Peddling Wares to the Goldfields (year 5)

April 3, 2013 in Blackline Masters, Colonial History, Comprehension, Primary School


Peddling Wares to the Goldfields (year 5)

This is an illustrated interactive story for Year 5 students to learn about the goldfields in Victoria and how people of the 1860s and thereabouts made their living supplying the miners.

The Year 5 curriculum calls for a study of colonial Australia in the 1800s.  What was life like for different groups of people in this period.

The idea for the story came from reading the diary of a great great grandfather who supplied the miners, one who was the manager of the mine at Creswick before the mining tragedy, and one who carted gold to S.A.

An examination is called for of significant events and people, political and economic developments, social structures, and settlement patterns.

Students may read the story all the way through or do their research at each point in the story. The Internet is a good place to start, as is the school library.  Thus students will be practised in doing research as well as comprehension.  At the end of the story there are answers and their references.


This book offers a very vivid and wonderful insight into the life and culture of people living around the time of (the) goldrush (19th century). As an Australian native, Michael Mardel has more than accomplished the job of a true patriot by bringing forth this sneak-peek about a rather forgotten time period. The dialogs as well as the general language and style…(are) a true reflection of the time (when) the story is set…and can be called absolutely realistic. (Milando)


Review by MA

This book describes the life of diggers in Australia. Quite an imaginative feat, as this history unfolds through the eyes of a young boy when his father exposes him to the diggers. These accounts show not only the writer’s in-depth knowledge of history but his literary prowess as well. It is a befitting read for school children of all ages.


An example:

‘Father, you’re late! We’ve been saving tea for you and we’re really hungry.’

‘Sorry Patrick, I’ve been down at the Eastern Market in Bourke St. talking to wholesalers. I had to organise some supplies to be delivered on Monday so we can take it on our trip starting that day. Now you can eat and we’ll have peace and quiet while you chew with your mouth closed.’

[1.a.What hotel stood on the corner of Bourke and Exhibition St. where the Eastern Market was? __________________________________________

1.b .When did the Queen Victoria market begin? _____________________

1.c. Was there a Western Market and where was it?] _________________________________________________________