First Fleet

Activity 1: Life in 18th century Britain

Focus question: what was life like in England 250 years ago?

  • Show students excerpts from the film Oliver Twist (2005 / Ronald Harwood, screenplay / Roman Polanski, director) to answer the question: What was life like in London at this time in history?
    Discuss living conditions for the poor in London, as depicted in the film. Why might many people have resorted to crime? How did those in authority deal with misbehaviour?
Image from Roman Polanski's film, <em>Oliver Twist</em> (2005) showing Oliver holding a bowl. Image from Roman Polanski's film, Oliver Twist (2005)
© 2013 Education Services Australia Ltd, except where indicated otherwise. You may copy, distribute and adapt this material free of charge for non-commercial educational purposes, provided you retain all copyright notices and acknowledgements.
  • Discuss the value of this film as a 'historical source'. Ask students to suggest possible primary sources (drawings, letters, court records etc) that might provide more useful 'evidence' for further investigation of this topic.
  • Students use the Chronology (PDF, 104 KB) exercise to sequence events leading to British settlement in Australia, exploring cause and effect.
  • Use the events shown in the Chronology (PDF, 104 KB) exercise to create a classroom timeline.
A heading for a timeline showing the text '1700s, 1800s, 1900s'
© 2013 Education Services Australia Ltd, except where indicated otherwise. You may copy, distribute and adapt this material free of charge for non-commercial educational purposes, provided you retain all copyright notices and acknowledgements.

Assessment

  • Can students identify relevant aspects of the film to answer the inquiry question?
  • Can students explain a sequence of events based on likely cause and effect?
 

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