Online Learning Resources from NSW Museums

This week we’re featuring our favourite at-home learning resources from NSW organisations including the State Library of NSW, the Australian Museum and Sydney Living Museums.

Are you a teacher developing lesson plans for your students or a carer helping out with at-home learning for your family?

We’re putting together some of our favourite digital and independent learning activities from museums across Australia and the world. Each week we’ll feature different museums and choose some highlights to share from their learning resources.

If you’ve found some other favourites during your at-home learning adventures, please feel free to share them with us at museum@orange.nsw.gov.au and we’ll share them in a future post.

This week, we’re highlighting some of NSW’s state institutions, including the State Library of NSW, the Australian Museum, and Sydney Living Museums.

State Library of NSW

The State Library of NSW has developed a range of learning activities featuring objects from their collection for primary and secondary learners in its Schools and Teachers section.

Highlights for at-home and online learning include:

  • Composing a text for an audio guide (Years 5–6)—in this activity, classes develop their English and historical literacy skills to create their own audio guide. Students are asked to research artworks from the State Library’s collection, write explanatory text and then record them for their class’s audio guide.
  • Unravelling the development of writing (Years 7–8)—students examine a 4,000 year old cuneiform tablet from Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). This activity helps students learn about the types of evidence used by historians and archaeologists in investigating the ancient past, and the ways that ancient societies have shaped our world today.
  • Significant Individuals (Years 3–6)—find profiles and sources for eight important people in Australia’s past, with curriculum linked activities for Stage 2 and 3 History units including Community and Remembrance, First Contacts, the Australian colonies and Australia as a nation.

Australian Museum

The Australian Museum has a huge variety of student and teacher-friendly factsheets on their Learning Resources page, perfect for discovering more about topics from dinosaurs and fossils to insect lifecycles and plant and animal habitats.

Highlights for at-home and online learning include:

  • Bugwise—Use the Bugwise Invertebrate Guide to identify 35 different creepy crawlies that you might find locally. Learn about where they live and what they do, and set up a competition to find as many as you can in your backyard.
  • Sustainability at home—15 factsheets that can help you live more sustainably at home, from creating your own worm farm to advice on what can and can’t be recycled. With many of us spending a lot more time at home, now is a great time to use these factsheets to reduce your environmental footprint.
  • Citizen Science—The Australian Museum organises a large number of Citizen Science projects, where regular people can be a part of important scientific research. Check out their current projects such as FrogID, and see if you can contribute.

Sydney Living Museums

Many of Sydney Living Museums’ education activities link directly to their 12 historic properties, however a number of films, blogs and activities featured on their Learning Resources page explore broader themes and topics perfect for at-home learning.

Highlights for at-home and online learning include:

  • Convict love tokens (Years 3–6)—find out all about the coins some convicts made to give to their loved ones before transportation to New South Wales. See examples of real convict love tokens, and have a go at making your own. This could be a great activity for children separated from friends and family during this time. For added inspiration, check out some of the featured examples created by Millthorpe Public School students.
  • Kids in the Kitchen (all ages)—get the kids off their screens and into the kitchen with a series of specially selected traditional recipes. Each recipe has accompanying photographs to help cooks of all experience levels. The baked apples would be a perfect dessert for the family this week!
  • Child convicts of Australia (Stages 1-3)—this series of 6 short videos is produced by Sydney Living Museums and ABC Education. The series explores the lives of child convicts, from arrest in Britain and transportation to the colony, work and treatment as convicts through to achieving freedom.

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