lee's classroom

(another MPPS global2.vic.edu.au weblog)

March 15, 2018
by leesclassroom

Family History Research Project

Your task is to find out about your families immigration story.  For some of you, your parents or grandparents may have been the ones to immigrate to Australia. For others it will be someone further back in your family’s history. Students of indigenous background can research their family story to share with the class.


You final presentation will include the following items.


Presentation Item Description


Country Research


Write down key facts discovered about each of the countries you are from (i.e., special holidays celebrated, languages spoken, foods, traditions, traditional clothes, and flag) and locate the countries on a world map.





Choose at least five (grade 3s) or ten (grade 4s) questions to use in an interview with a family member (preferably the oldest available relative). Students must write/type out the interview in question/answer format.

Grade 4s must also record their interviews.





Include a couple of artefacts ​from their heritage.

Each artefact should include an explanation of why it is important. Artefacts can include photos, special clothing, toys, heirlooms, certificates, documents, or anything you and your family feel is relevant to your cultural history.





A recipe of a favourite dish from your heritage.



Biography (Grade 3) or Short Story (Grade 4)


Biography (Grade 3)

Write a short biography of the life of a relative who has emigrated from another country to Australia. Turn the facts you learnt in your interview into a short couple of paragraphs explaining the key events in your relative’s life. Think of the stories we have read in class as examples.

Short Story (Grade 4) Write a short narrative based on the life of a relative who has emigrated from another country to Australia. Think of the stories we have read in class as examples.



Short Story

Use the questions below to plan your short narrative based on the life of a relative who has emigrated from another country to Australia:

  • How would you describe the main character?
  • What are the main events of the story?
  • When is this story set?
  • Where did the character come from?
  • Why did they leave their home to go to another country?
  • Where did they go (migrate) to?
  • What were their fears, hopes, joys?
  • What objects, skills, and stories from the past did they bring with them?


Relative Interview 

Choose at least five (grade 3s) or ten (grade 4s) questions to use in an interview with a family member (preferably the oldest available relative). You may choose to interview a family member about the life of an older family member, for example you may ask a parent about one of their grandparents who emigrated from another country.

When you are ready to conduct your interview, have the questions in front of you to make sure you are getting the information you want.

  • Make sure they are a balance of closed and open-ended questions
  • Take lots of notes
  • Conversations about family can go many directions; record any extra information shared

Below are some key questions you could ask. If you are asking a family member about and older family member just change the word you to they.

  • When did you come to Australia?
  • How old were you?
  • Did you come with family members or travel alone?
  • What form of transport did you take to come to Australia?
  • How long did the journey take?
  • What do you remember about the journey?
  • What were you able to bring with you?
  • Why did you decide to come to Australia?
  • What were your first impressions when you arrived?
  • Was it hard to settle into your new life?
  • What are your strongest memories of your country of origin?
  • Where do you call ‘home’?

Below are some extra questions you may choose from:

  1. What is your full name? Why did your parents select this name for you? Did you have a nickname?
  2. When and where were you born?
  3. How did your family come to live there?
  4. What was the house (apartment, farm, etc.) like? How many rooms? Bathrooms? Did it have electricity? Indoor plumbing? Telephones?
  5. Were there any special items in the house that you remember?
  6. What is your earliest childhood memory?
  7. Describe the personalities of your family members.
  8. What kind of games did you play growing up?
  9. What was your favourite toy and why?
  10. What was your favourite thing to do for fun (movies, beach, etc.)?
  11. Did you have family chores? What were they? Which was your least favourite?
  12. Did you receive an allowance? How much? Did you save your money or spend it?
  13. What was school like for you as a child? What were your best and worst subjects? Where did you attend primary grade school? High school? University?
  14. What school activities and sports did you participate in?
  15. Do you remember any fads from your youth? Popular hairstyles? Clothes?
  16. Who were your childhood heroes?
  17. What was your religion growing up? What church, if any, did you attend?
  18. What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?
  19. Describe a typical family dinner. Did you all eat together as a family? Who did the cooking? What were your favourite foods?
  20. How were holidays (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) celebrated in your family? Did your family have special traditions?
  21. How is the world today different from what it was like when you were a child?
  22. Who was the oldest relative you remember as a child? What do you remember about them?
  23. What do you know about your family surname?
  24. Is there a naming tradition in your family, such as always giving the firstborn son the name of his paternal grandfather?
  25. What stories have come down to you about your parents? Grandparents? More distant ancestors?
  26. Are there any stories about famous or infamous relatives in your family?
  27. Have any recipes been passed down to you from family members?
  28. Are there any physical characteristics that run in your family?
  29. Are there any special heirlooms, photos, bibles or other memorabilia that have been passed down in your family?
  30. What was the full name of your spouse? Siblings? Parents?
  31. Where and when did you get married?
  32. Why did you choose your children’s names?
  33. What was your proudest moment as a parent?
  34. What did your family enjoy doing together?
  35. What was your profession and how did you choose it?
  36. What accomplishments were you the most proud of?

Here is a downloadable word doc of this post: term 1 2018 research task_family immigration story

September 5, 2017
by leesclassroom

Design Brief: Historical Artefact

Your assignment is to design and construct a Colonial Australian Historical Artefact.

You will investigate, design and produce a model representing some aspect of life in early Australia. For inspiration check out paintings and pictures of that time, I’ve placed some below. What were people using, making or wearing? Think transport. shelter, clothing, tools.


Investigate and design

  • What information do you need to develop your design?
  • Make a list of questions you need to research.
  • Use simple mind maps, sketches and labelled diagrams to explore different design solutions.
  • Choose one design solution, draw a more detailed plan and make a list of materials required.
  • Record a list of design goals that’ll you use to evaluate your completed artefact.


  • Using your plan and list of materials construct your artefact.
  • Make ongoing modifications to your design and develop alternative solutions to fix any problems in your design.

Analysis and Evaluate

  • Present your finished Colonial Australian Historical Artefact to the rest of the class. Explain its various features and why you have included them into your design.
  • Explain the difficulties or problems that you had and how you worked to overcome them.
  • Evaluate your completed product using your list of design goals.





September 5, 2017
by leesclassroom

Check List for Historical Fiction

  • I can write a historical fiction narrative set in Colonial Australia. It is based on facts and details, using historically accurate events.
  • I can develop a historically accurate colonial character.
  • I can use historically accurate vocabulary and write historically accurate descriptions.
  • I can organize a plot with events in an order that makes sense to my reader.
  • I can use transitional words and phrases to show the passage of time.
  • I can revise my narrative to add dialogue, to show characters’ thoughts and feelings.
  • I can create a compelling beginning to my historical fiction narrative that hooks the reader.
  • I can create an ending to my narrative that leaves the reader with a sense of completeness.
  • I can check my work for correct capitalization, correct spelling, correct punctuation at the ends of their sentences, correct conventions when writing dialogue.

June 28, 2017
by leesclassroom

Term 2 Heat Project

In this term’s science unit the class has been learning about heat.

They have investigated how heat can be produced in many ways and can move from one object to another, the connection between the gain or loss of heat by an object and change in the temperature, and how heat can be transferred through direct contact or from a distance.

The have also explored the difference between heat and temperature, how a thermometer works and what is an insulator.

They have created PowerPoints containing much of what they have learnt. These can be found on the grade 4 blogs. Below are two examples made by teams of grade 3 students.

Heat by Thomas and Sanja

Heat by Liv and Antoinette

June 26, 2017
by leesclassroom

Heat Unit: Resources and Holiday Experiments

Below I’ve listed some sites which might help with your PowerPoint. Beneath that are several heat and energy experiments you might be interested in doing during the holidays. Remember to always check with a parent before carrying out any experiments.


What is Heat? – Definition & Explanation

How Heat Energy Works.

What is Heat Energy? – Facts & Calculation

Forms of Energy: Thermal, Radiant, Chemical, Electric & Nuclear Energy

Energy Transfer: Examples & Overview

Mechanisms of Heat Transfer: Conduction, Convection & Radiation


What is Conduction in Science? – Definition & Examples

What is Evaporation? – Definition & Examples

What is Temperature? – Definition & Measurement

Measuring Temperature in the Lab: Instruments & Process


Holiday experiments:

Water balloon and candle

Convection spiral

Why do temperature layers form in oceans

Does hot water freeze faster than cold water?

Pizza box solar oven

How to make honeycomb

Make a simple thermometer

Endothermic reaction

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