30+ films to learn about Australian history

30+ Films For Learning About Australia

Mini series include:

  • My Place
  • All the Rivers Run - also a book
  • A Fortunate Life - also a book
  • The Dismissal
  • Against the Wind
  • Seven Little Australians - also a book
  • A Town Like Alice

Films that are about the first Australians include:

  • Charlie's Country
  • First Footprints
  • Ten Canoes
  • First Australians
  • Rabbit Proof Fence

Early colonial Australian films that portray the life of the convicts and early settlement include:

  • For The Term Of His Natural Life
  • Robbery Under Arms
  • Under Capricorn
  • The Little Convict
  • Playing Beatie Bow
  • The Man From Snowy River Return to Snowy River
  • My Brilliant Career
  • Back of Beyond
  • I can jump puddles

Films that show Australia after federation include:

  • Country Life
  • Brand Nue Dae
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock
  • The River Kings
  • The Dismissal (mini series)
  • The Dish
  • Dad and Dave
  • On our Selection
  • Shadows of the Heart

Films based on historical characters who left their mark on Australian history include:

  • Burke and Wills
  • Ned Kelly
  • Mary Mackillop
  • Phar Lap
  • Wild Boys
  • The Last Outlaw (Mini Series)
  • We of the Never Never
  • Charles Kingsford Smith and those Magnificent Men

Australian war movies include:

  • Australia
  • Breaker Morant
  • The Digger: A History
  • Gallipoli
  • Light Horsemen
  • Kokoda
  • The fighting Rats of Tobruk
  • A Town Like Alice (mini series)

Australia Day inspired filmmaking ideas to do with your class

1. Re-enact a scene from the Gold Rush

2. Create a Game Show focussing on Australian history – Q&A on a timeline of historical events

3. Do a Book Review on ‘Meet Ned Kelly’ or a film review on ‘First Australians’

4. Using green screen recite famous Australian poetry against a montage of poetry inspired artwork or photographs

5. Create a news report on the First Fleet’s journey to Australia and the events that unfolded – see example below…

These stage 2 students creatively explored issues of “European Settlement” by using the green screen and drama to embody the world and times of European settlement. Imagine what the nightly news item would be in our newly formed 18th Century colony… well these students did!

Speaking and Listening 1 EN2­-1A
A student communicates in a range of informal and formal contexts by adopting a range of roles in group, classroom, school and community contexts

Writing and Representing 1 EN2-­2A
A student plans, composes and reviews a range of texts that are more demanding in terms of topic, audience and language

Speaking and Listening 2 EN2-­6B
A student identifies the effect of purpose and audience on spoken texts, distinguishes between different forms of English and identifies organisational patterns and features

Writing and Representing 2 EN2-­7B
A student identifies and uses language forms and features in their own writing appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts

Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretively EN2­-10C
A student thinks imaginatively, creatively and interpretively about information, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts

Expressing Themselves EN2­-11D
A student responds to and composes a range of texts that express viewpoints of the world similar to and different from their own

Reflecting on Learning EN2-­12E
A student recognises and uses an increasing range of strategies to reflect on their own and others’ learning

Students develop an informative and imaginative text, highlighting their knowledge of Convict Australia.

English Outcomes addressed:

Identifying, clarifying and analysing relevant information.

Collecting, comparing and categorising facts and opinions.

Expanding on known ideas

Exploring situations using creative thinking strategies

Reflecting on thinking

Explaining and justifying ideas

Investigating with ICT

Creating with ICT independently and collaboratively

Communicating with ICT

Managing and Operating ICT

History: First Contact

Creative Arts: Drama

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