Parliamentary Treasures—Signatures of Oz
Explains the significance of particular people, places, events and objects in the past in developing Australian democracy.
Subject matter focus
Using the Signatures of Oz interactive the student will learn about some significant parliamentary artefacts and dates related to them.
Implications for learning
In this area of study, students have opportunities to:
- Learn some simple facts about some of Australia's parliamentary artefacts.
- Research additional facts.
- Collate information to form a visual representation of time.
- Judge the significance of the artefacts.
Take home message
There is a connection between parliamentary treasures and Australian democracy.
Signatures of Oz outcome
Investigate some of the past people, places, events and objects that have had a lasting impact on Australia's system of parliamentary democracy.
Using the Signatures of Oz interactive
The Signatures of Oz interactive may be used as follows:
- Read each of the postcards.
- Put a stamp on each postcard. What happens if the stamp dates are correct? Incorrect?
- Write down a fact and a question to investigate from each.
- Share your facts and research the answer to your questions.
- Construct a timeline from this interactive. Work out how many years these postcards span.
- Can you name the treasure on each postcard?
- Are the treasures familiar objects? Why / Why not?
- What information do you get from each postcard? Do you think the information is complete? Why / Why not?
- What other information would you like to have about each treasure?
- Why are the postcards posted to Australia's Parliament House?
- Can you make a statement about the history of democracy using this interactive? If so, what is that statement?
- Create five more 'Signatures of Oz'. What are they? What is the significance of each treasure?
- Write your own postcard and create five more stamps so that the postcards can be posted to Parliament House either now or in the future.
- Decide which parliamentary treasure you think is most significant. Explain why.
- Write three questions that you would like to ask the Mace and Black Rod.
- Create a list of national symbols. Are they unique to Australia or can they be found elsewhere in the world?
- Judge whether the Mace and Black Rod are really symbols of Australian democracy. Explain your answer.
- Choose something that you would give as a reward for an outstanding contribution to democracy.
- What if the Magna Carta never existed? Would Australian society be different?
- History: Why is there a Union Jack on the Australian flag? What is the significance of the Southern Cross?
- Art: Design a new Australian flag.
This unit provides opportunities for students to investigate facts and to research the answers to questions; present information orally; interpret written information to a visual form; draw conclusions; and to write creatively.
Get Parliament, magazine available from the Parliamentary Education Office.
Parliament of Australia: http://www.aph.gov.au/
Signatures of Oz Teachers' Notes [PDF 27KB]
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