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Year 5 Discovers Gold!

​Students panning for gold in hope they find real gold.
The Australian Curriculum at a Year 5 level for History outlines that students learn about immigration to Australia during the 1800s. The curriculum states that students should also study particular events that brought migrant groups to Australia during this time. The Australian Gold Rush was one of these big events and so we decided a trip to the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum to learn about it first hand from experienced guides was exciting and appropriate for the Year 5 students.
We arrived at the museum very keen and excited as we ate morning tea in a park situated directly under a real mine shaft used in the 1860s.  After a lovely morning tea with plenty of room for the students to run around, we met our museum guides. 5A and 5B went on a guided tour, whilst 5C and 5D went exploring the other side of the museum.  5A's guide was Allan, who had a wealth of knowledge and many exciting stories about finding gold in Gympie all those hundreds of years ago. We learnt about the different types of mining, including gold panning for alluvial gold and shaft mining. We saw the original steam operated mineshaft that would lower the miners in cages down as far as 13 levels into the ground. The students were able to view the tools used by gold miners in the 1850s and they heard many stories of their hardships. The students were even able to try gold panning for themselves and a few were extremely ecstatic to find some gold flakes.
 After we had finished the tour we stop for a lovely supplied sausage sizzle lunch and we swapped our groups over.    We then went for a tour of the rest of the museum that consists of an old school, church, a house, a cottage, 5th light horse regiment, dairy display, blacksmith shop, railway display, Bungavatta Hut, The lock up, and a Scout's display.  Each building was filled with different displays and a lot of mannequins.  We didn't know what we were going to find. My class had a lot of fun using the old style phones to ring up each other. 
I have lots of other stories can talk about it for ages.  It was such a fantastic trip that I hope that will be an annual event for the Year 5s.
As told by Ms Bradley (Year 5 Teacher).