a stage 5 webquest on
migration and multiculturalism

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This task forms part of the requirements of the 1999 Mandatory History Syllabus Topic 7 Contemporary Australia - Egalitarianism and diversity in Australian society; and Topic 6, Migrants and Multiculturalism in the 2003 Syllabus.


The research part of the task should take no more than 2 lessons of 40 minutes depending on the ability of your students. There is quite a lot of research to get through so if a third lesson was available it would probably help the weaker students. It would probably be helpful to allow part of an additional lesson on the internet following the preparation of the draft letter should time permit with the other half being the preparation of the final letter. A simple time line follows

Pre-planning lesson - allocation of characters, general discussion regarding migration patterns in the context of the change from Assimilation to Multiculturalism. If you have any concerns about the length of time you might take to complete this task it might be easier for you to find the pdf application forms for the eight categories and print them off beforehand. This may also be of benefit if printing is a potential problem with the computers. You could then hand the form out to the students with their character allocation which you will have also printed off from the webquest and can be distributed at the same time.

The Discovering Democracy Middle Secondary Units Work Book has some very good information on What Sort of Nation is Australia, pp. 137-163. Of particular interest for this task are pages 142 to 150 and would make good pre-reading.

Lesson 1 - research on the internet

Lesson 2 - research on the internet. Homework to complete draft of letter and to fill out the application form

Lesson 3 - time to check out anything missed on the internet and then preparation of the final letter and submission.



A general marking guideline has been provided with only bands shown. You should choose what emphasis you wish to put on it.

This task appears to be a simple research and information gathering exercise for the students but it is set at a Year 10 level because, to do it well requires the demonstration of an understanding of perspective (one of the Key Competencies), and an understanding of the changes which have occurred since the introduction of Multiculturalism.

You may also find that it provokes much discussion in your debrief at the end when students come back and say that they were surprised as to why people would want to come to Australia and then discovered just how awful it is in some places overseas. It is quite an eye-opener for some students.

The task may also be upgraded, depending on your time allocation, by the setting of harder tasks such as actually being interviewed by someone acting as the Immigration Officer. Heads of Department, Deputy Principals and even Principals are happy to do this as it gives them time with the students within the class setting. If not, you may have a parent or an extension student or a senior student who is prepared to act as the Immigration Officer. Be selective in which students are interviewed as it can be quite threatening but try to choose a selection across all the eight options.

Life Skills students can quite adequately do this task as long as you allocate one of the more straight forward applicants such as a returning former resident and change their assessment letter to just being an application without the explanation of the effects of changing policies.


Like all webquests this exercise is meant to be fun and not stressful for anyone. However, it is also serious learning for the students and encourages their independence of action and thought. The higher order learning skills embedded in such activities encourage the self-esteem of students. By giving them scaffolding and guidance for the preparation of their tasks they can achieve at a higher level than usual and this can only add to their progress.