First Fleet

Activity 4: Setting sail

Focus question: what preparations were made for the eight-month sea voyage?

  • In groups, students use Preparations for the journey (PDF. 102 KB) to examine a primary source document, a letter regarding provision of the First Fleet. Model the deconstruction of unfamiliar language. For example, highlight significant phrases and transcribe them in more familiar terms. Circle unfamiliar words and use a dictionary to find their meaning. Ask:
    What do we know about this source?
    What does it tell us about the First Fleet?
    What questions could we ask to find out more?
  • Using Packing the Provisions (PDF, 112 KB), students examine the list of the livestock and provisions carried on the First Fleet, found online at First Fleet Fellowship.
  • Using Ships of the First Fleet (PDF, 111 KB), students explore information about the 11 ships at First Fleet Fellowship 
A coloured print of the First Fleet sailing vessel Charlotte at Portsmouth prior to departure, May 1787 First Fleet ship Charlotte at Portsmouth prior to departure, May 1787
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  • Can students use effective strategies to deconstruct unfamiliar language?
  • Can students suggest appropriate categories to sort First Fleet provisions?