#15 Absalom etching
Areas of Integration - Outcomes Being Addressed
- What did the British see when they arrived?
- Were there other explorers before the British?
- James Cook’s voyage to Australia
- What plants/trees were native to the Sydney
1. What did the British see when they
Outcomes: VAS2.3, VAS2.4
Resources: #15 Absalom etching
- Show etching by Absalom West Botany Bay Harbour in
NSW with a view of the Heads. #15
Explain to students that this is an etching showing the
arrival of the British in Australia in 1788. It was done
30 years later, so it is the artist’s impression of
a past event.
Discuss the etching by asking following types of questions:
What do you see in the picture?
What is happening?
When do you think this was happening?
Who lives in this place?
What is the land like where the people live?
What are the people on the land doing?
Where has the ship come from?
Who could be on the ship?
Why is it sailing into the bay?
What do you think the people on the land are thinking
about the ship coming to their land?
What are the people on the ship thinking when they see
the people on the land?
Through whose eyes has this picture been drawn? (assessment
task, refer again to retrieval chart)
2. Were there other explorers before the
Outcomes: TS2.2, RS2.5, ENS2.5
Resources: #16 Exploration,
#17 Explorers, #18 Vocabulary
Brainstorm, What, how and why people explore? #16
Read passages on European explorers and identify the
countries they came from. #17 Students identify and find
European countries in atlas or on a map.
Students match exploration vocabulary to meanings. #18
Have students in groups research early explorers of Australia
and produce a report about European explorers before the
British, eg Willem Jansz, Nicholas Marion du Fresne, William
Dampier, the Macassans, Abel Janszoon Tasman, Jan Carstenz,
Luis Vaez de Torres, Dirk Hartog. (See resources for
relevant websites available on explorers.)
Students sort information from the texts about:
Who were they?Where did they come from?
Why did they come?
Where did they go?
What did they do?
What was the Aboriginal response to their visit?
Each group presents their information on their explorer.
- What is a century?
Outcomes: NS2.1, MS3.5
Resources: #19 Century game,
#20 Explorers timeline
Play To the end of the century #19 Mathematics
game using MAB blocks to construct a timeline to assist
students with their understanding of 100 years equalling
Using a length of string to represent a timeline from
1600 to 1800, students find the midpoint and use a peg
to label it 1700. Then they estimate and label dates either
side of 1700 in ten-year intervals.
Students cut and paste descriptions of explorers onto
timeline. #20 (assessment task)
Class discussion: the explorer or invader and the meaning
of terra nullius from this point of view. Record
3. James Cook’s voyage to Australia
Outcomes: CCS2.1, RS2.5, RS2.6, CCS2.2
Resources: #21 Endeavour worksheet,
#21a Endeavour visual, #22 Endeavour cloze, Additional reading
1: Summary of Cook’s journeys, Additional reading 2:
Extract from Cook’s diary, #23 ‘The Endeavour’s
arrival: from two points of view’, #23a Joseph Banks
Highlight together time expressions in scrambled text
‘The voyage of the Endeavour’. Students use
the time expressions to sequence text in chronological
order. #21, #21a Complete the cloze passage with the time
Students read the sequenced text of Cook’s voyage
and map his route.
Read or present a summary of additional readings 1 and
Explain the concept of terra nullius from this
point of view.
Terra nullius: Latin for ‘land
of no one’. In international law, territory inhabited
by peoples whose social or political organisation was
not recognised was considered terra nullius. Sovereignty
(rule) over territory was established by effective occupation
by a sovereign state.
Reference page 95 of HSIE K-6 Syllabus
Was Australia really
Show text called, ‘The Endeavour’s arrival:
from two points of view’ #23. Students identify
who is speaking in each frame. Have students draw the
characters and scenery. Can students identify the different
points of view in the text?
The teacher explains that the British Government had
a meeting with Joseph Banks nine years after Cook’s
journey to Australia, to discuss the possibility of setting
up a penal colony on the eastern coast of Australia, which
they named New South Wales. Teacher asks students what
questions they think the government asked Joseph Banks.
Write these on the board. Show students original questions
Banks was asked and have students answer them on behalf
of Banks. #23a
Examine the original answers of Banks. Discuss any differences
between their answers and Banks’ answers. Discuss
the meaning of terra nullius from this point of
4. What plants/trees were native to the
Outcomes: SGS2.3, TS2.2, CUS2.4, RS2.7, VAS2.1
Resources: Additional resource
#24 Bush food (Photos of Bush food taken
from Stewart, K and Percival, B, 1997, Bush Foods of New
South Wales, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. Material used
with permission of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.)
Teachers and students can locate information on website:
Using the above sites, display etchings commissioned
by Banks. Explore the school gardens for native plants
and trees. Identify their botanical and/or common names.
Students sketch samples using a graphite pencil or pastel
Students make own etchings. Collect polystyrene trays
or boxes. Students transfer design onto tray using a sharp
pencil or skewer. Roll block printing paint (water based)
over the design, place a sheet of art paper on top of
the design and press. Peel the design off. The design
can be washed, and more detail added. Roll a contrasting
colour over the tray, align tray over original print,
and press. The same process can be adapted to perspex
etched with the sharp end of a compass or nail.
Organise an excursion to the Botanical Gardens in Sydney
(or visit the website) where there is the Cadi Jam Ora
First Encounters garden which includes an exhibition of
plants used by the Cadigal people. The area around Sydney
contains at least 200 plant species, of which fruit, seeds,
tubers or nectars are edible. #24 See additional resource
material. Local Botanical Gardens may be another source
of native flora used by Aboriginal people from that area.
continue on to next learning sequence