Unit 1 - The Human Landscape
Activity - Tool Time
SETTING THE SCENE
The first European settlers to the Canberra region were mostly farmers who established sheep and cattle stations. Farm stations had to be as self-sufficient as possible due to the large distances required to travel to purchase supplies. To maintain their properties, farm labourers used a variety of equipment and had to adapt to harsh environmental conditions. Equipment was often repaired to extend the life of the particular tool and great care was taken to maintain them.
Students hypothesise the use of historic tools and farm equipment used during the European settlement of the Canberra region, and consider similar equipment used in current farming practises today.
- name and identify the use of historic farm tools used in the Canberra region
- compare the differences between historical farm equipment and modern farm equipment
- understand the isolation experienced by early settlers in the Canberra region
- engage in group discussion
NATIONAL CAPITAL EXHIBITION LINK
Exhibit title - Patrick Curley's Crowbar
Location - The Human Landscape, section 2
This activity relates to a tenant farmer's crowbar, found at historic Mugga Mugga Homestead, on display in section 2 (refer to map supplied in National Capital Exhibition Interpretation Guide).
- student activity sheet
- images of tools and farm equipment commonly used around historic Canberra homesteads
- Introduce the topic by setting the scene with the class.
- Divide students into small groups and hand out a photographic image of a farm tool used during the European settlement of the Canberra region.
- Hand out the activity sheet. The activity sheet aims to promote group
discussion through key questions (refer to activity sheet). Remember,
there are no wrong or right answers at this stage.
- What do you think this tool was used for?
- Describe the materials used in creating this tool.
- Name the tool. If you don't know the name, then make one up.
- Are there similar tools used today?
- What is the difference between your historical tool and a similar tool used today?
- Was this a valuable tool to have at a homestead?
- Once all of the key questions have been addressed by each group, students present their opinions to the rest of the class.
- You can now reveal the actual name and use of each piece of farm equipment to the students, and further engage the group by discussing the differences and similarities of modern farm equipment used by farmers today.
- Some solutions for the photographic images
|Hand drill|| Hand powered drill for making
holes in wood
|Sickle|| Used for harvesting grain such as wheat. A sickle was
also used on the road' to clear a space for a
||camp site or to cut the long grass for mattress stuffing|
| Harvesting machine
|Scythe||Same principle as a sickle but a scythe has a long handle to make broader sweeps for cutting more stalks at once and it was considerably harder to use|
| Harvesting machine
|Axe||Cuts into hard material such as wood|
|Chain saw||Hand saw||Cuts into hard material such as wood|
| Electric saw (jig-saw)
|Branding iron||Heated in a fire and applied to an animal's skin, a branding iron makes a lasting visible mark on the animal to prove its ownership|
| Plastic ear tags
|Poison cart||Distributed poison bait for rabbits|
| Calici Virus
(a fatal viral disease for rabbits)
|Brick mould/stock||Used to make sun dried clay bricks by handMechanical brickworks where bricks are dried in a kiln (an oven that produces extremely high temperatures)|