Paper-Chain Timeline

Last week in history, we talked about how long Indigenous Australians have lived in Australia. Scientists believe that Indigenous Australians have been living here for approximately 60,000 years – some think it may even be longer than that!

The Australian Aboriginal Flag: black represents the People, red represent the Earth and yellow represents the Sun.

The Australian Aboriginal Flag: black represents the People, red represent the Earth and yellow represents the Sun.

We discussed what that number means, in comparison to the length of time since Australia was first colonised by England… 60,000 years compared to 227 years. It was hard to really get our head around this comparison, so we decided to make a visual representation of it through a paper chain.

We worked out that if we created a paper chain where each link was worth 200 years, then we would need 300 links to show the 60,000 years of Indigenous presence in Australia… compared to roughly 1 link to show how long it is since Australia was colonised! On the day we created the paper chain, there were exactly 20 students in the classroom, which worked out to exactly 15 links to create per person!

Students worked in pairs, and we used the colours of the Aboriginal flag to create the 300 links. We added one white link at the end to represent the time elapsed since colonisation. Here is our paper chain:

Our very long paper-chain: we had to shape it into a spiral to fit it in the picture!

Our very long paper-chain: we had to shape it into a spiral to fit it in the picture!



100WC Special Showcase: Congratulations Harry H and Hamish!

Congratulations to Harry H and Hamish, whose entries were showcased for week 11 of the 100 Word Challenge. The prompt for that week was the word “Remember”, and the theme was that of Remembrance Day. Both boys chose to write a poem (as did many others in the class).

Mrs Diestler from the 100WC team thought that Harry’s word choices created “an engaging, mysterious and beautiful piece”… check out Harry’s poem! If, like Mrs Diestler, you were touched by Harry’s words, don’t forget to leave him a comment!

“I will remember, the day in November                                                        When the noise of the gunfire did cease…”                                             Read Hamish’s elegant poem, and leave him some feedback – he’d appreciate it!

To read all the inspiring entries that were showcased for week 11, head here.


SBC 2014: Three Generations, One Small School

Book extract circa 1950s

Book extract circa 1950s

Harry R, a current student in Year 5, has interviewed his Dad and his Pa, who both went to Mil Lel PS. Harry’s Dad attended from 1977 to 1984, and Harry’s Pa was a student at Mil Lel between 1942 and 1949. Click on the file below to listen to Harry’s excellent interview and discover how things have changed in the span of 3 generations at Mil Lel Primary School!



Saige: Remember…

By Saige

Remember those who fought for us

And our country.

Those who risked their lives for us to live in a free country.

Lots of soldiers died.

Some survived.

But came back with horrific injuries.

But we can’t just give all the credit to those who came back.

We also have to give credit to those who fought for our country but didn’t come back.

They fought and fought for us.

They never gave up.

Even if they were hurt they would keep going.

Wounds and scratches.

Gun shots.

Many needed treatment.

Nurses working all day.

Nurses struggling to the limit.


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Dust And Gunfire – 100WC for Remembrance Day

January, 1918

The field goes up in a plume of dust, my lungs feel on fire, but I’m alive. I collapse to the ground, desperately trying to catch my breath, but the dust is too thick. BAAAAANG! BAAAANG! BAAANG! My senses are now useless, my nose is clogged from the dust, my ears are ringing, I’m blinded. I feel sick as I inhale the unbreathable, I begin to close my eyes…

November, 2014

As I weave the poppies through my braid I once again look at the sketch on the wall of my ancestor who went to war. I remember…

By Holly


Ancient Roman Roads

Article written by Harrison

Between week 3 and week 4 the UP class made a real life replica version of a Roman road. We made our Roman roads out of Stones, Gravel, Sand and Plaster. First we spread PVA glue over some cardboard and then scattered sand over the PVA glue. After 30 minutes we put glue over the sand and then placed some gravel on top of the glue. Finally we spread plaster (instead of concrete) with a knife and carefully put stones in the wet plaster.
The Ancient Romans built many kilometres of roads. These roads helped them expand their empire and also helped them develop trade with other countries. They built more than 80,000 kilometres of roads. The Ancient Roman roads were very well built and some of these roads are still in use today.

The different layers of a Roman road.

The different layers of a Roman road.




A completed Roman road

A completed Roman road


History Mystery Bags

The history mystery bags are one of my favourite activities (thanks Lesley!). I don’t always use it, because I don’t want it to lose its appeal. At the start of a new unit, I sometimes give the kids a mystery bag. This bag contains clues that the children must piece together as a table group, in order to deduct which topic we will be studying during the term.

At the start of term 2, the contents of the mystery bags were as below:

a rubber ducky... and a few other items!

a rubber ducky… and a few other items!

The kids worked it out, can you?



Our Gold Rushes Museum

On the last Friday of term 1, our class concluded its study of the Australian Gold Rushes by officially opening our Gold Rushes Museum to the middle primary class. The students had all been working hard on creating detailed dioramas that showed what life was like for diggers and their families back in the 1850s.

The middle primary were treated to a range of displays, including dioramas, posters, interactive programs such as Scratch and Vokis, a half-size replica of The Welcome Stranger, the largest ever gold nugget found in Victoria, and last but not least, a “real-life” experience of schooling in the olden days – complete with very stern school teachers Levina and Zoe!


A row of dioramas


The dioramas were accompanied by informative posters that explained the relevance of each object in the dioramas


Wil’s Voki of a digger described just how hard life was for gold miners from a digger’s perspective


Holly’s “Whack The Miner” Scratch game proved a lot of fun


Our papier-mache replica (half size) of The Welcome Stranger, complete with a “Do Not Touch” sign and protective barrier!


Deklin tried his best to write in flawless linked script; he was taught by two very unfriendly schoolmistresses 🙁

Outside, the fun continued for the middle primary. Two olden days games had been set up for the students to experience the simple pleasures of the 1850s… Harry R. had organised a game of marbles and Jack and Wade explained and supervised an Indigenous game called Diyari Koolchee. The skipping team’s skills also came in very handy. In the sandpit, excitement was rife as the middle primary students panned for gold!


We’re rich!!!!

The session was concluded with a feast… of damper and black tea! The upper primary had cooked three types of damper – a very simple one of flour and water which proved surprisingly tasty, a second damper made of flour and milk and a third which consisted of flour, milk and butter – this one you would definitely NOT have found on the gold fields! The tea was served black – no sugar and no milk – as would have been the case in the 1850s.

The morning was a lot of fun and the Museum looked amazing. I was very proud of the children’s efforts and delighted that the day turned out to be such a success!

There will be a separate post to showcase the fantastic dioramas the students constructed.