History / Year 8 / Historical Knowledge and Understanding

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

Theories about the origin and spread of Polynesian settlers throughout the Pacific (ACDSEH013)

  • locating Polynesia on a map, tracing the expansion of Polynesian settlers throughout the Pacific, and considering how they made their journeys
  • outlining different theories about the expansion (for example, west/east and east/west movement, the expansion as accidental versus intentional)
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
ScOT terms

Pacific Island history,  Migration,  Explorers

Interactive Resource

Syllabus Bites: The Polynesian expansion

This resource is a webpage with information, study guide and resources on Polynesian and Maori history.

Moving Image

The ocean shows us the way

This is a video resource describing the traditional ocean navigation techniques of the people of the Marshall Islands in the western Pacific, who make use of wave refraction patterns to guide them on canoe journeys. The video uses animation to illustrate how wave refraction patterns form around an island, and this is compared ...

Teacher resource

Migrants Enriching Australia

This is a rich collection of stories that focuses on the life experiences of two individuals, one of Greek heritage and one of Polish heritage, who immigrated and settled in Victoria post World War II. The resource explores how these people shared their cultural heritage and how this enriched Australian life at this time. ...

Teacher resource

Digital stories of Immigration

This is a rich collection of digital stories about people who have immigrated to Victoria. The resource is presented in three sections: Introductory information; Story Objects; and Story Education Resources. There are 21 Story Objects that include images, videos, links, information, interviews and transcripts. There are ...

Teacher resource

Voyage to the Pacific

This is a unit of work about the origin and spread of the peoples of the Pacific Island countries. Intended for years 7 and 8, the resource consists of four single- or multi-lesson activities, titled Pacific Islander people, Evidence of voyages, Alternative views, and Valuing knowledge. Student activities include mapping; ...


Early cars and trucks in Australia

This collection of 21 digital curriculum resources focuses on cars and trucks in Australia during the first three decades of the 20th century. The collection contains images of actual vehicles in museum collections as well as photographs and archival footage of cars and various types of trucks in action. The collection ...

Teacher resource

The First Fleet: age of convicts - unit of work

Students develop their knowledge of statistical measures, such as mean and median, by examining a dataset about the First Fleet (M007943 'The First Fleet - dataset'). They use the dataset to determine the age of convicts leaving England on the First Fleet, and they construct tables and graphs and complete data investigations. ...


Horse transport in Australia

This collection of 21 digital curriculum resources focuses on how horses were used to transport people in 19th- and 20th-century Australia. It is organised into six categories - riding horses; horsedrawn carriages; coaches; carts and wagons; horsedrawn trams; and horsedrawn transport in action. The collection contains paintings, ...


Exploring the Swan River, 1827

This is a painting on canvas called 'Captain Stirling's exploring party 50 miles up the Swan River, Western Australia, March, 1827'. The painting, measuring 29.2 cm x 36.0 cm, shows a tree-lined section of the Swan River, near present-day Perth. There are two boats: on one of them, men in British navy uniforms are lowering ...


Chinese gold miners, 1933 - asset 2

This is an excerpt from silent black-and-white newsreel footage made in 1933 by Fox Movietone (Australia). It begins with a man entering a Chinese joss house then cuts to shots of the intricately decorated interior. The camera pans along a shelf crammed with many ornate vases full of fresh flowers. A pan across delicately ...


Transportation by bullock team

This collection of digital curriculum resources focuses on the use of bullocks for transporting heavy loads in 19th- and 20th-century Australia. It is organised into six categories: in action on film; hauling timber; 'bringing down' the wool; on the farm and on the road; idealised in art; and an early mechanised alternative. ...

Interactive resource

Biography: Federation people: John West

Investigate the role of John West, anti-transportation leader, Congregational Church minister and 'Sydney Morning Herald' editor, in the events leading up to Federation. Examine two different types of biographies of West: one short and the other more detailed. Inspect examples of how he was visually depicted in his time. ...


Gerakiteys - Greek Community Picnics, 1950: Annual Greek picnic

This clip shows silent home-movie footage of members of the Greek community from Canberra and the surrounding district on an annual picnic at Good Hope, near Yass, on Boxing Day 1949. A man pours a drink from a barrel of what may be home-brewed beer. The camera pans across the group, many of whom raise their glasses in ...


Landmarks in aviation

This collection of digital curriculum resources comprising mostly archival footage and images explores aviation from a historical perspective. It is organised in seven categories - first flight by box kite; first controlled powered flights; flying across the English Channel; first flight from England to Australia, 1919; ...


Habitability map of Australia, 1946

This is a black-and-white map of Australia showing areas of 'habitability' (where people can live) based on the quality of agricultural or pastoral land. The map shows the correlation between quality of agricultural and pastoral land and density of population, which is indicated by black lines. Coalfields are also noted ...


Steam transportation in Australia

Steam generated the principal form of mechanical power for Australia's transport systems from the second half of the 19th century until the widespread adoption of the internal combustion engine in the 20th century. This collection of digital curriculum resources is organised into six categories - steam trains; river steamers; ...


Italian migrants arriving in Australia, 1967

This is a photograph of Italian migrants arriving in Australia on an Alitalia Airlines aeroplane in 1967. It shows people walking down the steps of the aeroplane carrying light luggage. A young woman is carrying a small child.


Flying in Australia

This collection of digital curriculum resources focuses on the history of flying in Australia as a means of travel, exploration, recreation, adventure and as a cause of death. It is organised into six categories - first flights in Australia; female pilots; importance of the Moth planes; seaplanes; Qantas; and the Flying ...


Van Diemen's Land

This is a traditional English folk song from the late 18th to early 19th century, warning young men against poaching and describing convicts' experiences in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). It was recorded by the Franklyn B Paverty Bush Band in 1999.


Priest blessing Irish emigrants in 1851

This is a black-and-white print made from a wood engraving, which appeared in the 'Illustrated London News' in 1851, of a priest blessing a group of poor Irish emigrants who are packing their belongings onto a horse-drawn cart. The people are dressed in hats and coats, and some are kneeling to accept the blessing. The landscape ...