Melbourne Cup – Synthesising

The Melbourne Cup is an important tradition in Australian culture and sport. It is so important that all of Victoria has a public holiday.

So what is the Melbourne Cup. For reading, we are going to use our synthesising skills to learn about the Melbourne Cup by adding to our thoughts and possibly changing our thinking. We will track our thinking about the Melbourne Cup before, during and after reading. Tomorrow we will then turn our thoughts into a synthesising response to show how our thinking has developed.


Remembrance Day – Synthesising

Today is Remembrance Day. For reading we are going to look at a PowerPoint Presentation about Remembrance Day.

We are going to record our thinking before, during and after reading. We will then turn our thinking into a synthesising wheel.

Before reading I think…

During reading I have learnt…

After reading I now know…

Author Study: Roald Dahl & Synthesising

This term we are going to complete an author study on Roald Dahl, who has written many popular children books.

Today we are going to read a biography on Roald Dahl and synthesise while we read. Synthesising is a comprehension strategy that shows how our thinking can change about a text as we read.

When we synthesise we track our thinking about what we know before, during and after. 

Inquiry Tune in Week 1 – Australian History

This term you will be inquiring into Australia’s history. Today we will look at some major events and historical pieces of information that have shaped Australia. In the coming weeks you will inquire into a specific event that affected our country.


Explain what you know/think about Australia prior to the first fleet.

Describe two things that you have learnt about Australia prior to the first fleet.

Put your thinking into a synthesising wheel.


Explain what you know/think about the First Fleet.

Describe at least two things that you have learnt about the First Fleet.

Put your thinking into a synthesising wheel.



Explain what you know/think about federation.

Describe at two things that you have learnt about federation.

Put your thinking into a synthesising wheel.


Early Australia – Synthesising

Today we are going to use our synthesising skills to learn more about Australia’s history. When we read we can use our comprehension skills to learn new information and change our ideas and opinions that we may have had.

When we synthesise, we need to track our thinking. We can do this by tracking our thinking prior to reading, during reading and after reading.

– Before reading I think…

– I now think…

I now know…

I think…

After reading I think… I think this because…

Early Australia

When and where did the first people come from?
Humans probably began settling in Australia at least 50 000 years ago. It may even, according to some archaeologists, have been as long ago as 70 thousand years ago. No one knows how many different groups came to Australia, but it thought that the way some of the first people came was by moving along a chain of islands from Sulawesi (Sulawesi is in Borneo and is now part of Indonesia) and New Guinea. Others may have reached North Western Australia via Timor.

Settling across Australia.
These first Australians 
soon occupied much of Australia. Different groups had separate territory and they moved through their territory on foot, making pathways beside streams and rivers, or between water-holes. The different groups asked permission if they were wanting to pass through another group’s territory.

Some groups of people settled on the islands in the Torres Strait and are known as Torres Strait Islanders. These Islanders and the Aboriginal people in Northern Australia made rafts and canoes and travelled across rivers and across the sea.
Those Aborigines who travelled south and crossed into the land we now call Tasmania,
(Tasmania was joined to the mainland of Australia until about 14 000 years ago) became separated from the mainland when the sea level rose.

How did they live?
Australian Aboriginal people were 
hunters and ate the animals they caught, they were alsogatherers of plants that could be eaten. They built shelters that were different in design, depending on the climate (the weather), and the season in their part of Australia. Clothing too varied, depending on the weather and the season.
Those groups that lived in the north traded with people who lived in New Guinea and with visiting sailors and fishermen from parts of what is now Indonesia.

The Aboriginal communities were run by older members of the group, known as elders. The Aboriginal people had their own laws, and languages, and through storytelling, rock art and bark paintings, they passed on their history to each new generation.

When did the first European explorers arrive?
In 1606 the first Europeans, (they were Dutch and from the Netherlands) to discover Australia were led by Willem Janszoon. These sailors explored the western side of Cape York, in the Gulf of Carpentaria. They made one landing, but when they were attacked by Aborigines they left!

In 1616, another Dutchman, Dirk Hartog landed on an island off the coast of Western Australia. The island is now called Dirk Hartog Island.

In 1642, a third Dutchman, Abel Tasman sailed to Tasmania, before discovering New Zealand, Fiji and visiting Papua New Guinea. He named Tasmania Van Diemen’s Land.

William Dampier
The first Englishman to see Australia was William Dampier (he’d once been a pirate!) He explored the north-west coast of Australia in 1699. Dampier was the first European to tell about seeing Australia’s ‘large hopping animals’!

In 1770, Captain James Cook was the first European to explore the eastern
coastline of Australia. 

If you use any of this information in your own work acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Thomas, R. & Sydenham, S. The Discovery of Australia [Online] (2010)


Brazil – Synthesing

Synthesising is when we learn new information or change our thinking during/after reading. We can record our thinking while reading to show how our thinking is changing.

Brazil is the host of this years soccer world cup beginning in the coming days. We are going to complete a synthesising wheel on Brazil and use the link below to read and change our thoughts on the country.

To begin you will need to to write down your thinking about Brazil before you start reading. As you read you can then add to your thoughts. Your thoughts might change or you may learn something new about the country.

Once you have read the text and written down your thoughts, you will your thinking into a synthesising wheel by using the link below.

Melbourne Cup

Write down all of your thinking about the Melbourne Cup.

Read the following information on the Melbourne Cup and watch the the replay of last years race to add to and/or change your thinking. You will then need to record your thinking in a synthesising wheel.

History of the Cup

Through tears and triumphs, ‘the race that stops a nation™’ has cemented its position as a revered sporting, social and cultural event that continues to play a significant role in defining Australia’s national identity.

Where did it all begin?

In 1861, at the first running of the Melbourne Cup, the race club committee could hardly have envisaged the Cup lasting a century and a half and growing to become a significant part of our social and sporting culture.

In front of an estimated crowd of 4000 people, Archer became the first winner of the Melbourne Cup. Victorians, and the wider Australian community, were already displaying their great passion for thoroughbred racing.

Today, the Melbourne Cup is the richest handicap race held in Australia, and the prize money and trophies make it among the richest horseraces in the world.

Flemington was fairly basic in the early days with little in the way of running rails or stands. But the Melbourne Cup quickly became popular as a carnival with picnic parties, sideshows, celebrations and people showing off their latest fashions. Socialites, politicians and Australia’s rich and famous attended the Cup right from the earliest days, as they still do today.

While the Cup was first run on a Thursday, in 1875 it changed to a Tuesday and has normally been run on the first Tuesday in November each year. In three of the five years during the Second World War (1942, 1943 and 1944) it was held on a Saturday.

At the time of the first Cup, Victoria was experiencing the gold rush and many people had flocked to Melbourne, Bendigo and Ballarat in the hope of finding gold. A few gold-diggers were fortunate and became wealthy, and they enjoyed splurging at Flemington.

By 1880, 100,000 people would make the journey to Flemington to attend the Cup. As Melbourne’s population was only 290,000 at the time, this attendance was quite phenomenal, and many visitors came from the country and other Australian colonies, too. These were flourishing times as Melbourne continued to grow during and after the gold rush period.

“There was barely standing room on the lawn and many ladies were unable to find a seat for the whole day. The Paddock was overcrowded to excess and the Hill was simply a mass of human beings. It has reached a stage now that almost everyone in Melbourne goes to the Spring racing.” – Australasian Newspaper (1871).

Champion horses have always thrilled spectators. There are stories of endurance, scandal, controversy, tragedy and heroism including great horses such as:

–           Carbine (1890)

–           Phar Lap (1930)

–           Peter Pan (1932 and 1934)

–           Comic Court (1950)

–          Rising Fast (1954)

–           Rain Lover (1968 & 1969)

–           Kiwi (1983)

–           Vintage Crop (1993)

–          Might and Power (1997)

–           Makybe Diva (2003, 2004 & 2005).

From Etienne de Mestre in the 1860s and 1870s, and Lee Freedman in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, who have both trained five Cup winners, to the ‘Cup’s King’ Bart Cummings, who since 1965 has won 12 Cups, horse trainers continue to strive to set records in thoroughbred racing.


Music Lyrics – Synthesising & Inferring

We have been doing an excellent job of synthesising and presenting our work in synthesising wheels, which shows how much our thinking can change when reading.

Today we are going to use our inferring skills to help us synthesise from music lyrics.

Listen to and read the lyrics from ‘The Fighter’ and track your thinking while reading. Write down your thinking at the beginning of the text (What do think this song is going to be about?), write down your thoughts during and how your thinking changes and then write down your thinking at the end of the song.

It will be interesting to see what your thinking is. Remember you will need to use your inferring skills to understand parts of this text, so make sure you use your open questions to help you infer.

Once you have completed your thinking you will be able to present your work in synthesising wheel. The link is below.