Our Kspace Victorian goldfields teacher resources include creative projects, assignment questions and an online quiz, all linked to the Australian Curriculum.
They were developed for use with our Kids learning space, where videos, photographs and background help provide answers and inspiration for students.
Setting the scene
Kspace takes visitors to the Victorian goldfields in 1854. The discovery of gold drew people from all around the world, changing the physical and cultural landscape of the Australian colonies forever.
Questions children can keep in mind if visiting this scene at the Museum are:
- What are people wearing and what does this reveal about the time and place?
- What are some of the activities people are involved in, especially those not mining for gold?
- What tools and equipment can you see in this scene?
Narrative and gameplay
Our free, printable visitor access guide gives a sense of what happens in the game before you visit the Museum. It includes storyboards on the Victorian goldfields narrative and gameplay and a detailed description of the Kspace experience.
This guide is also helpful for students with hearing impairment, learning difficulties or limited mobility, who may need to prepare before they visit.
Primary source study
Suggested projects for children to make and do.
- Draw a picture showing one of the main ways to mine gold.
- Design a goldfields board game, with good and bad results (for example, ‘Your wagon is stuck in mud, lose a turn’ or ‘You found gold, move forward four spaces’).
- Imagine you have just arrived at one of the Australian goldfields from overseas. Write a letter home describing your journey and what you have seen since you arrived.
- Create two drawings of the same landscape, one before the gold rush and the other after.
- Design a poster showing various goldmining methods, from the earliest Australian gold rushes when gold was close to the surface, to later years when large companies extracted gold from deep underground.
- Create a picture book showing the story of an Aboriginal person, born in Victoria in 1830, who witnessed the gold rush.
- Create a PowerPoint presentation about the main gold rush centres of Australia.
Suggested assignments questions encouraging children to think and write.
- How did the discovery of gold change the population and demographics of Victorian regions such as Melbourne, Ballarat and Bendigo?
- The gold rush brought people to Australia from different parts of the world. From where did they come, how did they get here, and what did they bring with them?
- What were the main differences between the gold licence (1851 to 1855) and the miner’s right (1855 to present)?
- What methods were used to extract gold in the goldfields? How and why did these change over time?
- What effect did the gold rushes have on the Aboriginal people of Victoria?
- What effect did goldmining have on the environment?
- What other moneymaking ventures, apart from goldmining, did people undertake on the goldfields?
Note: inspiration and answers for online activities, creative projects and written assignments can be found in the Kids learning space