Cracker nights

[Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

Evelyn's family joins the other families in their community to celebrate cracker night with fireworks purchased from Mr Wong's Emporium.


The Australian curriculum: History

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The Australian Curriculum: History aims to ensure that students develop: 

  • interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and willingness to be informed and active citizens 
  • knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the past and the forces that shape societies, including Australian society 
  • understanding and use of historical concepts, such as evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability 
  • capacity to undertake historical inquiry, including skills in the analysis and use of sources, and in explanation and communication.

History activities [2]

Activity 1: Fireworks
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Subtheme(s): Customs and traditions; Historical events

The annual celebration with a bonfire and fireworks is a significant English tradition. In Australia, the night became known as Guy Fawkes Night until it was banned in the 1970s. The British have been celebrating Guy Fawkes Night since the 1600s.

  • Research and discuss information on the celebration of Guy Fawkes' infamy. Who is Guy Fawkes and why is he celebrated?

  • Ask students to research Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot on the internet. They can use the information collected to create a fact poster about him and his rebellion.
  • Ask students to design a life-size silhouette of Guy Fawkes. They can cut it out of card and add facts by writing them on the cut-out figure. Ask students to draw and colour around the facts with designs representing fireworks. Alternatively, ask students to create an animation or slideshow presentation. Kahootz 3 is an ideal 3-D animation software program to use here. The software is available for purchase from the Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF) website at


Activity 2: Bonfires
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Subtheme(s): Celebrations

Australians celebrated Guy Fawkes Night on 5 November each year. It symbolised Australia's links to Britain. Guy Fawkes Night is not celebrated any longer. Why not?

  • Discuss a number of special events that students and their families celebrate today that are a reflection of past customs and traditions from other countries and ethnic communities.

  • Ask students to create a scrapbook page based on an Australian celebration such as Australia Day or Anzac Day. They are to find images, historical facts and information and present a personal recount of the event.
  • Look at The Scrap Album, 'Guy Fawkes Day', Students can use the page on Guy Fawkes as a template for their own work.


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