The Story of Australia
History Project

Convicts
Available on CD-ROM
Formatted for Windows or Mac

School Price
$50.00 with a single computer site licence
$100.00 with an unlimited site licence

The Story of Australia - Convicts
Operating System
Special Instructions


To order select the ORDER tab above or use the Paypal checkout

About This Program

Convicts - History Project is centred on a fifteen minute audio-visual narrative that combines drawings, narration, music and sound effects to give a broad overview of the Australian convict system.

The program is designed to fully meet the requirements of the F-10 National History Curriculum for Australian schools at Year 4 and Year 5.

The program develops students’ historical knowledge, understanding and skills in response to the key inquiry questions of the F-10 National History Curriculum for Year 4 - First Contacts...

  1. Why did the great journeys of exploration occur?

  2. What was life like for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples before the arrival of the Europeans?

  3. Why did the Europeans settle in Australia?

  4. What was the nature and consequence of contact between Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples and early traders, explorers and settlers?
and Year 5 - The Australian Colonies
  1. What do we know about the lives of people in Australia’s colonial past and how do we know?

  2. How did an Australian colony develop over time and why?

  3. How did colonial settlement change the environment?

  4. What were the significant events and who were the significant people that shaped Australian colonies?
The Audio-Visual Narrative
The key content areas covered in the Convicts fifteen minute audio-visual narrative are...
The types of convicts transported to New South Wales under the harsh British laws of the late eighteenth century.
The appalling conditions experienced on board the convict ships during the long voyage to New South Wales.
The problems that became apparent with the attempts to grow grain crops in the settlement at Sydney Cove.
The rationing of food and the measures Phillip introduced to discourage stealing when supplies were short.
The desperate attempts by the convicts to escape and the dangers they faced from the spears of the Aborigines and the harsh Australian bush.
The usually harsh justice in the new colony and punishments applied for minor and serious offences.
The "ticket-of-leave" system and the opportunities available to well behaved hard-working convicts to be given a complete pardon and a grant of land.


Student History Project
Convicts - History Project encourages students to 'do' and 'make' history in a manner that resembles the historian's craft. The audio visual narrative allows students to experience the story in Australia's fascinating history, and the project resources of the History Project provides a platform for linking the overview content of the narrative with more in depth studies.
The program encourages students to create their own version of the Convicts narrative by replacing all, or any, of the 109 drawings in the original program with images of their choosing.

The process of selecting and inserting the images into the program introduces learners to the use of historical methods and procedures, involving them as participants rather than spectators in the study of Australian history.

Students can obtain the images from a number of sources, such as the project resources of the school library and the internet, or they can create their own drawings or paintings and insert them into the narrative, depicting their personal interpretation of the convict system.
Being in the role of movie-maker particularly strengthens their understanding of how movies can select, exclude, control, manipulate and tamper with historical realities.
Each image of the narrative has an accompanying NOTES page, which assists learners to develop patterns of historical reasoning by encouraging them to ask questions, foster debate, use evidence to support a position and, understanding that historical and literary dimensions of students' learning are complementary, to communicating that position effectively.
The NOTES pages encourage students to analyse and make judgments regarding the plausibility of the script for that section of the story and to analyse and make judgments regarding how well the images depict what is stated in the script and to give the reasons for their assessments in writing,
Teachers’ Assessment
The program also contains an assessment page where teachers can communicate with the students during their work on the project and provide an assessment of their work on completion of the project.

A great deal of discretion is given to the teacher as to how they use the program. The History Project can be used by individual students, with each student working on their own project, or by students working together in small groups, or by the entire class working on one project.

The process of working on the projects fosters debate among the participating students and enables them to exchange ideas, refine points of view, make and justify choices, and appreciate the ideas of others.

Record of Achievement

The production of the narrative gives students a feeling of accomplishment and builds a sense of pride in their achievement.

With the school’s purchase of an unlimited site licence, students can copy the program to their personal computer and work on it from there. Then, on completion of the program, students can burn a copy to CD-ROM for a permanent record of their achievement. Because the program remains active, students can consider it a work in progress and continue to update it if new and more suitable images come to hand.

Easy Program Setup and Operation

The program has easy to follow tutorials that guide you through the simple process of setting up and working on a new project.  A new project is started by simply copying it from the CD-ROM and pasting it onto your computer, or onto a flash drive that is connected to your computer.  The copied programs contain all the functions that are required for the student’s operation and the teacher’s assessment of a project.

Convicts - History Project has a comprehensive teachers' guide, student review sheets, further learning activities and an interactive review to reinforce student comprehension.

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