Five-Day Australian Mini-Unit

Overview: Australian Mini-Unit

This five-day unit was designed as part of the graduate level Comparative Education course at Pacific Lutheran University. It was developed in the summer of 1998. The unit was designed for a hypothetical class of fourth graders, but it can certainly be altered for other grade levels. The unit is a quick, broad-based social studies survey of Australia; any one of the topics of culture, government, geography, and animal and plant life could easliy be stretched out over several days.

Though the mini-unit is based primarily on the social studies, it could extended to include writing, reading, art, music, etc. Students could also learn about the upcoming 2000 Olympic Summer Games, which will be held in Sydney. Teachers could also have students seek out current events that deal with Australia as part of a larger unit on the country. Many good ideas can be found in Julia Jasmine's "World Geography Series: Australia" thematic unit published by Teacher Created Materials. This mini-unit borrowed some ideas from Ms. Jasmine's unit.

This unit was planned to utlize technology (electronic mail, Internet). Therefore, it is highly recommended that this unit be used where teachers and students have access to e-mail and the Internet. The lesson that calls for the students to e-mail a class in Australia will require that arrangements be made with such a group. The lessons from the first four days call for students to record their findings onto worksheets. Questions can be open-ended or closed-ended, depending on the preferences of the teacher.

Feel free to modify this unit as you wish. All that is asked of you is that you cite the source of the material.

Components of the Unit:
  • Resources
  • Modifications for Special Needs
  • Introduction, Culture of Australia
  • Compare and Contrast Australia and the United States
  • Geography of Australia
  • Plants and Animals of Australia
  • Compilation of Material, Create Mini-books

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