First Fleet

Activity 3: A flood of prisoners

Focus question: how was the problem of England's overflowing prisons addressed?

  • Using Images of the prison hulks (PDF, 330 KB), ask students in groups to examine one or more images of prison hulks on the Thames. Then, ask them to use Probing the prison hulks (PDF, 164 KB) to record the results of their examination of these sources. Once finished, groups should report their findings to the class.
  • Students explore the Port Cities web page Prison Hulks on the River Thames . Ask:
    How does this information add to your understandings from the images?
    Where might this information have come from?
  • Show students the handwritten record Report of Convicts under Sentence of Transportation. Record any information that students can gather from this source. What questions do students have about the source?
  • Using the Six hat thinking (PDF, 142 KB) discussion guide, students explore and evaluate the sentence of 'transportation' as a solution to the prison situation.
Image of six hats of different colours - yellow, red, green, black, blue and white.
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  • Can students use the six hat thinking strategy to organise and improve their thinking process?