Discovering Democracy Units
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Making a Nation

At a glance

Focus question 1: Why do people decide that governments should federate?

Content Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)
  • Introduction: going national
  • National sports teams: how and why they come into existence
  • Introduction to the War of Independence in America, focusing on the Declaration of Independence
  • Mapping: States involved in the War of Independence
  • Comprehension: the Declaration of Independence
  • Discussion and analysis: rights and revolution
  • Provide outline map of the USA showing states
  • Access to atlas
  • The establishment of the Australian colonies
  • Information synthesis from maps, with some research
  • Arrange library booking
  • Allegiance to Britain
  • Document analysis and exploration: the ideas of 'heritage' and 'allegiance'
  • Federation: arguments for and against
  • Research activity
  • Sorting arguments
  • Analysis: factors favouring and mitigating against federation in Australia
  • Have One Destiny! CD ROM available for research task

Teaching and learning activities

Focus question 2: How do you make a federation work?

Content Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)
  • Australian and United States constitutions
  • Comparison and analysis: similarities and differences between the two constitutions
  • Reasons why the Australian Constitution does not include a Bill of Rights
  • Document analysis
  • The balance of power between Commonwealth and State and Territory governments
  • Investigation and discussion: current government powers; the growth in Commonwealth power
  • Comprehension: reasons for the growth in Commonwealth power
  • Minor research project: disputes between the Commonwealth and States and Territories
  • Download copies of Sections 51 and 52 of the Constitution from Stories of Democracy CD ROM
  • Letter to an American friend: review and summary of factors related to Australian Federation

Teaching and learning activities

Focus question 3: Why do federations break apart?

Content Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)
  • Civil War in the
    United States
  • WA votes to
  • Project: causes and
    aspects of the Civil
  • Comparison: WA secession and the Civil War
  • Access to resources. Some resources are listed for students. Others are included in Other resources

Teaching and learning activities

Focus question 4: Should Australia become a republic?

Content Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)
  • A brief coverage of Australia's relations with Britain from 1901 to the present
  • Comprehension and analysis exercises, case preparation, oral presentation: a class convention on the republic issue
  • Arguments for and against Australia becoming a republic
  • Report writing in a number of genres

Teaching and learning activities

AcknowledgementsLegal Information