Tag Archives: books

Books for Teaching History – The Phoenix Foundry: Locomotive Builders of Ballarat. The History of a Ballarat Engineering Company.

The Phoenix Foundry: Locomotive Builders of Ballarat. The History of a Ballarat Engineering Company. By  Bob BUTRIMS & Dave MACARTNEY.

Here at Sovereign Hill we are in an enviable position as we are able  to portray the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in Australia. Our museum contains the best collection of working steam engines in Victoria on permanent public display. Because of this we have developed several online education resources and face to face programs designed to support  teachers and students studying this period of Australian history. We are continually searching for more material to help our understandings of this subject.  Recently we discovered a new book focusing on Phoenix foundry bookone of the key foundries which grew from the gold rush period of Ballarat’s history. Marion Littlejohn, one of our Education Officers, has reviewed this book, which we feel would be a useful addition to any year 9 reference library for Depth Study 1 – the Industrial Revolution.

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Indigenous Stories of the Goldfields

Exploration/Law and Order

This Blog may contain images and names of deceased people, it may also contain words and descriptive terms that may be offensive to Indigenous Australians.

Bushmans Hut by S. T. Gill.

Bushmans Hut by S. T. Gill. Gold Museum Collection.

Often the perceptions that are held of Aboriginal people during the Gold Rush period of Australian history were that; Aboriginal people were marginalised and only involved on the periphery of mining areas, that they did not understand what was happening and, the experience of Aboriginal people was very negative. Now a new book is casting a whole different perspective on Aboriginal involvement in Goldfields history. “Black Gold” by Dr Fred Cahir of the University of Ballarat provides a wider view of the contributions made by Aboriginal people during the Gold Rush era of Australian history. Dr Cahir gives specific examples to show the contribution to goldfields life by Aboriginal people, in exploration, and Law and Order in Goldfields society. Continue reading

Books for teaching History – Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution

Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution

By Peter FitzSimons

Front cover of Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution

Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution
Published By : William Heinemann, North Sydney, N.S.W. Australia, 2012

The trouble with the Eureka story is that it is very involved and complex.  As Education officers at Sovereign Hill, we well know how difficult it is to maintain the interest of an audience when we try to explain the details leading to the bloody storming of the stockade. There are so many important twists and turns that the story teller often falls in a repeating pattern of “and then …. and then… and then…”

Not so Peter FitzSimons in his recent book Eureka: The Unfinished RevolutionContinue reading

Books for Teaching History: Days of my Youth

Days of my Youth

By Charles Napier Hemy Ra, ARA, RWS, 1841 – 1917

Days of my Youth

Edited by Peter McGann
Published by Viglione Press, Black Rock, Victoria 2009

This fantastic little book is a great way to personalise students experiences of our History, and provides an opportunity to debate the classification of a source as primary or secondary. Charles Napier Hemy was a renowned maritime artist of the late 19th century. At the age of 10 he accompanied his father on a trip around the world, culminating in a visit to the Goldfields of Victoria in 1851-2. In 1904 Charles sat down on board his yacht Van Der Meer in Falmouth harbour and wrote a journal of his recollections of his travels under sail, and adventures on the Goldfields. Continue reading

Books for Teaching History: Playing Beatie Bow

Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park

Playing-Beatie-Bow-CoverPlaying Beatie Bow has been read in schools for the past 30 years or so.  While it may be beginning to look dated to children today and the language can be challenging, it is still a rich historical fiction full of insights into Australia during the Victorian era.

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Books for Teaching History: School Holiday Special

A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich

Little-History-World-CoverThis post should probably be called books for loving history, as this is a book not for teaching, but for enjoying.  Although there is a fair chance some learning will happen amidst all the enjoying.

With winter school holidays upon us, what better time is there to curl up with a good book for yourself or to share with your children.

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Books for Teaching Biodiversity – Australian Geographic

Australian Geographic Magazine

Australian-Geographic-Books-for-teaching-biodiversityThe Australian Geographic is a great resource for explaining Australian landscapes, plants, animals, industry and people to students and teachers wishing to develop their content knowledge. This magazine-style journal contains a poster in each edition as well as high quality photographs, excellent maps from award-winning mapmakers and detailed technical illustrations.  All of which are useful visual resources for in any school classroom, especially when it comes to explaining the science behind particular concepts.

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Books for Teaching Biodiversity – Wild Australia Guides

A Wild Australia Guide – Steve Parish PUblishing

steve-parish-wild-australia-guide-beetleSteve Parish’s A Wild Australia Guide series of books cover a range of Australian wildlife from birds and butterflies to mammals and moths. Written by a variety of expert authors it contains a range of information including identification, habitat, behaviour and diet. There are 20 guides with a recommended retail price of $14.95, however most school libraries stock at least some of the titles.  The photography titles are also available as PDF ebooks.

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Books for Teaching History – To the Goldfields!

To The Goldfields! By Rachel Tonkin

To the Goldfields! is sadly now out of print.  But as many libraries still have it on their shelves (and we hope they keep it!) we thought it was worth mentioning.  This picture book tells the story of James, a nine year old boy who travels to the Victorian goldfields with his family.

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Books for teaching history – Scatterheart

Scatterheart By Lili Wilkinson

sits itself between the First Fleet and the Gold Rushes, but it’s delightful fictional story encompasses the themes of fear and hope in the journey to an unknown land that are common to both periods of history.  Lili Wilkinson tells the story of Hannah Cheshire, a well-born London girl who we meet in the midst of her confusion and despair over her sudden change in circumstances.  It interweaves her present predicament with reflections of her life past.

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