National Days: Investigation

Tuning in

Sometimes people are confused about the history of our national days and even just exactly what it is that is being commemorated. Begin your investigation by considering four days that are special in all parts of Australia today. You will take a quiz, read 2 paragraphs, and look at 2 sets of photographs, before you start to organise your first impressions thoughts and ideas.  Let’s see what you know about Australia in general, and national days in particular!

Go to to try out the Australia Day Quiz. It is a general information test about all sorts of things important to Australians.  Compare your results to some other friends or family members, if you can persuade them to try it too. (Perhaps you could persuade your teacher to let the testing of friends and family count as homework for the week). Think about whether people seemed to be well informed, or whether there lots of wrong answers.

  1. Go to

    Read the first paragraph which mentions a particular activity that takes place on the Queen’s Birthday.

    Then read this extract from the activities advertised at the Australia Zoo for the Queen’s Birthday.

    Queen's Birthday at Australia Zoo

    Queen's Birthday at Australia Zoo

    Queen's Birthday at Australia Zoo
    If you’ve got a right royal pain in the neck… maybe you’re not sleeping well. In which case, get yourself to Australia Zoo on Monday 11 June, when we’ll be celebrating the Queen’s birthday by giving away a queen-size bed!

    It’s definitely a prize fit for a queen, but there’s a catch… you have to let a giant python slither into bed with you! (Don’t worry, it’s not a permanent arrangement). There’ll be FREE rides including two jumping castles, a trampoline and a teacup ride, FREE face-painting and loads of FREE entertainment. Kids can win an awesome Crocodile Hunter DVD prize pack in the colouring competition!

    Be sure to take a bite of our yummy royal muffins, and check out the Gubbi Gubbi dancers. You can also meet the King, Queen and Court Jester throughout the Zoo!

  2. Go to, and

    Look at the activities for Labour Day and Anzac Day and think about them.

  3. Go to and read about Australia Day events.

Have you have been involved in any of these activities, or similar ones? Can you make connections with the quiz questions and Australia Day activities? What similarities and differences are there between all these national days? Did you notice anything particularly strange or interesting about what happens on these days? Use Figure 1 to record and organise your first thoughts about national days. Keep your finished sheet and any other recording or analysing sheets in a folder, for assessment and reporting later on.

For the teacher | Introduction | Investigation | Review existing information | Report the findings | Taking Action | Evaluation and assessment | Resources