Teacher guide The people make a nation - unit of work

TLF ID M009640

This is an extended unit of work about how Australia became a federation and how its federal system of government works. It comes from the 'Discovering democracy' series of units and is organised around four focus questions explored through sequences of learning that include suggested student activities and assessment tasks. Three of the focus questions are about Federation and the fourth is about the federal system today. Teacher notes, assessment criteria and selected sources are included in the resource.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This is a valuable resource for history teaching and learning in year 6. The sequences of learning for the first three focus questions are directly relevant to the content description about the key figures and events that led to Australia's Federation. The focus questions are: Was Australia always organised in states and territories? What were the arguments for and against Federation? and How did the people make the nation?
  • The learning activities provide many opportunities for students to develop and enhance their historical skills. These skills include sequencing historical people and events, locating information in sources and comparing information from a range of sources. Of particular importance for students' capacity to identify points of view in the past is the extended role-play in which students take on the role of a delegate to the 1898 constitutional convention.
  • The unit's fourth focus question and associated teaching and learning activities are useful for civics and citizenship. Year 6 students can reasonably be expected to understand that Australia is a democracy with key civic features including parliaments and a constitution, and to know that there are three levels of government, one of which is the federal government. The unit's learning activities help students develop these understandings.
Year level


Learning area
  • Civics and citizenship
  • History

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Commonwealth of Australia
  • Organization: Commonwealth of Australia
  • Address: ACT, AUSTRALIA
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Name: The Department of Education\, Employment and Workplace Relations (DE
  • Organization: The Department of Education\, Employment and Workplace Relations (DE
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: ACT, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.deewr.gov.au
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Unknown
Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • © Commonwealth of Australia 2009. With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and the DEEWR logo and copyright material that is owned by third parties, you may use the material in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike (CC BY-SA) 3.0 Australia licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/au/ provided that appropriate acknowledgement is made, the material is not subjected to derogatory treatment and any derivative work attributes the original material and identifies the changes that have been made to it.