Three ways to include the Australian history curriculum into a school camp

“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.” – Theodore Roosevelt.

We look at the history curriculum strand of the Australian Curriculum – HASS (Humanities and Social Sciences) and came up with some ideas to incorporate Australian history into your school camp activities.

The Past

Any new environment is an opportunity for students to explore the past. Here are some ideas to tick off a few outcomes in your history curriculum:

Indigenous culture – as the Coffs Coast is in Gumbaynggir country there are many options both on and off site to engage students through first hand experiences such as:

  • A poignant and important Welcome to Country ceremony.
  •  Dreamtime storytelling by Gumbaynggir elders.
  •  Discover the history of the region on an Aboriginal heritage tour.
  •  Focus on Indigenous plants on the Bongil Bongil bush tucker tour.

Post European contact – use the environment to engage students in discussion and activities like:

  • What’s the same? How has it changed?
  • What were the short / long term effects of European settlement?
  • Discuss the term “reconciliation” and how it’s been acted upon.
  • Discuss migration – why did people come to the Coffs Coast?
  • Create a timeline for the region.
  • Sing songs of old around the campfire with our favorite bush balladeer, Errol Grey.

The Present

The immediacy of school camp, helps students to interact with their place in society and reflect on the past. Here are a few suggestions to incorporate and enhance your history curriculum:

  • Focus on “rights and responsibilities” at school camp – why do we need rules?
  • Develop a camp flag – what symbols represent our camp? Why?
  • Act out a scene based on the history of the Coffs Coast.
  • Split students into small groups to research and present an ‘on this day in Australian history’ fact for each day of the camp.
  • Encourage students to compile a list of three questions to ask a Gumbaynggir elder.
  • Get students to draw inspiration from Dreamtime stories to create their own story that reflects or explains their own history.
  • Write daily journal entries that will form part of each student’s history.

The Future

Understanding through change, cause and effect, roles and responsibilities, leads students to look at possibilities for the future, their future. Try this:

  • What are some potential problems facing coastal areas e.g. overfishing, tourism, ocean pollution?
  •  How can these problems be addressed?
  • Encourage students to think about their role as a citizen of Australia – what can they do to help future communities?
  • Create a circle discussion based on two questions – One thing I don’t want to see change and one thing I do want to see change.
  • Blue sky thinking, especially for environmental issues.
  • Base an activity around…. If you were Prime Minister, what policies would you introduce?
  • Tap into our previous blog posts on incorporating camp activities into curriculum and keeping camp energy alive in the classroom.

At Coffs Coast Adventure Centre, we understand the importance of achieving curriculum outcomes on school camp. Shannon, our Camp Concierge is always ready to help you incorporate your history curriculum into your camp itinerary.

Call our Camp Conccierge 02 6653 5311

Shannon Kent - Bookings Manager at the Coffs Coast Adventure Centre

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