated them with ease
He first discovered Tasmania and named it ‘Van Diemen’s Land’
Then found New Zealand and went back to map the space called ‘New Holland’.
An explorer, William Dampier, born 1651
Was first to go around the world, a brave English-son
He sailed the ‘Roebuck’ to New Holland but it took on water fast
Though he managed to get good records of the things he passed.
It was on the ship ‘Endeavour’ that Cook found Bo-ta-ny Bay,
Joseph Banks helped name the flora then continued on their way.
Having found the eastern coast, Cook named it New South Wales,
In Hawaii natives killed him, they lived to tell his tales.
Matthew Flinders was the first to sail around our whole country,
With his wife back in England, his cat Trim was company.
From his efforts we now know Tasmania is not joined on,
Many landmarks with his name show his legacy lives on.
The Rainbow Fish
Together with our Year One buddies, we listened to the story of “The Rainbow Fish” written by Marcus Pfister. This story is a great story for children of all ages as it explores selfishness and teaches children about the importance of sharing.
After listening to the story we each decorated our own “Rainbow Fish” leaving one scale to be the shiny scale. We made it shiny by using glitter. On the back of our fish we shared one way that we try to be a good friend by showing kindness.
“The most beautiful fish in the ocean is asked to share one of his shining scales with a little blue fish, and to which he refuses. All the other fish in the sea leave him alone, and he wondered why. He goes to the wise octopus for advice, and she tells him to give away his scales. Rainbow Fish reluctantly does so, except for one. In the end, he is less beautiful then he was before, but he has new friends and is now the happiest fish in the sea.”
Possible questions you could ask your child:
- Have you ever owned an item that you didn’t want to share?
- If you were made to share it, did it make you happy or sad
- Would you rather keep something really special all to yourself or share it with friends?
- Is being unique more important than being liked?
- Was Rainbow Fish’s decision to share worth it?
- Rainbow Fish was happy with his scales, and he was happy with his new friends. Do you think there different kinds of happiness?
- Were they true friends, if one of the main reasons the others liked Rainbow Fish was just because he gave them something pretty?
- Rainbow Fish refused to give the blue fish the scale politely, would this have changed the other fish’s opinion of him?
- Do you try to share with your friends?
- What makes it difficult to share sometimes?
This term in Inquiry we are learning about the Australian Government. The Australian Parliament consists of the Queen (represented by the Governor-General), the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Parliament is located in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory.
In 1901 the Australian Constitution established the Australian Parliament, also known as the federal Parliament or the Commonwealth Parliament.
The Australian Parliament has four main roles:
- Making and changing federal laws.
- Representing the people of Australia.
- Providing a place where government is formed.
- Keeping a check on the work of the government.
Australia has three levels of law-making – often referred to as the three levels of government – that work together to provide Australians with the services they need.The three levels of government are: federal, state/territory and local. The federal government is the highest level of government.
The three levels are:
- federal (or national) Parliament, which is located in Canberra.
- State or territory parliaments, which are located in each state/territory capital city.
- Local councils (also called shires), which are located across the nation.
Australia has one federal Parliament, six state and two territory parliaments, and over 560 local councils. Representatives are elected to federal and state/territory parliaments and local councils, so that all Australians have someone to represent them at each level of government. Parliaments and councils make laws; governments put these laws into action. Some of the responsibilities of federal, state/territory and local governments overlap, but generally each level of government provides different services to Australians:
The Federal Government is responsible for running the country as a whole, and for matters that concern Australia as a nation rather than as individuals. It was formed in 1901 at Australia’s Federation. The Federal government works to protect Australian borders from immigration issues and how the Australian Federal Police maintain control over the country.
Each state and territory has its own government which deals with issues specifically relating to the state. Some responsibilities may cross over into federal and local government. The state government looks after schools, hospitals, roads and railways.
Local Governments are responsible for matters which are day to day issues. A local government represents residents of the local area. Your local government may be known as a shire or council. Local government members are called councillors. The local government has the responsibility of looking after your neighbourhood. This skit showed you how the local government ensures that rubbish collection, local roads and pets are kept under control.
Australia is fortunate to live in within a “Democracy” which means that all of our voices can be heard. This government means rule of the people. Rules and laws are put in place to keep us safe and to help us make good choices. Working together as one will help us to unite and live in peace.
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO SEE OUR DANCE:
On Monday 29th February, the Year 5 and 6 classes were treated to a thought-provoking performance that presented ways we can manage our emotions when under pressure, without resorting to physical aggression. The idea that it is not only against the law to be violent towards others, but threatening other people is regarded as a type of abuse. After watching the performance, we came up with some helpful strategies to help ourselves and our our peers deal with situations we may find ourselves in when feeling angry or upset.
Some of our ideas included:
- Telling a trusted adult
- Doing something we love, to take our mind off the matter
- Going for a walk
- Taking some deep breaths
- Looking at things positively
There were a handful of lucky prize winners after question time who received a football to take home, but we all came away with some excellent strategies to keep us safe and help us to use our emotions in the most positive way we can.
All in all another great opportunity for some valuable reflection time!