Gum San - Ararat

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Contents
Level 1 & 2
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Teapots – looking at Chinese tea and teapots in a measuring activity. (Maths)
Life on the Goldfields – an introduction to culture and life of the Chinese (SOSE)
Dragons – Understanding the symbol of China – Collage ( Art)
Tsoo Tsoo - A Chinese game (PE / SOSE)
Invention-Kites – One of the many inventions the Chinese have given us. (SOSE/Art)
Level 3
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Chinese Lanterns – An Introduction to the festivals (Art)
Hats and Clothes- What people were wearing on the Goldfields and why. (SOSE)
Chopsticks- Teaching the use of chopsticks. ( SOSE)
Invention- Paper Money – Students creating their own and using the
notes in a math’s activity (Art /SOSE)
Dragon Ball – A Chinese game ( PE)
Level 4
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Being different on the Goldfields – A role play activity to create an understanding
of how the Chinese felt in a strange land. ( Drama/ SOSE)
Chinese New Year – a popular Festival with all Chinese.(Art)
Tangrams – An old Chinese puzzle (Maths)
Arriving on the Goldfields- Looking at the different trades and specialists
that accompanied the Chinese diggers.(SOSE/Art)
Opera masks- A popular form of entertainment (SOSE/Art/Music)
Level 5
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Graves and headstones- The Chinese and their dead (SOSE)
Abacus – Using the ancient calculator to do maths. (Maths)
Horoscope – The Chinese year symbols in a traditional paper cutting activity (Art)
Calligraphy – An introduction to character writing (LOTE)
Inventions- Paper making- students get to make their own paper. (Science /Art)
Level 6
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Chinese on the Goldfields – Interpreting the cartoons of the time.(SOSE)
Yin Yang – a natural sense of balance in all things – dark- light, big – little, etc. A collage lesson (Art)
Foot Binding- comparing modern day fashions – corsets, body piercing, high heel shoes etc
with the old tradition of foot binding (SOSE)
Inventions - A science lesson based on the helicopter, one of the inventions
of the Chinese. (Science)
Chinese Dynasty Dates
Characters suitable for calligraphy
Bibliography
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Lesson Plans
The lessons that follow are divided into different levels. They cover the history of the Chinese people
during the gold rush and also other cultural aspects of the Chinese way of life. The basic ideas of the
lessons can be adapted to suit most levels. Go through and read each lesson from all levels and feel
free to modify or extend the ideas to suit your own needs.
The levels given are based on the Victorian CSF II model
Level 1
Prep
Level 2
Year 1 & 2
Level 3
Year 3 & 4
Level 4
Year 5& 6
Level 5
Year 7 & 8
Level 6
Year 9& 10
Remember that each lesson can be extended into a complete unit of work by further research and
planning.
Notes and lessons prepared by Robyn MacDonald © 2001
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SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Journey to Ararat
The flood of Chinese to the Australian Goldfields was a reflection on the events that had
happened in China during the 1800’s. Trade between China and England had been very
beneficial to the Chinese early on. Silk and tea from China were very popular with the English
and the demand was great. The Chinese limited the Europeans to one port, Canton and would
only accept silver in exchange for goods. They refused to trade in English goods. These terms
were not to England’s advantage.
The British East India Company was making huge profits at this time by illegally importing opium
into China. The Chinese government, seeing the effect that opium was having on its people,
decided to ban opium altogether. The resulting Opium War lasted four years (1838 – 1842)
ending with the signing of the Treaty of Nanking. This left China in the unfortunate position of
having to hand over to England huge reparation payments opening up other ports for trade and
other special privileges.
The 1840’s were not kind to China and droughts, floods and political unrest dominated. The
expanding trade with the western world allowed greedy landlords and bandits to seize crops and
goods from families. The country was so large that the government could not enforce its laws. In
1850 millions were killed during the Tai’ping Rebellion, an internal religious uprising. All aspects
of life were difficult for most levels of Chinese society.
The opening of trade allowed some Chinese to travel to other countries and it wasn’t long before
news of gold in California began to filter back to Chinese villages. European traders who had
started up a business of transporting Chinese peasants as cheap labour were advertising
passages to Victoria. Word of the gold rush encouraged three thousand Chinese to our shores in
search of wealth. By the next year this number had grown to 12,000.
Many Chinese did not have funds to buy their tickets but Chinese creditors were happy to
finance them in exchange for the rewards of their first year’s takings.
4
After paying his debt the digger’s earnings went to his family and village back home in China.
Most of the Chinese that travelled to the Victorian goldfields were from the Sze Yap area.
The trip over was spent in appalling conditions. The Chinese were often locked below in
cramped and filthy conditions. The basic requirements of food and water were inadequate and
many Chinese jumped overboard in a desperate plea to escape sea sickness and dysentery.
The quality of provisions, medical care and the humane treatment of passengers were
conditions sought after by the British Passenger Act of 1855 but efforts for government
enforcement of this regulation were corrupted and inadequate.
Confusion and expense met the
ship’s captains on the arrival at
Melbourne. The dock was
congested with newly arrived
boats that were unable to berth.
Many vessels lay abandoned by
crew who had left to find their
fortunes on the diggings.
While most of the Chinese were quiet people who kept to themselves many thought them an
unwelcome element on the Goldfields and were concerned about the numbers arriving.
Eventually the District Commissioner recommended that their entry into Australia be restricted.
In 1855 a law was passed imposing a tax of ten pound per head on all Chinese entering
Australia. This was equal to the cost of the ticket from China. There was also a restriction on the
number of Chinese allowed on each ship. The law also introduced a protectorate system
allowing all Chinese to have a secluded and safe camp and a delegated person to help maintain
order and a high standard of hygiene.
By the next year many merchants had found a way of avoiding the tax by dropping off their
passengers in South Australia and letting them find their own way to Victoria. Robe was a the
preferred landing spot as it was close to Victoria even though the loading and unloading of
passengers was difficult in the deep water due to a lack of proper docking facilities.
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The Chinese then found the task of getting to the Victorian diggings in front of them. Often big
groups of up to six hundred Chinese would pay for a guide to accompany them on their journey.
By the end of 1857 over 14,000 Chinese had used Robe as an entry point to the diggings and at
some time authorities thought it would be more beneficial to drop the Victorian entry tax and
encourage the Chinese to spend their money on employing Victorian guides. Sporadic attempts
were made by the Victorian Police to collect the entrance tax from those who disembarked at
Robe. One group of Chinese were arrested and sentenced to two months jail and put to work on
the construction of a public park at Portland which the magistrate was eager to see completed.
One group of Chinese who were on their way to the goldfields of Bendigo and Clunes stopped to
camp and get water near the grazing area of Ararat. By accident they discovered the richest
alluvial gold source in the world the Canton Lead. The Chinese were able to keep it a secret for
only a short time before thousands of Chinese and European diggers came to try their luck. The
town of Ararat has subsequently grown from these beginnings and Gum San is a tribute to that
rich heritage.
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Level 1 & 2 : Maths
Chinese Tea and Teapots
The Chinese people introduced tea drinking to the rest of the world and drink tea with every
meal. Many of their teas are used for medicinal purposes and are said to cure many different
ailments. Chinese teas come in many different colours and flavours. The tea is made by pouring
boiling water over the leaves and drinking it from small cups without handles. In China today
many people take a screw top jar containing tea leaves and water with them to work. They can
then boil some water and make a quick brew.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Measure objects by comparing formal units and standard units of measurement and using
simple, common measuring tools.
Indicators:
Select and use standard capacity measure appropriately.
Materials:

A lettered card identifying each pot ( A , B, C ……etc.)

Pencils and paper for each child

Some green tea ( loose)
Resources:
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Teapots – try to find at least six different types and sizes.
Include Chinese teapots in your selection.
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A large measuring jug with millilitres marked on the side.
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Some small Chinese tea cups.
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Pictures of tea being picked or other scenes relating to Chinese tea from books or posters.
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Kettle
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Procedure:
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Look at the pictures about tea and discuss the tea drinking habits
of the student’s own family.
Does someone in your family drink tea? Who?
When? What do they add to it?

Discuss teabags and pots. Some children may not be aware of the purpose of pots,
as teabags are the most popular form of tea with Australian families today. The Chinese use
pots and drink their tea without milk or sugar.
Show the children the six teapots and select one to make a cup of tea with.
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Pour the hot tea into small cups and leave aside while doing the activity.
This will allow for the tea to cool before the students drink it.
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Show the students the pots and ask which pot would hold the most amount
of tea and which would hold the least.
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Discuss the different shapes and their relevance to volume.
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Give each pot a letter and ask the students to rank on their paper which pot
would hold the most amount of liquid down to the pot that would hold the least.
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They should have a letter beside each number.
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When finished ask a student to fill up a teapot with water and pour it into
the measuring jug. Write on the board its letter and how much water it holds.
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Rank the pots in order and discuss the results with the class.
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Where there any surprises? Why?
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When the activity is finished let the students drink some of the cooled tea.
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Level 1 & 2 : SOSE / Arts
The Chinese Way of Life
In today’s society we are influenced by many cultures. Each one contributing in different ways to
create the diversity that is uniquely Australian. Food, sport, fashion, health and the arts have
been enriched by the influence of people from other countries who have made Australia their
home. The Chinese culture has made a large influence especially on what and how we cook our
meals.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Make informed decisions about effective ways of using visual arts elements in making and
presenting visual arts works.
Indicators:
Show evidence of experimentation with materials and equipment to develop visual arts skills,
techniques and processes
Materials:

A selection of Chinese items including: chopsticks, hat, wok, herbs,
calligraphy brush, incense etc.
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Coloured scrap paper
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Markers
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Glue and scissors.
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Large pieces of white paper
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Resources:
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Books or pictures of Chinese families of today doing things – playing, watching TV, eating.
Procedure:
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Discuss with students what they do all day. Write down about ten different things
that the students would do on an average day.
The list may include: eating, sleeping, watching TV, playing, going to school, playing with
friends, sport, reading, writing.

Introduce the pictures of Chinese children doing normal every day things.
Are there things we do differently? What are the things that we do the same?
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Look specifically at several activities so children understand the ideas being taught.
Differences - We use a knife and fork, while the Chinese use chopsticks.
Similarities - We play basketball and so do lots of Chinese children.
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Let the students understand that even though people from other cultures may look different
and have different ways of doing things there are many ways in which we are the same.
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Give the students a sheet of white paper each and ask them to draw eight large rectangles
with a line through the middle forming two squares. See illustration.
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In four of the boxes make things that we do the same and in the other boxes
make things that we do differently. Use coloured paper and markers
Write about each activity under the picture.
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Let students talk about their work. Reinforce the celebration of differences
rather than ostracizing those who are not like us.
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Level 1 & 2 : Art
Dragons
The Dragon is one of the most recognizable symbols of Chinese culture. They are divine
mythical creatures that symbolize power, intelligence and ambition. As the emblem of the
Emperor and his imperial command, the legend of the Chinese Dragon permeates the ancient
Chinese civilization and shaped their culture as it still does today. Folklore tells of many different
types of dragons with their own unique characteristics.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Make informed decisions about effective ways of using visual arts elements in making and
presenting visual arts works.
Indicators:
Show evidence of experimentation with materials and equipment to develop visual arts skills,
techniques and processes
Materials:
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A selection of coloured paper scraps e.g. tissue, metallics, and coloured card.
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Glue and scissors.
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A piece of black or navy cover paper.
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Gold doilies
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Joggle eyes
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Assorted collage material e.g. paper stripping, sequins
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Streamers
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White wool tops or cotton wool.
Resources:
Pictures and posters of Chinese dragons. Try to find a wide variety showing different media and
interpretations.
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Procedure:
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Look at the different pictures of dragons. In what ways are they the same?
How are they different? List these on the board.
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Ask the student to talk about the dragons. Compare different parts
of the Dragons e.g. feet, claws etc.
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Which one looks happy? Fierce? Funny? Old? Magic? Why? What gives the dragon
his personality? Look at the different kinds of eyes the dragons have.
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Ask the children to cut out two circles about the size of a 10c coin
from some coloured paper.
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Glue them onto other piece of coloured paper.
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Cut out around the circle leaving a 1-cm space. It should look like a small fried egg!
Repeat with different papers 5 or 6 times or until your “eyes” are about the size of a CD.
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Glue these onto the middle of the cover paper.
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Cut out eyebrows, nose, teeth, mane and other features. Look at the pictures
as a guide and use small scraps to add detail and embellishments.
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Encourage the students to layer their collage by putting different coloured paper
on top of other paper. This will give more depth and detail to their work.
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Reinforce or teach symmetrical cutting (if you want two eyebrows the same
fold the paper in half and cut it out giving you two identical pieces.)
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Staple streamers to the sides of the dragon’s mouth and glue on some
white wool tops for the beard.
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Display the dragon faces with streamers and gold doilies.
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Level 1 & 2 : Science
Inventions – Kites
The Chinese were the first people to invent many of the everyday objects we use today. Kites
are one such invention and were discovered over 2,500 years ago. Chinese kites are made to
look like animals, insects, birds, faces, dragons etc and some are even designed to flutter their
wings or roll their eyes. Kite flying is still popular in China and many attend kite-flying festivals
held throughout the country.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Identify simple patterns in observations arising from explorations of readily observable
phenomena.
Indicators:
Make simple inferences based on observations
Materials:
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Coloured tissue paper.
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String
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Glue and scissors
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Scrap white paper
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White paper about A3 size
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Satay sticks
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Markers
Resources:
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Kite making books
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Mirror with a straight edge.
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Pictures of different kites especially Chinese or Japanese styles.
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Procedure:
Define the word kite with the children. What does a kite have as opposed to a paper plane? A
string to hold onto it. Look at kites in your book and discuss the shape. When we think of a kite
we imagine it to be a diamond shape. When we look at the examples we see that they can be
any symmetrical shape.
Explain what symmetry is and ask a child to find something in the room that is symmetrical.

Let several children find items and discuss results. Using a marker draw a shape onto the
paper and put the mirror alongside to show the reflection.

Hand out little mirrors to small groups and let them explore the concept
of symmetry and reflection with items around the room.
Nearly all kites are symmetrical. Look at the kite pictures and find the line of symmetry.

Ask the students to draw five or six different ideas that are symmetrical. Try and keep to a
Chinese theme - birds, fish, dragons, insects, faces etc. Choose one that they really like for
their kite. Ask students to draw their design onto the folded A3 paper. Encourage them to
draw their design as large as possible

Cut or tear the tissue paper into shapes and glue them onto the kite. Because the kite is
symmetrical the students will need to cut two of each shape from coloured tissue.
(Fold tissue in half.)

Satay sticks can be taped onto the back to give support. Attach strings
and hang from the classroom ceiling.

Use paper srtipping or bunches of crepe paper streamers at the sides
or on the base for a tail.
* With older groups you may like to make a cane
frame to attach the tissue paper to and use trial
and error to get it to fly. The following variables
will all influence the flight of your kite:
1. Tail position, length, and choice of material
2. Kite shape
3. Position of string
4. Weight
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Level 1 & 2 : Physical Education
Games - Tsoo Tsoo
All children from different times and countries have played games. Interestingly many of these
games are very similar in spite of the thousands of kilometers that separate their lands. Many
Chinese games bear a resemblance to the games our children play in Australia today.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Perform locomotor skills with proficiency
Indicators:
Control own movements to show variations in speed, shape, direction, level and distance.
This game can be played in any space large enough to run around in.

One child has a blind fold on and calls out to the others “Tsoo Tsoo” which means
“Chickens come and find your mother!”
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The children run up and try and touch the mother hen without being tagged.
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The person who is tagged then becomes the blindfolded mother hen.
Variations may include:
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Having a couple of blindfolded hens.
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Having the “chickens” chirp near the mother rather than touch her.
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Level 3 : Art
Chinese Lanterns
The Chinese Lantern Festival is held just after the Spring Festival around the 15 th day of the
first lunar month. Lanterns are made of bamboo or wood and covered with silk, glass or light
paper. They are very popular in China and can come in an array of different shapes. Many
lamps have beautiful decorations of gold and silver tassels and beads. During the festival
people carry the lanterns through the streets and everyone comes to watch their red glow in the
darkness. Sometimes children perform lantern dances or other performances to celebrate the
Lantern Festival.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Identify and describe key features of visual art works from own and other cultures
Indicators:
Identify key features of visual arts works from various cultures.
Materials:

An empty tissue box per student.
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A small square box
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Red tissue paper or fabric.
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An assortment of beads
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Metallic gold thread
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Gold paper
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Black paint and brush or large black marker
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Glue and scissors
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Stapler and staples.
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Resources:
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Pictures of Chinese lanterns

Real Chinese lanterns bought cheaply from Asian supermarkets.
Procedure:
Look at the Chinese lanterns and discuss. Would they be very bright? When would they be
used? What are they made of? What have they all got in common? How are they different?
Have they changed much over time?

Using scissors cut out the middle of the four large sides of the box leaving
a cardboard frame of about 2 cm. ( See illustration)

Cut out a hole about 10-cm diameter in the top. Cover the top with tissue
paper leaving access to the lantern through the hole.

Cut out a piece to cover the base.
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Using the frame as a guide cut out four pieces of tissue or fabric that will cover each side.

Decorate them with some calligraphy using the pen and ink or cut out some
shapes from the gold paper and glue them onto the centre of the tissue paper.

Glue the tissue paper to the sides.

Cover the small box and glue it to the centre of the lantern’s base.

Look at the decorations on the pictures of lanterns for ideas and make up four tassels with
beads using the metallic thread. Allow for extra length as they can be stapled to the side of
the lantern and joined at the top to form the loop for hanging. Make up a large tassel with
thread and beads and staple it to the centre of the base.

Cut 2 cm strips of gold paper the same length as the lantern. Fold them in half
lengthways and glue over the edges of the lantern.
*(If one side of the lantern is left open a small tealight can be placed inside for effect. AN
ADULT MUST BE PRESENT AT ALL TIMES. LEAVE THE TEALIGHT IN FOR A FEW
MINUTES ONLY SO CHILDREN CAN SEE THE EFFECT.
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Level 3 : SOSE
Clothing Hats
When the Chinese came to the Goldfields many of the Europeans laughed at their strange
clothes. The Chinese wore large brimmed hats and loose cotton clothing. Many of the
Europeans wore very restrictive clothing not suitable at all for the hot conditions they found
when they came to Australia. Today we understand that loose cotton clothing is best in warm
weather and that no other hat gives better protection from the sun than a large Coolie style hat.
CSF II
Learning Outcome:
Explain the contribution of different cultures to the growth of Australia’s diverse society.
Indicator:
Describe the contribution of one or more cultural communities in Australian society
Materials:

Paper and markers

A2 size piece of cover paper for each student.

Oil pastels

Staplers and staples
Resources:
 A selection of hats including a beanie, baseball cap, Coolie hat, bonnet, floppy cricket style
hat, Akubra, straw hat, bike helmet, rain hat, chef’s hat etc
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Procedure:
Ask the students to name as many hats as they can and list them on the board. Get the
students to suggest reasons why we wear hats. Their suggestions should include:

identification,

protection from the sun,

protection from rain

warmth,

hygiene

aesthetics
What criteria should we use when looking for a good hat? What makes a good rain hat or bike
helmet? Write a sentence next to each suggestion that informs the class
Make up a grid and ask the students to classify the hats into each category.
Do some fall into two categories?
With this information ask a group to:

Identify the best sun hat.

Are some hats good at many things?

The hat that is there just for its looks

The most practical sun hat.

The most durable hat

The easiest to carry

The cheapest to buy
Think of other questions and get each group to report on their findings.
Using a large piece of cover paper cut out a large circle and cut a line into the centre. Overlap
the edges to form a coolie style hat and staple in place. Use oil pastels to draw patterns on it to
resemble a woven pattern.
20
Level 3 : SOSE
Chopsticks
The Chinese and many other Asian countries use chopsticks as their eating utensils. Eating
with chopsticks can be frustrating if you are a beginner but can be easily mastered with
practice. The type of food eaten by Chinese is more conducive to using chopstick than a
European meal. How would you attack a piece of steak with chopsticks? Chinese food is
prepared in small pieces so that it can be eaten easily with chopsticks and also so that it can be
cooked quickly. Chinese like to use quick methods of cooking as it saves precious fuel and it
preserves the colour and nutritional value of the food.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Explain the contribution of different cultures to the growth of Australia’s diverse society.
Indicators:
Describe the contribution of one or more cultural communities in Australian society
Materials:

Cooked rice,

Cooked vegetables cut up into bite size pieces.
Resources:

Sets of chopsticks

Bowls

Small toys, erasers or items that can be picked up with chopsticks.

A clock with the second hand easily visible.
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Procedure:
If you are not familiar with using chopstick have a practice before the lesson.
Show the students how to use chopsticks and give them several minutes to practice picking up
their eraser and other small things.

In groups of two get each child to collect six small items and put them on one side
of the table. Put a book (novel size) down about a metre away.

One child can measure the seconds while the other tries to take the six items from one side
of the table and place them on the novel. They may only take one item at a time. Record the
time. Swap roles. Repeat until the students have had several goes and they are happy with
their progress.

Give the chopsticks a quick rinse.

Dish out the rice and vegetable and let each child eat their meal with the chopsticks.
Putting the bowl closer to the mouth may help when eating the rice!

Reinforce this skill often so that the students will be comfortable eating with chopsticks
at restaurants and at home.
22
Level 3 : Maths / SOSE
Paper Money
The Chinese merchants used paper money in the form of “ exchange certificates” as early as
the Ninth century AD. It didn’t take long before the Chinese government adopted it as a method
of forwarding tax payments. Real paper money used for normal transactions and backed by
deposited cash. The Chinese people originally called paper money “ flying money” because it
was so light it could blow away in the wind!
Sweden had the first Western paper money in 1661 followed by America in 1690, France in
1720, England in 1797 and Germany not until 1806.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Explain the contribution of different cultures to the growth of Australia’s diverse society.
Indicators:
Illustrate ways in which different cultural communities have affected the unity and diversity of
Australian life.
Materials:

Paper

Markers and pens

Air dried clay

Gold paint
Resources:

Samples of paper money – some students may have access to money from holidays
overseas or copies can be found in books about notes and coins from different countries.

A copy of the current exchange rates for the Australian dollar available in newspapers.

Use of a photocopier.
23
Procedure:
Part 1
Look at the notes from different countries and discuss similarities:

Size – convenience

Printed details:
* Denomination
* Depiction of famous person, building etc
* Serial numbers
Why do most notes have very fine detail printed on them? Discuss Australia’s plastic notes?
Are they more practical than other notes?
Part 2

Designing your own note Chinese note.
Research and find some pictures of a famous Chinese person. Ask each student to draw
them onto a small piece of paper and fill in the background with some famous buildings,
pagodas or scenery from China.

Find out the name of the Chinese currency and write this on the notes. Print in the
denomination in a corner. Make several copies on to coloured paper. Change the
denomination and make more copies. Continue until each student has several notes
of each denomination.

Roll a small ball of air dried clay in your hands and then press it flat to make a small disc
or coin. Use a satay stick to press a design into it. When dry spray with gold paint.

Make little bags from a circle of fabric gathered along the edge and use them
to keep the money in.
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Part 3 Spending the money

Research the Chinese on the Goldfields and make a list of the items they would
need on their journey to the diggings. Include shovels, food, hats, rice etc.

Give each item a price and let the students work out how much they would need to set
themselves up in the Goldfields. Discuss their requirements. Would everyone need a cradle
or could groups of people share some of the basic items? Use the list below as a starting
point. (Pound, shillings and pence are quite difficult to work out for children in years 3 & 4
so keep things to simple figures) . Make up some equations for the students to work out.
What would be the cost of 1 shovel + 4 picks + panning dish = ?
Cradle
1 pound 10 s
Heavy crowbar
10 shillings
Picks
3 shillings
Shovel
5 shillings
Zinc buckets
4 shillings
Axe
2 shillings
Tarpaulin
7 pound
Camp oven
10 shillings
Panning dish
1 shilling
25
Level 3 : Games
Dragon Ball
CSF II
Perform manipulative skills with proficiency
Requirements:

A class of about 20 – 30 people

A volleyball or similar
Divide the class into approx.4 equal teams. Give them each a name and call one group into the
centre while the other class members makes a circle around them. The team in the centre
forms a dragon by holding onto the waist of the person in front. The aim for the rest of the class
is to throw the ball and try to hit the last person of the dragon or tail. If the tail is hit they rejoin
the circle. The dragon must stay in one piece at all times. If someone lets go they and everyone
behind them must rejoin the circle. The dragon head’s aim is to protect his tail by moving
around and dodging the ball.
Other variations include:

The head of the dragon is able to punch or knock the ball away.

Without using a ball the head of the dragon has to catch his tail.
LEVEL 4 : Art
26
Chinese New Year - Dragons
Many of the festivals that the Chinese celebrate have origins in ancient times. People from
different national groups bring their own unique customs, traditions and costumes to the
celebrations. Of all the traditional Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year is the most elaborate
and popular of celebrations. The holiday stresses the importance of family and welcomes in the
New Year. It is held on the first day of the first moon of the lunar calendar.
Having a clean house and everything in order is very important as the New Year arrives. The
colour red is a favorite colour as it signifies joy and luck.
Dragons and lion dances, gongs and Chinese drums are used to scare away the evil spirits.
Chinese communities in countries outside China celebrate Chinese New Year in much the
same way as they would back in China and it has become a very popular celebration for many
non-Chinese.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Identify and describe key features of visual arts works from own and other cultures.
Indicators:
Use a range of visual arts forms, materials and equipment to develop arts ideas based on own
and others’ cultures
Materials:

Red corrugated paper

Red paper

Gold paper

Glue and scissors

Large piece of black or navy cover paper

(or two joined together) measuring
about 1m by 60cm minimum.

Scrap paper and pencils.
27
Resources:

Pictures of Chinese Dragons from books, posters etc.
Procedure:

Have as many different Chinese Dragon pictures as possible so that students can observe
different shapes, media and interpretation of the one symbol. Discuss the similarities and
the differences. Take particular notice of the shape of the dragon’s body. Look at the tail and
the shape of his legs.

Ask each student to draw a curvy line that goes along the page.
Now add another line to create a body.
Add some legs.
Put in detail like claws.
Draw a basic head and fill in details quickly.

Put the students into groups of 4 or 5 and let them compare their dragons. Look at all
aspects of the drawings and as a group choose a body shape, legs, head etc. from the
group’s dragon drawings.

One student can sketch the basic design onto the large paper. As it will be covered with
paper scales it doesn’t need to be drawn in too much detail.

Look at the shape and size of the scales of dragon pictures. Let each group decide what
their scales are going to be like. Using the red corrugated card cut out enough scales to
cover the body. Make them of various sizes – large for the top of the body small ones for the
legs and tip of the tail. Using the red paper cut out smaller scales the same shape and with
the gold paper cut a circle or similar shape.

Assemble the scales as illustrated and beginning with the tip of the tail glue them down. Use
the three different papers to make the head. Constantly refer to the pictures for accuracy.

Each group’s dragon will be different. Ask each group to talk about the process of making
their dragon. Look at the original drawing? Is the finished product the same?

Use gold to write some Chinese characters alongside the drawings to finish them off.
28
Level 4 : SOSE
Role Play Activity
When the Chinese first arrived in Australia to dig for gold the Europeans were fairly indifferent
to them. As time went on many Europeans resented the Chinese and felt uneasy about their
customs and different mannerisms. Troublemakers made it difficult for the Chinese and they
were often beaten and treated badly. The Chinese were not Christians and dressed, ate and
looked different from other diggers and of course many did not speak English. This made
communication initially difficult for them.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Explain significant events and people in Australia’s history for the period 1788-1918.
Indicators:
Describe daily life for a selected group in an historical
period from nineteenth century Australia.
Resources:
A Coolie hat (optional)
Charade cards (see below)
Procedure:
 Many children would find it difficult to understand how strange it would be coming from a
different country and not being able to understand the language. Most of the Europeans
would not be going out of their way to be helpful to the Chinese diggers. The Chinese were
almost self sufficient in many ways and kept to themselves. They brought with them their own
herbalists, tradesmen and scribes. Research, read and discuss with the class.
29
Divide the class into groups of four of five and ask them to write down some situations that
might arise when the Chinese may need to communicate with Europeans.
They could include:

Buying things from the store e.g. trying to buy a long handled shovel when
the store has only short handled.

Wanting to walk through someone else’s land

Finding a stray cow and trying to find the owner.

Lost their way and need directions.

Wanting to trade gold for provisions.

Write each sentence on a card and let each group take turns to act out one of their
situations in front of the rest of the class. Put the Coolie hat on the student who is playing
the role of the Chinese and let the other students in the group play “supporting roles”. You
may have to use props to help communicate ideas.

Read the card out to the class after the group finishes. They will realise how difficult it can
be to communicate simple ideas.
Discuss with the “actors” their frustration at not being understood and relate this to how the
Chinese would feel on an unfamiliar shore. Some foreign-born students may be willing to
discuss problems in communication they or their families have encountered when they first
came to Australia.
Are things any different today? Are we tolerant of other people who we don’t understand?
Let the students list situations or social groups that are treated unfairly by others. This could be
due to a communication problem or just not being aware of the needs of others. These could
include the elderly, the unemployed as well as non-English speaking people.
*The aim is for the students to feel a sense of frustration at not being able to be understood.
Some of the situations the students give may not be exactly historically correct but for the
purpose of the activity will be suitable for use.
30
Level 4 : Maths
Tangrams
The Chinese are renown for many mathematical and scientific discoveries. The Tangram is one
that has amused and entertained people for centuries. The background behind the origin of
Tangrams starts with a legend.
Tan lived about 4000 years ago in China. He was a very skilled craftsman and made a beautiful
tile as a gift for the Emperor. The whole village travelled with Tan to present the tile at the
palace. On the journey he accidentally dropped it and to Tan’s horror the tile broke into seven
pieces. Everyone from the village tried to put it back together again and failed but they had
been successful in creating many different patterns and designs. When the Emperor heard all
the commotion he went outside to see what the fuss was about. Sadly Tan presented him with
the broken tile but the King was delighted. He spent many long hours with the seven-piece
puzzle and could not have been more pleased.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Visualise, test and describe transformations of shapes.
Indicators:
Predict and describe the shapes and movements required to make or continue a spatial pattern
Materials:

A square of card for each person.

A photocopy of the Tangram.
Resources:

Tangram shape plans (see below)
31
Procedure:
The Tangram consists of seven small pieces that fix together to make a square.
Each student can cut out the Tangram shape from the paper and glue it to the card. When dry
carefully cut out the seven shapes. The rules are simple:

Every piece must be used in each design

All seven pieces must remain flat.

No piece must overlap another.
With this information let the students put the shape back into a square.
Once they have mastered the square challenge the students to create their own designs.
Students can copy the outline shape of their design and challenge their classmates to
duplicate it.
32
Level 4 : SOSE
Arriving on the Goldfields
The Chinese travelled in organised groups with their own specialists. They tried to remain as
self sufficient as possible bringing with them all the requirements of their trade. The group
would include a herbalist to attend to the health of the diggers, a scribe to keep all forms of
business and records in order and even a barber to attend to the digger’s queues or ponytails.
Each person was responsible for their own belongings that included basic clothing, eating
utensils and bedding.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Explain significant events and people in Australia’s history for a the period 1788 – 1919.
Indicator:
Describe daily life for a selected group in an historical period from nineteenth century Australia.
Materials:

Scrap paper of various colours.

Various collage materials- fabrics, raffia, string etc

Large sheets of paper ( approx. A2)

Glue and scissors

Pencils and scrap paper

Paint

Sponges for paint
Resources:

Books and information about the Chinese on the Goldfields.
33
Procedure:
Find pictures of Chinese diggers and discuss the appropriateness of their clothing with the
class. Most Chinese men working on the Goldfields wore similar clothing.

Shin length loose fitting trousers. A loose fitting shirt that fell below
the hip with sleeves finishing below the elbow. Usually blue or grey

A wide brimmed woven straw hat.

Wooden soled shoes or sandals

A padded jacket.

Chinese diggers took with them a few basic requirements.

Cooking pot, knife and spoon

Chopsticks and rice bowl

Small quilt, sleeping mat and a small firm lacquered pillow.
Different tradesman took the tools of their trade.
1. A background for the collage can be made by sponging paint over the white paper. Just dip
the sponge lightly in paint and wipe in broad strokes to create hills and a few dabs for trees.
2. Using the information gathered ask the students to draw a small sketch of what a typical
Chinese digger might look like.
3. Use this sketch to create a large collage of a Chinese digger from fabric and found
materials. Use raffia for the hat, fabric for the clothes etc.
4. Designate some of the collages to different trades. Ask one group to make theirs into a
scribe or herbalist. List all the belongings that they would need to do their job. They can then
cut out and make all the associated items needed by that person – abacus, pens, calendar for a
scribe etc. Make some 3D. Roll up some fabric for the blanket.
5. Glue them on and write a brief description of the person and his role on the Goldfields.
34
Presentation:
These collages can be grouped together to form a crowd. Add some branches, real gold pans,
shovels etc around the display.
35
Level 4 : Music
Chinese Opera Masks
Chinese opera is a very old form of entertainment that continues to be popular in China today.
Different styles originate from different regions with Beijing opera being the most famous. The
songs are sung in very high falsetto voice. This is sometimes difficult even for some Chinese to
understand so gestures, costumes and makeup are just as important to explain the story.
Operas can go on for several days and are based on legends, historical tales and moralistic
stories. The characters are easily identified by distinct colours painted on their face or masks.
Each colour representing different virtues.
Purple- wisdom, bravery and steadfastness.
Red- loyalty and courage
Black- loyalty and integrity
Blue- Valour and resolution
Green- Chivalry
Watery white- cruelty and treachery
Oily white – inflated domineering person
Yellow- Brutality
Dark red- a loyal and time treated warrior
Gold and silver- Buddha, spirits and demons
The costumes and headdresses that they wear are very elaborate and detailed.
A small Chinese orchestra consisting of traditional percussion, wind and stringed instruments
play during the opera.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Distinguish features of art works that locate them in a particular time, place or culture.
Indicators:
Identify some of the stylistic features of contemporary and traditional art works
36
Materials:

Coloured felt scraps

Piece of fabric approx. 30 cm x 30cm. per student

Scissors and glue

Needles and coloured thread

Paper and pencils

Satay Sticks

Metallic thread
Resources:

Chinese masks or pictures

Chinese Opera music e.g. The Peony Pavilion ( The ABC Shop)
Procedure:
Source pictures of different Chinese Opera masks from books, posters and ask the students to
draw their favorites. Build up a detailed collection to be shared by the group.

Make up a large chart of many different masks.

Students can use their drawing as a pattern to create their collage.
Draw the mask on A4 paper and cut out each shape.

Pin these pieces on to the appropriate coloured felt and cut out.
The mask pieces can be assembled and pinned to the fabric square.

Each piece is tacked on with a running stitch. Use brightly coloured cotton.

Younger children can glue on the pieces.

Small pompoms, wrapped satay sticks and other details can be glued
or sewn on to complete the mask. Look at Opera mask pictures for design ideas.

For a display idea hang the masks on long banners.
37
Level 5 : Art /SOSE
Funerals and Gravestones
People of many different nationalities lived together on the goldfields. Each one brought with
them a mixture of traditions and ideas. The ceremony, unlike most European funerals, would be
a colourful affair with bright traditional dress and processions. A person’s ancestors were very
important to the Chinese and they believed that the remains of the dead person must be taken
home so that they can be at rest. Some diggers dug up the bones of their dead so that they
could take them back to China. Many cemeteries had their own Chinese section and even
today original gravestones can be found.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which art works are made in particular cultural
and historical contexts.
Indicators:
Describe ways in which art works are related to
distinctive aspects of cultural and historical contexts
Materials:

Cereals boxes – enough for one between two

Tissue paper

Thick card

Wallpaper paste

Grey and dark brown paint.

Brushes and a painting sponge.

Paper and pens for writing.
38
Resources:

Some Chinese names in character form.
Procedure:
 Stuff the cereal box with newspaper so that it is firm and stable but still retains its shape.
 Research and draw some characters that would be suitable for a headstone. You may like
to choose some that are simple to cut out. Using the thick cardboard cut out three
characters and glue them vertically onto the cereal box.
 Tear the tissue into “hand sized” pieces and glue them onto the box with the wallpaper
paste. Cover the box and characters with several layers.
 When the gravestone is completely dry paint it with the grey paint. Lightly sponge the edges
and along the raised characters to add an antique or aged appearance.
The back of the gravestones are now ready to use for display of students work.
Some ideas may include:
 Write the life story of a Chinese man who comes to Australia to find gold. Give each group
ten years in his life and when completed glue them in order from birth to death on the back
of the gravestone.
 Practice some calligraphy and glue on the sheets.
 Do some simple foam prints in the style of the 1850’s cartoonists and display them.
The gravestones can be clustered together to form a graveyard. Put a small bag of sand in the
bottom of each one to keep it upright.
Level 5 : Inventions/Art
39
Paper Making
One of the inventions credited to the Chinese is paper and it could be classed as one of the
most important developments of our time. It is believed that an Imperial official Ts;ai Lun was
tired of writing official record on bamboo strips and mixed together a combination of hemp, rags
old fishing nets and mulberry bark. He pressed the pulp into very thin sheets and let them dry.
The result was paper – a very important invention!
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Use starting points to generate and expressively develop
ideas when making and presenting art works
Indicators:
Generate ideas for art works through research into
a range of art forms
Materials:

Wire coat hangers - about 6 per class.

6 pairs of clean panty hose.

Scrap paper white or coloured
Resources:

Baby’s bath or large book tub

An old sheet cut into small 30 cm x 30 cm squares

Newspaper

Bricks

Blender

Bucket
40
Procedure:
Ask the students to tear up the scrap paper and put them into the bucket. Cover the paper with
water and let soak for about an hour. Take a large handful and put it into the blender. Fill it with
water and blend until it resembles porridge. Pour the mix into the bath. Repeat four or five
times. Add water to the porridge mix until the tub is half full. Stir the mixture until fully combined.
(Approx. one part “porridge” to 4 parts water)

Stretch and reshape the coat hangers to be as square as possible. Cover with the top
of the panty hose and tie securely. The tension must be as firm as possible.

Mix the paper solution and carefully dip the coat hanger into the tub. Slowly raise the
coat hanger so that there is an even layer of paper mix on the stocking. Let it drain for
a few moments and tip it up onto a piece of rag on a newspaper.

Gently dab the back of the stocking with a sponge until the paper leaves the stocking. Cover
it with a new piece of rag and repeat. When there are about six layers of paper and rag put a
newspaper on top and press down with two bricks. Leave for five minutes and then remove.
Peg out the rags. The paper will stay on the rags and can be easily peeled off when dry.
The paper is now ready to use.
The paper will vary depending on how long it is
blended for and the colour of the scrap used. Students
may like to explore other options including the addition
of grasses, petals, glitter and embossing designs into
the wet paper.
The paper is a great starting point for calligraphy, as it
will have an authentic “aged” look.
* A proper paper-making frame can be made easily
from wood and wire flyscreen.
41
Level 5 : Maths
ABACUS
Throughout history people have counted, added and subtracted with an abacus. The first record
of its use is in a sketchbook written over 600 years ago. The word abacus is a Greek word
meaning “board” or “counting table” and consists of a frame with beads or balls sliding back and
forth on wires or slots. Many people can use an abacus faster than a calculator to solve
problems such as fractions, cube and square roots.
The Chinese abacus has a bar in the middle with rows of two beads above and five beads
below. Each vertical row of beads represents a different multiple of 10 (1000, 100, 10, and 1).
The beads below the centre bar represent five of the unit. To add push beads into the centre
line and to subtract push them away.
The abacus is a very convenient method of calculating as it was easily carried by merchants
and scribes to calculate earnings and accounts on the Goldfields.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Use properties of numbers to carry out mental computations involving whole numbers, decimals
and common fractions.
Indicators:
Use the distributive property in mental computation (e.g. 26 eights; think 20 eights plus 6 eights
or 8 thirties take 4 eights)
42
Materials:
For each abacus

A muesli bar box or similar between two students.

8 red beads

20 white beads

scissors, glue

Masking tape.

String

Single hole punch.
Resources:

Pictures of an abacus or a real example for students to look at.
Procedure:
Discuss the history of arithmetic briefly. What did we do before calculators. Find some
information about the first calculator that was big enough to fill a room but could only do the
simplest of calculations. Introduce the abacus and discuss this method that has been used for
hundreds or years and can be as quick as calculators if used by an experienced person.
The principle is based on the place value system and can be used successfully by children with
a little practice.

Carefully cut out the front of the box. Use this piece to cut a centre bar (See illustration)
Punch four evenly spaced holes along the card. Use these as a guide to punch holes evenly
in the top and bottom of the box.

Tape the centre piece to the middle of the box as shown.

Cut a long piece of string 6 times the length of the box. Tape the string to the top and then
thread the beads and string as shown. Tape down the edges on both top and bottom to
keep the string tight.
You may like to write on the inside of the abacus the value of each line e.g. 10’s, 100’s etc.
43
It is time to have a go at some easy calculations.
Write on the board a range of numbers starting off with two, three and then four digit numbers.
Try some simple additions and subtractions. Beads are pushed to the centre line and added or
moved along to the next place value as required.
44
Level 5 : Art
Horoscopes
Chinese people believe that a person’s characteristics are determined by the year in which they
were born. Each year is named after an animal and its traits can be reflected in the
characteristics of the person for example people born under the year of the tiger are
courageous and suspicious, those born under the year of the dog are loyal and dutiful.
The animals chosen are based on an old Chinese legend. Buddha asked all the animals in the
kingdom to come and visit him but only twelve arrived. He decided to reward those animals by
naming a year after each one.
Paper cutting is a very old and traditional craft in China. The complex designs can be made
very cheaply so it has always been popular amongst the peasants. The designs can be rich and
elaborate and are often used to decorate windows, doors and other parts of the home.
CSF II
Learning outcomes:
Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which art works are made in particular cultural
and historical contexts.
Indicators:
Describe ways in which art works are related to distinctive aspects of cultural and historical
contexts
Materials:

Sharp scissors

Lightweight coloured paper or tissue paper

Scrap paper and pencils
45
Resources:

Chinese cutouts

Examples of Chinese horoscope animals. Books have many different artistic
interpretations of the symbols. Try to collect a range of interpretations.

A list of the trait characteristics for each horoscope animal.
Procedure:

Look at the collection of animals and ask each student to choose one. Discuss the artist’s
interpretation of the animal. Does it reflect its characteristics? Does the sheep look gentle or
the ox look quiet and patient?

Ask your students to draw a few sketches of their chosen animal on scrap paper. Try
different aspects. From the front, looking side on etc. Can you draw them to fit into a square
or circle. Collect all the designs and place them together so everyone can see. Discuss the
results with the class.

Review cutting skills. Remind students to move the paper and not the scissors when cutting.
Let them practice cutting lots of curvy freehand designs from scrap paper.

Ask each student to fold a circle of tissue paper into eighths and starting from the centre cut
out small intricate shape. Practice the skill by moving the paper around. Display results.

Let the students choose one of their original drawings as the subject for their paper cutting.
Draw the design on the middle of a sheet of lightweight paper and draw six little “bars” around it
to connect the cut out to the rest of the design. ( See illustration) This will prevent the student
from cutting the animal out rather than it being part of the overall design. Using a fine pair of
scissors cut around the design. Cut out shapes and patterns around the design. Fold over
areas and make mini-snowflake cut outs around the design.
Display the cutouts on contrasting paper.
46
47
Level 5 : Lote
Calligraphy
More people speak Chinese than any other language in the world. Many different dialects are
spoken the two most important being Cantonese and Mandarin. A person from the north who
speaks Mandarin would not understand someone form the south who speaks Cantonese.
The written language was standardised around 200 BC and the same symbols are understood
by all Chinese regardless of the dialect they speak. The characters have developed from
pictures representing the word or idea. As the written word developed these picture were
reduced to a few strokes and have formed the characters that we are familiar with today.
There are about 50,000 single characters in the official Kangxi dictionary but most people have
a vocabulary of around 3,000. Some words have as many as twenty strokes to form the
character while others have as few as three.
There have been many changes in the development of the Chinese writing system over the
years. Writing no longer goes from top to bottom but has followed the European system by
going from left to right.
The art of calligraphy is a much-celebrated one in China today.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which art works are made in particular cultural
and historical contexts.
Indicators:
Describe ways in which art works are related to distinctive aspects of cultural and historical
contexts
Materials:
48

Black ink or water colour.

Lots of paper to practice
Resources:

Chinese calligraphy brushes or water colour brushes.

Some lettering charts showing simple characters to copy. Parchment style paper.

Satay sticks

Red cord.
Procedure:
Teach your students the correct way to hold the brush before letting them practice their writing
skills.

Holding the brush correctly allows for ease of movement while dipping, twisting and turning
as you make the characters. Pinch the brush between the thumb and index finger halfway
along the handle.. Place the middle finger in front and the ring finger behind. The fingers can
now control all the movements. Only the tip of the brush is used when forming the
characters. Thicker strokes can be formed by pressing down on the brush.

Lets the students make thick and thin lines by pressing and lifting the brush off the paper
they will learn to control the size and shape of the stroke.
Many Chinese artists have spent years learning the correct technique resulting in beautiful
examples of the art form.

Remind the students that many may find it difficult to start with so have
plenty of paper to practice.

Begin with single strokes and then simple characters.

Use a Chinese lettering book for simple exercises.
When the students are competent and happy with their results get them to write a few
characters on a strip of parchment or handmade paper. (See level 5)
Glue the top over onto a satay stick and attach the cord to form a hanger.
49
The students may like to extend their skills by creating some simple flowers and bamboo with
their calligraphy brush and adding this to their hanging.
50
Level 6 : Art
Yin and Yang
Many years ago Chinese people looked at nature to explain the happenings of the world. They
believed that praying to the gods resulted in good weather, crops and rain. They were also
aware of the violent turn that nature could take. To explain and understand why nature works in
such opposing ways ancient philosophers believed that everything in the Universe was made
up of two forces called “Yin” and “Yang”. The symbol that represents this idea is a familiar one
consisting of a circle of two curved and equal parts.
The Yang part is warm, positive, masculine and often red in colour. The other side is described
as feminine, dark, negative, mysterious and is coloured black.
The Chinese believe that everything in nature has a combination of both Yin and Yang in it
creating a balance. When one of the elements is stronger than the other power changes and life
is unpredictable.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Demonstrate an understanding of the ways visual communications are made in particular
cultural and historical contexts.
Indicators:
Identify design aspects of different cultural and historical contexts, as they are reflected in
selected visual communications.
Materials:

Paint of various colours

Large pieces of paper (50 cm x 40 cm approx.)

Scrap paper and pencils for design work.

Oil pastels

Dry pastels
51
Procedure:
Discus the philosophy with students and ask them to list as many opposite forces they can think
of in the area of visual arts. Black – white, smooth – rough, small – big, curved – jagged, thin –
thick etc.

Let the students explore this concept on paper using pencils, pastels and paint. This is an
opportunity to try different patterns, ideas and media. After 15 minutes ask each student to
talk briefly about what they have done in relation to the concept of opposites.

Give each student a piece of scrap paper and ask them to divide it into twelve different
areas or paddocks. They can be twelve circles of different sizes, twelve squares floating on
the page, twelve different shapes etc.

Choose six sets of opposites and draw them into the shapes. For example fill one square
with curvy lines and another with straight lines, one with white pastel and another with black
pastel, one with small circles one with large circles etc.

When happy with the layout draw the design onto a large piece of paper and paint in all the
shapes. When the paint is dry use pastels to fill in the details. Students may like to cut away
areas of the finished piece and mount it onto a large piece of black cover.
Look at the finished work and discuss the results with the class.
52
Level 6 : SOSE
Foot Binding
Throughout history and in different cultures beauty has its own interpretation. What may seem
unnatural to many may be highly regarded by others. Binding Chinese women’s feet to make
them appear tiny and doll like began in the tenth century and was not banned until 1911. From
the age of three a little girl’s foot was bound by metres of silk bandages. They were put on so
tightly that eventually the bones in the foot would become deformed and the toes would curl
under permanently. A bound foot would measure a little more than 3 inches. Even though foot
binding was very painful and made it difficult for women to walk it was considered to make
woman look more dainty and feminine. Before getting married a girl would decorate up to
eighteen pairs of small “lotus” shoes with fine embroidery giving some of them to the members
of her husband’s family and keeping some for herself.
Many people have suffered in the name of fashion and even today when we see women walk
on very high heels or have extreme body piercing we wonder if things will ever change?
CSF II
Learning Outcome:
Explain the key changes in social and political attitudes and values in modern Western society.
Indicators:
Describe the ways in which significant events affected change in such areas as family
structures, gender roles and work organisation
Materials:

Scrap paper and pens.
Resources:

Access to historical resources i.e. internet, books, films.
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Procedure:
This lesson is allowing students to research various periods of history with the aim of finding
different interpretations of beauty.
Brain storm what the students already know and put it up on the board. Give the class some
starting points to help when dividing them into smaller working groups.
Periods of history to look at could include:

Ancient Egypt, the Dark ages, Indian cultures, eighteenth century England, Japan, Pacific
Island nations and African tribal cultures.
Remember to include the following:

Whalebone corsets, Indian neck rings and earrings, foot binding,
The projects can include the following points:
What was the act?
Did it have another purpose other than aesthetics?
What age group?
Was there a religious or other purpose behind the act?
Is it still done now? If not what processes where gone through to have it abolished?
The smaller groups can research and report back their discoveries in one of the following
formats:

Poster or wall presentation.

Oral presentation,

Power point audiovisual

Book project form.
When completed give the students the following topic for debate:
“That in today’s society we are happy to suffer in the name of fashion.”
Split the class into two groups and give them time to research and plan the debate. Reinforce
and follow the traditional debating format.
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Level 6 : Science
Inventions
China has an image of being traditionally lacking in scientific and technological ability. It is not
until you look at the development across the ages that we see how much the world owes to the
inventiveness and the forethought of the Chinese people. The following list gives a rundown of
inventions that are credited to the Chinese.
1. The horse collar.
2. The wheelbarrow
3. The moldboard plough.
4. Paper Money.
5. Cast Iron
6. Helicopter Rotor and the propeller.
7. The Decimal System.
8. The Seismograph.
9. Matches
10. Circulation of the blood
11. Paper
12. Brandy and whiskey
13. The kite
14. The rocket and multi-staged rockets
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Explain how different forces act together to affect the motion of objects.
Indicators:
Describe the effect on an object’s motion of two or more forces along the same straight line
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Materials:

Pop sticks,

Rubber bands

Pins, balsa wood scraps

String

Card

Paper
Procedure:
A simple paper helicopter can be made that uses the basic principles invented by the early
Chinese around 4th century AD.
Cut out a spinning whirly bird (see illustration) and let the students drop them from their
outstretched arm. Watch them fall to the ground. What happens?
How can we get control of its flight speed and path?
Ask all the students to list the variables that will affects the flight. These will include:

Weight and it’s distribution.

Angle of propeller wing

Length of propeller wing,

Height from the floor

Air movement in the room
Let each group of students make up several different helicopters of the same size. Change
each one slightly using the list of variables as a guide. Measure the length of time the original
helicopter took and use this as the constant. Make up a grid with each variable listed and record
the results from all helicopters..
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Are all the variables constant?
Which is the quickest?
Which took the longest?
Use the knowledge gained to have control over the flight. Can you combine some of the
properties to get an exact time?
Record the findings and discuss with the class.
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Level 6 : English
Interpreting Cartoons
Cartoons have be a source of political comment for a couple of hundred years. They have
brought issues to the attention of those who may not necessarily be otherwise informed. During
the 1850’s many cartoonists used their media to educate the public about the Chinese diggers
and their plight.
CSF II
Learning Outcomes:
Read a range of texts and use them to discuss different perspectives on complex themes and
issues.
Indicators:
Read a range of texts, including accessible adult novels and films, to discuss the complex
attitudes, themes and issues underlying these texts
Resources:

Find as many cartoons based on the Chinese at the diggings as possible. Sources may
include the internet, archive section of the library, history books and copies of old magazines
and periodical accessed from libraries).

The Australian Sketcher
Procedure:
Discus with the class the importance of cartoons and their role in informing people about the
social issues of the day. In the 1850’s many people could not read and often cartoons were an
important source of information.
Research and find examples of cartoons depicting the Chinese people and culture during the
1850’s to 1870’s.
Let students interpret their meanings.
Ask the students to look at and comment on the following cartoon .
What Type of people are the Chinese depicted as?
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What role does the American figure take?
Is there evidence of the American dissuading the Chinese from going there?
Look at the next cartoon. What issue is the cartoonist trying to explore?
What role is the law playing?
How are the Chinese being portrayed in this cartoon?
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Why is society and the law taking a laid back approach?
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Chinese Dynasty Dates
Hsia
21st – 16th Century B.C.
Shang
16th – 11th Century B.C.
Chou
11th Century –221 B.C
Ch’in
221 – 206 B.C.
Han
206 B.C. – 220 A.D.
(Former or Western Han from 206 B.C.- 24 A.D.)
(Later or Eastern Han from 25 – 220 A.D.)
220 – 589 A.D.
Six Dynasties
(Made up of Han, Wei,Wu 220 – 280, Tsain 265 – 420,
Southern and Northern Dynasties 420 – 589)
Sui
581 – 618
T’ang
618 – 907
Five Dynasties
907 – 960
Sung
960 - 1279
Northern Sung 960 – 1127,
Southern Sung 1127 – 1279
Yuan ( Mongol)
1279 – 1368
Ming
1368 – 1644
Ch’ing (Manchu)
1644 - 1911
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Bibliography
Blainey, Geoffrey The Rush That Never Ended. Melbourne University Press (1969)
Board of Studies Curriculum and Standard Frameworks II Victoria, Australia
Cannon, Michael. Who’s Master? Who’s Man? - Australia in the Victorian Age: 1, Melbourne:
Thomas nelson ( 1971)
*Cronin, Kathryn. Colonial Casualties. - Chinese in Early Victoria. Melbourne: Melb. University Press
Frost, Abigail. Dragons – Myths and Legends. Paris: Cherrytree Press LTD. (1994)
Gard, Stephen. Settling Australia – The Gold Seekers. Melb: Macmillan (1998)
Hart, Kate.
The Art of China. Melb: ZART ART (1997)
Hirst,John The Chinese on the Gold Fields Melbouren, Latrobe University Press 1991
Kingsley,Rebecca Ancient Culture – Chinese Gods and Myths London: Quantum (1998)
Martell,H.M. The Ancient Chinese Heineman (1993)
Minick,S and Jiao Ping Arts and Crafts of China. London: Thames and Hudson (1996)
Quaife,G Gold and Society 1851-1870 Melbourne: Cassell (1975)
Smithers, Helen The Chinese in Australia Notes Editor of Publications, Sovereign Hill Victoria
Waterlow,Juila China Sussex: Wayland (1989)
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