Books for teaching history – The Seriously Weird History of the Gold Rushes

Books for teaching history

It’s the Year of Reading and we’re celebrating by sharing our favourite books for teaching (or just enjoying) history!  This post introduces Doug Bradby’s Seriously Weird History series.

The Seriously Weird History Series


Written by Doug Bradby, a former Ballarat history teacher, his series of books has been written, to quote the author, “to engage young people with the Australian story”.  The books bring the past to life by the use of comedy and amusing anecdotes to keep the reader interested.

Doug doesn’t just focus on the big events and milestones but intertwines his narrative with everyday incidents – the elephant who ran amok on the diggings, why the first ice creams sold on the diggings spread disease or the fact that in the St Valentine’s Day massacre when Al Capone murdered all the members of “Bugs” Moran’s gang only the guard dog survived.

As a set the books span the whole sweep of Australian History from the First Fleet to today.  They would form a valuable reference for year 9 & 10 students who would enjoy the quirky humour.  For teachers, the books provide a useful source of fascinating facts with which to engage your students.  Any teacher wondering how create an engaging Overview to link their Depth Studies as prescribed in the AusVELS need look no further than these 3 volumes.

Also for teachers wishing to add human interest to their teaching at years 5 & 6 these books are invaluable as teacher resources.  The Seriously Weird History of the Gold Rushes is a great resource for gold related Units of Work.

Each volume is accompanied by a CD R0m which provides teachers with detailed advice, topic by topic, as to how to use Seriously Weird in your classroom.  Both the books and the CDs can be ordered online at

Doug has recently retired from teaching and spends some of his time as a volunteer working with students at the Ballarat Gold Museum. Click here to watch a video of him talking about his favourite exhibit in the Gold Museum!


One response to “Books for teaching history – The Seriously Weird History of the Gold Rushes

  1. Pingback: History Teaching Resources | Articles On Teaching

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