[Episode 18 | 1838 : Davey]

Mr Owen has Davey demonstrate whip cracking to his grandsons but then gives Davey some sad news about his favourite horse, Duchess. Despite Davey's protestations, Duchess is headed for the tannery.


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 [1]

Activity 1: Fashion
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Subtheme(s): Fashion; Gender roles and stereotypes; Social order and education

In this clip, we see the young boys in the Owen family wearing the fashions of the times. In the early 19th century, fashion was used to display the wealth and status of the wearer.

  • Ask students to observe what the boys are wearing. Ask the class to research early 19th-century clothing using the internet and/or library resources, Students can use the following questions as a guide:
  1. How was clothing made in this era?
  2. What fabrics were used?
  3. What are the names of the different garments worn by the boys?
  4. In what ways did clothing reflect a person's status?
  5. What is different about these clothes in comparison to what children wear today?
  • Ask students to look at posters and advertising from the early 19th century. Have the students reflect on how these compare to today's advertisements. Direct the students to compare the style of fonts, the layout and the language used in the different advertisements.
  • The following websites may be useful:
  1. Australian History Research, 'Victorian Fashions',
  2. History, 'A Colonial Gentlemen's Clothing: A glossary of terms',
  3. Fashion-Era, 'Victorian Society',
  4. Victoriana, 'Regency Era', 
  5. Victorian, Civil War and Edwardian period 1830s–1910,
  6. 19th Century Fashion,

  • Ask students to create an advertisement promoting fashion for the wealthy in Davey's time. Students should write a few lines that will help to sell the significance and luxury of the garments for the wealthy wearer. Ask them to describe the material/s used, how they were made and where they could be purchased. 
  • Alternatively, students could create 'Then and now' cut-out fashion dolls. Have students create one doll representing a wealthy child of Davey's time, and one doll representing an expensively dressed child of today. Ask students to reflect on how each era used clothing to convey a sense of status and importance.


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