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History / Year 8 / Historical Knowledge and Understanding

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

Pre-Columbian life in the Americas, including social organisation, city life and beliefs (ACDSEH016)

Elaborations
  • describing the social organisation of the Aztecs (for example, nobility, slaves); their beliefs (for example, worship of a number of gods and the need to make human sacrifices to appease these gods); life in the capital city Tenochtitlan
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
ScOT terms

Cities,  Beliefs,  Social history,  Lifestyles,  American history,  Mexican history,  Peruvian history,  Precontact culture

Video

Farming genius: the real wealth of the Inca

Discover the remarkable world of the Inca. Before Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, the Inca Empire was the largest in the Americas. In this clip from the 1985 documentary 'Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon', ABC reporter Jack Pizzey investigates the agricultural practices of the ancient Inca. He discusses ...

Video

Show me the evidence: finding proof of the Inca

Do you have a time machine? If not, how can you be certain that your understanding of history is correct? In this clip from the 1985 documentary 'Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon', reporter Jack Pizzey considers what is known about the Inca Empire. He acknowledges there is much that we can't be sure of. This clip is ...

Video

Tulum, an ancient Mayan city

Discover the remains of Tulum, a city that was once a busy port for a civilisation that thrived in Mexico for centuries. In this clip from an ABC Foreign Correspondent program, reporter Jane Cowan scales the heights of the Coba pyramid and recounts some of the history of the Mayan people who built it.

Online

The mighty Aztecs

Who were the MÄ“xihcah? Discover the rich and brutal history of the Aztec culture and the birth of Modern Mexico.

Image

Unmasking the Maya: preserving the culture

This resource is chiefly about the preservation of the Maya culture in the USA. It covers the Maya Indians today, the rich ancient Maya culture that existed from 500 BCE to 1519 CE, when the Spanish conquered them, and those Maya who emigrate today to the USA in search of a better life. The resource presents the Monkey ...

Video

Outback House - meeting the participants

Imagine leaving your home to travel back to a time over 150 years ago, to live and work on an outback farm. Sixteen Australians take part in a reality TV show about life on Oxley Downs, a sheep station built to look and work as a real station would have in the 1860s. Meet some of the participants and find out what job they ...

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Reality plays

In these days of reality TV and selfies it seems hard to imagine that plays focusing on ordinary people and their lives were once regarded as revolutionary. Van Badham, recent associate artist (writing) at Malthouse Theatre, discusses the historical context of the Henrik Ibsen play 'The Wild Duck'. She explores how it and ...

Video

Why locals love living in Kenilworth

Kenilworth is a small town in rural Queensland with a close-knit community that takes great pride in their town's history and connectedness. In this clip you will hear long-standing locals, as well as a newcomer, describe the relaxed lifestyle, local businesses, attractions and history of Kenilworth.

Video

Outback House: Mal's perspective

Imagine leaving your home to travel back to about 150 years ago, to live and work on an outback farm. Sixteen Australians take part in a reality TV show about life on 'Oxley Downs', a sheep station built to look and work like an 1860s station. Join Mal Burns, a station hand and member of the Wiradjuri people, as he builds ...

Video

Navigating 'The Secret River'

Kate Grenville's multiple-award-winning novel 'The Secret River' explores an earlier period of Australian history. What is it that makes this novel so compelling and troubling for its many Australian readers? As you watch this clip, consider how this book encourages readers to re-evaluate their beliefs and values.

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Fast trains

A proposed fast train route between Sydney and Canberra could cut down rail travel times from nearly five hours to one. The project is costly and won't be available for about 20 years. Will the economic, social and environmental benefits of such a project be worth the costs?

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Presenting a point of view about marriage equality

Marriage equality is a controversial issue in Australia, one that has provoked media sensationalism, political rhetoric and heated arguments. Sometimes, however, quieter voices make their point amid all the furore. Explore the voice of Lochsley Wilson in his Heywire audio story.<br /><br />To talk with someone about anxiety ...

Video

Whadjuk country

Ever wondered what life was like for the traditional owners of Perth before the British arrived in 1829? Whadjuk [pronounced wod-JUK] Noongar Elder and ambassador Dr Noel Nannup talks about traditional Whadjuk ways of life and key cultural places in Perth, and he teaches us the Noongar words for some Perth suburbs (such ...

Video

Sweet, merry and bright Danish Christmas delights

How did people from Denmark celebrate Christmas in 1983? Kirsten and her mother cook traditional Danish biscuits and a special rice pudding with a hidden surprise. See how a Danish family might decorate their home for Christmas. Can you tell that this film was made a long time ago?

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Whadjuk people displaced

Noongar Whadjuk [pronounced wod-JUK] Elder and ambassador Dr Noel Nannup speaks about the "tall ships" arriving in 1829 to establish the Swan River Colony, the cultural misunderstandings and resistance that occurred and the effects of colonisation on the traditional Aboriginal ways of life.

Video

Dancing in the streets of Beijing

In megacities, finding room for millions of people to live and work sometimes pushes other land uses aside. In Beijing, space for recreational activities is extremely limited, so one group of 'grannies' has taken to dancing in the streets! But even this space-saving solution is not without its detractors.

Video

Forensics track drugs back to their origin

Scientists are helping police to identify the place of origin of illicit drugs that arrive on Australian shores. Watch this clip to find out how scientific analysis, computer databases and police investigation are used together to determine the source of drugs such as cocaine. Discover that international efforts are involved ...

Video

Building the Sydney Opera House

Construction of the Sydney Opera House began in 1959. The Opera House was intended to be more than a building; it was meant to be a landmark that would put Sydney on the world map as a centre of culture. In this short, silent clip, discover some of the work that went into constructing this huge, unique and very complex building.

Video

Going into battle for graphic novels

Many readers love comic books and graphic novels. According to the four graphic novelists in this discussion, not everybody shares this enthusiasm! As you listen to their discussion, consider how the language we use in everyday conversations can work to judge and even disempower others. This clip is one in a series of four.

Audio

William Cuffay: Chartist, son of a freed slave

Who was William Cuffay? This extract from a radio program 'The Isle of Denial: William Cuffay in Van Diemen's Land' introduces us to Cuffay, the son of a freed Caribbean slave and one of the biggest names in Britain's and Australia's movements for civil rights. It explains that, despite his fame and notoriety in the middle ...