An ILA is an Independent Learning Activity that is designed to allow students an opportunity to explore their learning independently. The ILA I shall be focusing on for Module 2 is a year 6 history unit that spans 10 weeks and is called Australia as a Nation.
The unit is based on the Australian history curriculum and is designed to do the following:
The year 6 curriculum moves from colonial Australia to the development of Australia as a nation, particularly after 1900. Students explore the factors that led to Federation and experiences of democracy and citizenship over time. Students understand the significance of Australia’s British heritage, the Westminster system, and other models that influenced the development of Australia’s system of government. Students learn about the way of life of people who migrated to Australia and their contributions to Australia’s economic and social development (ACARA, 2014)
The content provided throughout the unit is designed to help students develop their historical understanding through the use of sources, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, and significance (ACARA, 2014)
The aim of the unit is to develop students’ Historical Knowledge and Understanding and Historical Skills. These strands are achieved through the implementation of inquiry questions, particularly when using and interpreting sources.
The unit is designed to encourage students to answer the following key inquiry questions:
- Why and how did Australia become a nation?
- How did Australian society change throughout the twentieth century?
- Who were the people who came to Australia? Why did they come?
- What contribution have significant individuals and groups made to the development of Australian society?
The unit is designed for year 6 students and builds upon the Historical Knowledge, Understanding and Skills developed across the year 5 curriculum. To ensure that new students are at the same stage of development, teachers will begin the unit with a KWL chart to determine levels of understanding.
The design of the unit is as follows. Students will:
- Undergo initial introductory lessons to determine the level of student understand and prior learning.
- Work collaboratively to develop inquiry questions relevant to the task.
- Independently research answers to the collaborative inquiry questions, prepare their information during class time, and reference according to school guideline.
- Select a significant individual that played an important role in the lead up to Federation and describe the effect this person had on society at this time – to be written as a narrative (Assessment item 1).
- Create a list of inquiry questions to help investigate the reasons for migration to Australia in the 20th century and some of the effects on society.
- Create a series of questions designed to interview a migrant to Australia and learn about their migration story.
- Develop the information gained from the interview and produce a narrative of their story (Assessment item 2).
- Collaborate in groups to design a poster that states whether the Federation was a positive or negative decision (Assessment item 3).
- Create a PowerPoint presentation that shows the five most significant events, features, or people that shaped Australia as a nation, and ranks them from 1 to 5 – to be presented to the class, importance placed on student reasoning (Assessment item 4).
NOTE: sections taken directly from the unit document are altered slightly for ease of understanding, and to de-identify the school. The bare bones of the unit are described briefly, as are the assessment items.
ACARA. (2014). F-6 /7 HASS. F-10 Curriculum. Accessed 30/10/2015. Available from: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/humanities-and-social-sciences/hass/curriculum/f-10?layout=1#page=2&yl-6