Lesson Plan 3
Unit Topic: Colonial Australia
Curriculum Link: English, Creative Arts, HSIE
Stage: Stage Two, Year Four
Lesson Number: Three
Lesson Topic: Colonisation of Australia – Visual Grammar
Timing: 1 hour 10 minutes.
Lesson Outcomes:English
TS2.1- Communicates in informal and formal classroom activities in school and social situations for an increasing range of purposes on a variety of topics across the curriculum.

  • Participates in class discussion on a variety of topics.
  • Engages in improvisation or role-play based on texts read, heard or viewed.
RS2.7- Discusses how writers relate to their readers in different ways, how they create a variety of worlds through language and how they use language to achieve a wide-range of purposes.
  • Talks about different interpretations of written and visual texts.
  • Discusses the ways different groups of people are represented in texts.

Creative Arts
Visual Arts
VAS2.3- Acknowledges that artists make artworks for different reasons and that various interpretations are possible.

  • Discusses reasons why artists make artworks focusing on who, where, when, why and how.
  • Recognises that people have different views about artworks and their meanings that are informed by their understanding of such things as the circumstances of the work, the artist’s intentions and skill, and what the work is about.
Drama DRAS2.1- Takes on and sustains roles in a variety of drama forms to express meaning in a wide range of imagined situations.
  • Sustains and builds belief in their roles.
  • Interprets a wide range of imagined situations through the use of various drama froms, eg. improvisation, movement, storytelling and playbuilding.

CCS2.1- Describes events and actions related to the British Colonisation of Australia and assesses changes and consequences.

  • Describes some aspects of ways of life and achievements in the early colony for male and female convicts and ex-convicts, the military and their families, officials and officers, Aboriginal people, free settlers.
  • Uses various sources for reconstructing the past, eg. paintings. Refers to different viewpoints and perspectives on a significant historical event.
* Interactive Whiteboard (IWB).
* Electronic images (to display on the IWB) and printed copies of artworks of colonial Australia: Conrad Marten’s Rushcutter's Bay, Cunningham's Forest Gap, Burning Mountain (Mount Wingen, near Scone) and Fort Macquarie, Bennelong Point, from the North Shore; Samuel Thomas Gill’s Invalid's Tent, Salt Lake 75 Miles North-West of Mount Arden 1846; and Augustus Earle’s Table Land Blue Mountains (Appendix A).
Lesson Aims:
This lesson teaches students about visual grammar, requiring them to interpret, appreciate and discuss six artworks of colonial Australia. This lesson will provide the basis for students’ comprehension of how visuals can be used to convey meaning, and how they can use their own paintings in their multimodal presentation.
Lesson Outline

Introduction: (10 mins)
The Teacher…
1. Facilitate a game of Dinner Parties, to introduce students to the artworks and encourage engagement with the subjects. In this game:
  1. Six students leave the room.
  2. The teacher allocates each of these students an artwork. Students must imagine that they are the character in their works.
  3. These works are then shuffled, so each student is holding someone else’s artwork. They then return to class holding this artwork.
  4. The class must ask ‘yes/ no’ questions to each student to determine who is which character. For example, students might ask “Are you standing somewhere high up?” or “Are you with any animals?”
  5. When it is discovered an artwork belongs to one of the students, this child stands aside. S/he gives the artwork s/he is holding to the person who had his/her artwork, and the game continues.

2. All students return to sitting on the floor.
The Students…
1. Participate in a game of Dinner Parties. The class will ask questions to the six nominated students to determine which artwork each has been allocated.
Body: (30 mins)
The Teacher…
1. Ask students what they think are important aspects to think about when looking at an artwork. Write these suggestions on the IWB so that students can refer to them. For the purpose of this lesson, the most important aspects of the works are the subject (character), his/her setting (both the physical surroundings and the situation) and the perspective taken. Other elements could include the artwork’s mood, colour, light and realism. Ensure that all students understand the meanings of these terms before proceeding.
2. Put Marten’s work Cunningham's Forest Gap on the IWB. Facilitate discussion between students concerning the identified aspects and from this conversation, annotate the artwork. Emphasise that how the content of the work is depicted is affected by the artist who created it: It is from the artist’s perspective.
3. Students are split into five groups, consisting of four students. Each group will be given a printed copy of one of the artworks of colonial Australia: Conrad Marten’s Rushcutter's Bay, Burning Mountain (Mount Wingen, near Scone) and Fort Macquarie, Bennelong Point, from the North Shore; Samuel Thomas Gill’s Invalid's Tent, Salt Lake 75 Miles North-West of Mount Arden 1846; and Augustus Earle’s Table Land Blue Mountains (Appendix A).
4. Each group will make notes about and annotate their artwork, so that they can then present it to their class. As each group presents, display its allocated artwork on the IWB, so the whole class can see it. During the discussion of these works, use questioning to draw out students’ knowledge and encourage deeper analysis of the artworks. As groups present, carry out informal formative assessment based on how students discuss the artist’s use of styles and techniques.
The Students…
1. Suggest important aspects of artworks.

2. Discuss the artworks and suggest how they should be annotated.

3. Go to the assigned group.

4. Work in groups to annotate and make notes about the artwork, and then present this information to the class.
Conclusion: (30 mins)
The Teacher…
1. Tell students that they will be acting as one of the characters from the artworks. Tell them to imagine what that character’s name might be, how that character would move and what that character does in his/her life. After students have silently chosen their own character, tell them to stand up and spread around the room. Then tell them to start walking around the room as their character without speaking.
2. As students begin to walk around the room, ask further questions that encourage students to develop how their characters are moving around the room, such as “How fast does your character walk? Is your character young or old?” Then ask questions that will provoke students to add depth to their character, including “Do you work, and if so, what do you work as? Do you have a big family? What is your favourite food?”
3. Tell students to get make eye contact with one other person and introduce themselves to each other. After they have both had to time to introduce themselves, tell the students to split off and find a new partner to introduce themselves to.
4. Finally say freeze at which all students stop moving (a strategy that students are aware of, as it is employed in all drama lessons in the classroom), and have them ‘wiggle out the funnies’ as they return to sitting on the floor (a strategy that again students are aware of).
5. Have a brief discussion about how students felt acting as those characters and how easy they found it was to imagine their characters. Focus the conversation on the ways that the artworks reveal information about the characters.
The Students…
1. Students imagine a character from one of the artworks and move around the room acting as this character.

2. Students develop and add depth to the character they are acting through teacher questioning.

3. Students introduce themselves, in character, to another student.

4. Students freeze and ‘wiggle out the funnies’ as they return to the floor.

5. Students discuss how they felt during the acting and how the artwork helped them to imagine their character.
  • Could students successfully talk about the artworks and recognise how visual images can convey valuable information? Does more work need to be done on this before they begin work on their multimodal texts?
  • Were students engaged in the lesson? Was the information presented in a way they found enjoyable and which taught them effectively?
  • Did students work successfully in groups? Did the groups need to be changed?
  • Could students present their allocated artworks? Were other groups actively listening?
  • Was enough time allocated for each activity?
  • Which aspects of the lesson were successful? Which aspects needed improvement?

Appendix A

Martens, C. (1836). Fort Macquarie, Bennelong Point, from the North Shore [Pencil, Watercolour]. Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/work/7632+fort-macquarie-bennelong-point-from-the-

Martens, C. (1856). Cunningham's Forest Gap [Watercolour]. Brisbane: Queensland Art Gallery. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from http://qag.qld.gov.au/collection/queensland_heritage/conrad_martens2

Martens, C. (1874). Burning mountain (Mount Wingen, near Scone) [Watercolour]. Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/work/142-1995+burning-mountain-mount-wingen-near-scone


Gill, S. T. (1846). Invalid's Tent, Salt Lake 75 Miles North-West of Mount Arden 1846 [Watercolour]. Adelaide: Art Gallery of South Australia. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from http://www.artabase.net/exhibition/466-s-t-gill

Martens, C. (Circa 1840). Rushcutter's Bay [Watercolour]. Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/work/4416+rushcutters-bay


Earle, A. (1826).

Table Land Blue Mountains [Watercolour]. Canberra:
National Library of Australia. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from http://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/darwin/darwin_and_australia/