Teachers Notes

This webquest was designed to celebrate diversity in conjunction with Harmony Day in Australia and the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March.

It can be used anytime as it is an opportunity for students to become more aware of and celebrate the diversity in Australia.

Grade Level - Years 5-8

Key Learning Areas - KLAs
SOSE - Studies of Society and the Environment

Health and Physical Education

Duration - This webquest is designed as an ongoing project that may take up to a term to complete, depending on how often it is scheduled into the weekly timetable and the area of focus. Because it has been designed with the integrated curriculum in mind, this webquest lends itself to being used at many times of the school day.

Harmony Day (21 March) would be a good day to start off this webquest.

Before You Begin

To ensure a successful experience for all, here are some things that will help make the webquest run smoothly.

  • Check through the Australian Bureau of Statistics web site by following these set of instructions. This will allow the students to access their local area. This is essential to the main concept of this web quest.
  • Check the resource links before the students do. As with any piece of technology you don't know when things can go wrong or links are broken.
  • Select working groups of 4.
  • Discuss what the terms harmony, diversity, and multiculturalism mean
  • Ensure all groups have at least 1 plan of the "local shopping complex".

This is a great opportunity for team teaching to occur between the ESL, Librarian and Classroom teacher. It allows for the ESL teacher and students to work on a class project with the rest of the class. As with all good teaching practices, irrespective of background, explicit language teaching needs to be taught to ensure all students understand what is being asked of them.


Students have several tasks to complete. The task summarises what the students are asked to achieve in this webquest.

In summary, students are to

  • use the ABS statistics to identify the nature of the population within their local area in regard to age, ethnicity and Aboriginality
  • investigate the local shopping centre (actual or using the given local shopping plan)
  • analyse whether the local shopping centre ie. shops, facilities, food hall, ramps, facade is meeting the needs of the local population
  • design a new shopping centre to meet these needs
    • a new welcoming facade
    • a new menu in the food hall
    • a new shop window
    • a new shopping centre layout 

The webquest has a "local shopping centre" plan so that students can start on the webquest straightaway.

Students need to consider not only groceries and food, but also medical facilities, entertainment services, childcare facilities and community interests after viewing and understanding the demographics of their local region. 

Process - The process has been broken up into 9 steps with a 3-part research component.

Students need to print out

  • the "local shopping centre" floor plan
  • the Statistical Local Area sheet to record information from the ABS.

Students will also need to have a sheet recording the web sites they went to and the ideas they got for changing the shopping centre.

Resources - Access to the Australian Bureau of Statistics information is essential for this webquest. This will allow students to access information about

  • People of Indigenous Origin
  • Age
  • Birthplace

Because the demographics of each class participating in this webquest will vary, the cultural resource list of links is extensive. We have tried to address as many different groups as possible. The list is based on the top 11 countries of birthplace origin for Australian settlers. You might have to research for more cultural links to reflect your local community.  

On-line resources are not the only answers in researching information, off-line resources such as information books found in the library can also be beneficial.

We must also not underestimate the benefits of our local school community in being first hand resources where appropriate.

While using the Evaluation Rubric is beneficial to both teachers and students, we suggest teachers also refer to the standards listed below to get a deeper insight into the what students have achieved.

By the end of this webquest the students should have successfully become more familiar with their local community heritage and applied their knowledge in providing a proposal for a more inclusive shopping centre.


New South Wales Profiles


Culture - Stage 3

a student...
identifies and explains the roles of different groups in the community.
describes how being a member of a particular group affects how people see themselves, the way they behave, their attitudes and beliefs.

Natural and Social Systems - Stage 3

a student...
identifies and explains the links between rights and responsibilities for members of the community.

Investigation, Communication and Participation - Stage 3

a student...
uses suitable techniques to present a range of information.
chooses suitable ways to achieve a group task.

Place and Space - Stage 4

a student...
describes how the different things people believe in, value and become involved with, influence the ways they use places.
describes the different views that individuals and groups have about the issues to do with the care of places.

Culture - Stage 4

a student...
explains the beliefs and social structures of groups in communities other than their own.
describes the roles, rights and responsibilities of members of cultural or social groups.

Resources - Stage 4

a student...
describes factors that affect resource use and development.

Investigation, Communication and Participation - Stage 4

a student...
identifies the types of information needed for a task and the various sources that can provide it.
selects combines and uses information from a wide range of sources for a set task.
develops and decides on suitable ways to help make decisions and solve problems for a range of group tasks.

Health & P.E

Human Relations - Stage 3

Works out rules of behaviour to improve cooperation and relationships in a range of situations.

People and Food - Stage 4

Identifies why people in the community may have different eating habits and food choices


Space - Stage 4

Reads and makes maps and plans using distance, direction, coordinates and scales


Measures and makes things using conventional units and measuring equipment and paying attention to measuring length, mass, capacity and angle.

Chance and Data

Collaborates in deciding what data is to be collected and assists in its collection.

Experiments with organising and showing data in forms that help to answer questions.

Design, Making and Appraising - Stage 4

Determines how appropriate products and processes are for the communities and environments in which they are used.

Creates and prepares designs considering options that are available and reasons for making choices.

Creates and prepares designs that include images, plans and diagrams to show an idea and how it has been developed.

Plain English Outcome Statements - Reporting Curriculum Profile Information to Parents - Second Version January 1997