Year 5

History Support Materials

History snapshot: Paintings of the Swan River Settlement

History/Historical Skills/Analysis and use of sources and Historical knowledge and understanding/The Australian Colonies

Content DescriptionRelevant aspects of the Achievement Standards

Historical Skills
Compare information from a range of sources (ACHHS103)

Historical knowledge and understanding
The nature of convict or colonial presence, including the factors that influenced patterns of development, aspects of the daily life of the inhabitants (including Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples) and how the environment changed. (ACHHK094)

Students identify the causes and effects of change on particular communities.

They identify a range of sources and locate and record information related to this inquiry.

Nature of the assessment task

Teacher-devised task, students complete on their own

Purpose of the assessment

To assess students' ability to analyse paintings as a source of historical information

Stage in the teaching sequence

At the end of a learning sequence

Assessment task

The teacher gave students the following worksheet. She asked students to work on their own so she could assess students individually. Painting 1

Currie, J.E. (1830-32). Panorama of the Swan River Settlement [Artwork]. Retrieved October, 2012,
Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales (ML 827).
Painting 2

Specimen of the society at the Swan River [Artwork]. (183-). Retrieved October, 2012, from
National Library of Australia (an5863812).

Paintings 1 and 2 were painted at about the same time and both show the Swan River settlement (Perth).
Q1a. Look at Painting 1 - Write two or three sentences to describe what the Swan River settlement looked like when the artist painted it.
Q1b. What has been the impact of settlement on the environment?
Q2a. Look at Painting 2 - Write two or three sentences to describe what the Swan River settlement looked like when the artist painted it.
Q2b. What has been the impact on Aboriginal people?
Q3a. What is the same in the two paintings?
Q3b. What is different in the two paintings?
Q4. These paintings represent how the artists saw life in the Swan River settlement. Look closely at the paintings. Write four sentences to describe each artist's view of life in the Swan River settlement in 1830.

Q5. What other sources of information could we use to tell us about the Swan River colony in 1830?


The teacher found that the students had engaged with the task and had enjoyed interviewing community members. However, his questioning of students indicated that in many instances the task had not advanced students' historical understandings.

Using the information

The teacher marked the students' work in terms of the students' historical understandings. She wrote affirming comments where students had shown good understandings. She identified two things that each student could learn more about and gave them specific guidance. The teacher recorded this information and used it to guide planning of the next lesson sequence.