Learning Sequences

For History teachers and students

Developed by HTAA (The History Teachers' Association of Australia)

Unit 3 - Foundation Story - Melbourne


This unit introduces a student inquiry into the foundation of Melbourne, with a particular focus on a controversial monument to the man credited with founding the city, John Batman. It offers students the opportunity to:

  • Engage with broad historical themes such as foundation and commemoration through investigation of a practical case study with historical and contemporary relevance.
  • Work with accessible primary sources and examine the way in which they can be used as evidence to both reconstruct the past and debate the legacies of earlier histories.
  • Explore important historical concepts such as significance, perspective and contestability.
  • Discuss issues around commemoration and significance in history.
  • Reflect on a number of issues relevant to Civics and Citizenship, such as diversity, national identity and how the events investigated highlight the civic participation of individuals and groups.

The activities presented in this unit are designed to extend students studying the Years 9 and 10 course of the Australian Curriculum: History. The culminating major tasks may offer models for students interested in entering national competitions such as the Simpson Prize or National History Challenge. At the same time, this unit may be very relevant to senior history students investigating a range of areas, from historic sites and sources to the representation and commemoration of the past.

Unit Components

  1. Introduction (teachers)
  2. Learning Sequence (teachers)
  3. Historical Context — Background (teachers and students)
  4. Batman's Monument 1 (students)
  5. Batman's Monument 2 (students)
  6. Teacher Resource 1 (TR 1) — Marking Guidelines (teachers)
  7. Student Resource 1 (SR 1) — Chronology (students)
  8. Student Resource 2 (SR 2) — Batman's Monument (students)
  9. Student Resource 3 (SR 3) — Foundation Sources 1 (students)
  10. Student Resource 4 (SR 4) — Monument Sources 1 (students)
  11. Student Resource 5 (SR 5) — Foundation Sources 2 (students)
  12. Student Resource 6 (SR 6) — Monument Sources 2 (students)
  13. Student Resource 7 (SR 7) — Outline Map (students)