The Lucky Country

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By Christina Bakerteacher, writer and educational journalist

Take your class on a journey to the other side of the world and discover the real Australia

In Australia, do you feel like you’re upside down?’ a member of my class asked me recently. Many children hold a deep fascination with Australia, but their knowledge is often limited to barbecues, beaches, Neighbours, ‘bush tucker trials’ and, of course, the famous wildlife. (Most boys can happily give you a blow-by-blow account of the way a crocodile could drag you down for a ‘death roll’ or how a Great White Shark could rip your leg off!) The activities will help children to develop an understanding of the real Australia – its climate, landscape, culture, heritage, environmental issues and people. They bring together the three core aspects of the geography curriculum – skills, places and themes.

Australia is nicknamed the ‘Land Down Under’, but most Australians think of it as ‘The Lucky Country’. Bridging two oceans and three time zones, its area of 7.7 million km2 makes it the sixth largest country in the world, and the world’s largest island. Despite being 30 times the size of the UK, Australia has only one third of its population – approximately 20 million. Most people live in coastal cities and towns, avoiding the arid interior. Throughout this topic, children should be encouraged to consider the similarities and differences between Australia and the UK.

Ages 7-9

On the map

Learning objectives: to use atlases and globes to locate Australia; to investigate its main settlements and features.

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