Year 9 History Unit and Lessons – Making the Modern World 1750-1918



This unit covers the majority of the Year 9 curriculum for History. It looks at Australia’s history from 1750-1918 and allows students to learn about World War 1, The Industrial Revolution and Making our Nation through In-Depth Study mini-units.

Australian Curriculum Links:

The Year 9 curriculum provides as study of the history of the making of the modern world from 1750-1918.

Key inquiry questions

  • What were the changing features of the movements of people from 1750-1918?
  •  How did new ideas and technological developments contribute to change in this period?
  •  What was the origin, development, significance and long term impact of imperialism in this period?
  • What was the significance of WWI?

Overview content for the making of the modern world includes the following:

  • The nature and significance of the Industrial Revolution and how it affected living and working conditions, including within Australia
  •  The nature and extent of the movement of peoples in the period (slaves, convicts and settlers)
  • The extent of European imperial expansion and different responses, including in the Asian region
  • The emergence and nature of significant economic, social and political ideas in the period, including nationalism.


  1. Making a Better World – The Industrial Revolution (6 weeks)
  2. Australia and Asia – Making a nation (6 weeks)
  3. World War I (6 weeks)

Please note that this entire unit is available for download in PDF by clicking here below

Year 9 History Unit – 1750 to 1918 (PDF)

Depth Study 1 – The Industrial Revolution (6 Weeks)

Overview statements Content focus Resources Assessment task
The technological innovations that led to the Industrial Revolution, and other conditions that influenced the industrialisation of Britain (the agricultural revolution, access to raw materials, wealthy middle class, cheap labour, transport system, and expanding empire) and of Australia.
  • Start by painting a picture of London in the late 1770’s (child labour, factories, living conditions)
  • Watch relevant episodes of Tony Robinson’s ‘worst jobs in history’ series.
  • Teach the background to the Industrial revolution – how and why it occurred.
BBC British History – VictoriansOxford Big IdeasTony Robinsons Worst Jobs


BBC cotton millionaire game

Short informative report (could be a blog, wiki, website, poster, power point) on a job during the Industrial Revolution, focusing on working conditions and how improvements in technology changed this job, for better or worse.
The population movements and changing settlement patterns during this period.
  • Analyse movements of people in Britain into industrial centres and from Britain to other parts of their expanding empire.
  • Why did Britain send convicts to other parts of the world and where did they send them?
  • Why did free settlers leave?
London Olympics opening ceremony Map analysis – students study the movement of people to one locations during the Industrial Revolution. Construct a visual representation of that movement that explains where people left from, why they left, where they went and why? Annotate the map.OR – present a map explaining where Britain expanded its empire and why they went where they did.
The experiences of men, women and children during the Industrial Revolution, and their changing way of life.
  • Focus on conditions in the Hulks and jails. What crimes did people commit? Why?
  • Life after the I.R. – Jack the Ripper
Research a convict.Use the facts as well as knowledge of conditions in jails, on the hulks and on convict transports to construct a picture story of their possible experiences.
The short and long-term impacts of the Industrial Revolution, including global changes in landscapes, transport and communication.

Depth Study 2 – Making a Nation (6 Weeks)

Duration Overview Statements Content Focus Learning Intention/s Resources/How it will be learnt Assessment Task
Week 1 The extension of settlement, including the effects of contact (intended and unintended) between European settlers in Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.Aboriginal historyCultural interactionInvasionColonies

Settlement patterns

Torres Strait Islander history

The way in which European settlement took place across Australia.Dates of settlement/basic facts.The effects of contact:–  The massacres of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people- Aboriginals killing of Europeans sheep

– The spread of European diseases.

Are these effects intended or unintended?


Understand the landscape in terms of the aboriginal population in Australia before 1788.Look at the aboriginal languages map.
  • Aboriginal language map
  • Stories of first contact from both white settlers and Aboriginals


  • Short report on the effects of settlement and a historiography of the events that took place.
The intention of this lesson is to understand how massacres and conflicts affected the indigenous populations of Australia.
Week 2 Resistance and response Investigate the story of Jandamarra in the Kimberly’s and his reactions to white exploration/ settelment  Investigating the forcible removal of children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in the late nineteenth century/early twentieth century:– The motivations for the removal of children

– The practices and laws that were in place

– The experiences of those who were separated.

The intention of this lesson is to examine an experience of resistance by Aboriginal people to the expansion of Europeans in Australia
  • Jandamarra’s story
  • Episode 5 first australians








  • The sorry speech?
  • Film – Rabbit Proof Fence, (2002)






  • Construct a letter from one of the children of The Stolen Generation, outlining their experiences to their family.
 The learning intention of this lesson is for students to understand the background and practices of forcibly removing aboriginal children from their families.
Week 3 The experiences of non-Europeans in Australia prior to the 1900s (such as the Japanese, Chinese, South Sea Islanders, Afghans).DiscriminationRacismRacial attitudesMigrant labour


Indentured workers

The migration of Chinese to the goldfields in Australia in the nineteenth century:– What were the attitudes towards the Chinese, as revealed in cartoons (for example the Mongolian Octopus)?- Events that took place between European and non-European immigrants during this time.- Living conditions for non-European’s in Australia during the 19th century. The learning intention of this lesson is to understand the experiences of non-Europeans in Australia prior to the 1900s
  • Bendigo Excursion
  • Creative or     imaginative narrative encompassing the living conditions, relations and hopes or dreams of non-European immigrants. OR
  • Creation of own propaganda poster based on the attitudes towards the Chinese.
To understand the motivations behind the white Australia policy at the turn of the 20th century.
Week 4 Living and working conditions in Australia around the turn of the twentieth century (that is 1900).Working conditionsSocial historyLiving standardsLifestyles


What was Australia like in at 1900?Identify the main features of:– Housing- Sanitation- Transport

– Education

– Industry

How did these influence living and working conditions in Australia at this time?

Describe the impact of the gold rushes (hinterland) on the development of ‘Marvellous Melbourne’.

To understand the Living and working conditions in Australia around the turn of the twentieth century.
  • Waltzing Matilda and the sunshine harvester factory
  • Waltzing Matilda and the sunshine harvester factory worksheets.
Week 5 Key events and ideas in the development of Australian self-government and democracy, including women’s voting rights.Voting rightsSelf-determinationDemocracy;Federation


Explain the factors that contributed to federation and the development of democracy in Australia including:– Eureka Stockade/miners rights- Defence concerns- The 1890s depression- The Westminster system

– Nationalist ideals

– Labor movement – QLD

– Egalitarianism

– Women’s voting

– Squatters Vs Selectors

– Fathers of Federation

  • Oral presentation outlining one of these events.
Week 6 Legislation 1901-1914, including the Harvester Judgment, pensions, and the Immigration Restriction Act.Acts of ParliamentLegislationPensionsWage determination


Investigate how the major social legislation of the new Federal Government affected living and working conditions in Australia, for example:– Invalid and old-age pensions- The maternity allowance schemeImmigration Restriction Act    
  • Comprehension on ‘The Immigration Restriction Act’.
  • End of Depth Study reflection test.

Historical Skills

Chronology, terms and concepts
  1. Use chronological sequencing to demonstrate the relationship between events and developments in different periods and places
  2. Use historical terms and concepts
Historical questions and research
  1. Identify and select different kinds of questions about the past to inform historical inquiry
  2. Evaluate and enhance these questions
  3. Identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods
Analysis and use of sources
  1. Identify the origin, purpose and context of primary and secondary sources
  2. Process and synthesise information from a range of sources for use as evidence in an historical argument
  3. Evaluate the reliability and usefulness of primary and secondary sources
Perspectives and interpretations
  1. Identify and analyse the perspectives of people from the past
  2. Identify and analyse different historical interpretations (including their own)
Explanation and communication
  1. Develop texts, particularly descriptions and discussions that use evidence from a range of sources that are referenced
  2. Select and use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies

Depth Study 3 – World War 1

Week Overview Statements Content Focus Learning Intentions Resources Assessment Task
1 An overview of the causes of World War I and the reasons why men enlisted to fight in the war 
  • Austria- Hungary
  • Slavic Vs Germanic
  • Assassination of Ferdinand.
  • German blank cheque
  • Schlieffen plan
  • Royalty in Europe
  • Good times had to end
  • By looking at the origins of WWI, students will be able to develop an understanding of the events that brought the world to its knees. Blackadder “start of world war 1” Activity 5.1 of Oxford workbook “The causes of WWI”
2 The places where Australians fought and the nature of warfare during World War I, focusing on  the Gallipoli campaign 



  • Gallipoli
  • Purpose of Gallipoli
  • How to compile a research report
  • At the completion of this week, students will be able to recognise a historical report and understand their purpose.
  • Students should have a basic background to the events of Gallipoli and its importance for Australia.
  • beneath hill 60 – movie
  • Research report
3/4 Gallipoli research report
  • Show movie
  • Allow time to continue working on research report.
  • The importance of the ANZAC legend.
  • By the end of this week, students should have a thorough knowledge of the Gallipoli campaign and have developed a report underlining its significance. to discuss how to compile historical report.
  • Continue with research report


5/6 The Western Front and outcomes of WWI
  • Overview of the Western Front inc. trenches, chemical warfare, major offensives etc…
  • Treaty of Versailles and its consequences
Activity 5.4 in Oxford workbook “Trench Warfare”


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