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Unit 4 - On Behalf of the Nation

Lesson plan
Activity - National Capitals Worldwide


Canberra is a planned city and a conscious creation of an emerging nation. The Australian people have sought to build a National Capital of which they are proud, a beautiful city, a capital which represents our unity as a people and stands proudly in the ranks of National Capitals throughout the world. National Capitals are a symbol of unity for all citizens, a seat of government and a place where the buildings and institutions symbolic of the values of the nation are to be found.


Students research an international country's National Capital by answering key questions.


  • follow instructions and successfully undertake a research project
  • gain knowledge through individual research on the role of Australia's National Capital
  • gain knowledge through individual research on National Capitals around the world
  • engage in group discussion


Exhibit title - What is a National Capital?
Location - On Behalf of the Nation, section 4

Exhibit title - The Parliament of Australia
Location - On Behalf of the Nation, section 8

This activity relates to the important symbolic and administrative roles a National Capital plays (refer to map supplied in National Capital Exhibition Interpretation Guide).


  • student activity sheet


  1. Brainstorm with students the role of a National Capital for all Australians and discuss the purpose of iconic buildings, such as Parliament House, War Memorial etc.
  2. Hand out the student activity sheet and discuss the provided list of countries and their National Capitals (refer to activity sheet) with students
    • Australia - Canberra
    • United States of America - Washington, DC
    • Canada - Ottawa
    • France - Paris
    • Brazil - Brasilia
    • Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur
    • Germany - Berlin
    • New Zealand - Wellington
    • India - New Delhi
    • United Kingdom - London
    • People's Republic of China - Beijing
    • Republic of Ireland - Dublin
    • Russian Federation - Moscow
    • Can you think of a country? Can you think of a capital city?
  3. Discuss key questions (refer to activity sheet) with students
    Key questions include:
    • When was the National Capital created?
    • Why was the National Capital created?
    • Who were the people that played a vital role in creating their National Capital?
    • Find photos or draw pictures of well-known buildings in the National Capital.
    • Find a recipe that you think represents the National Capital's country.
    • List five words that you think represent the National Capital's country.
  4. Allow time for research.
  5. On conclusion of the activity, time should be allowed for students to discuss the results of their research to compare National Capitals from an historical and cultural perspective.