Around the World: Australia Unit Study

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We headed to the land down under for our most recent Around the World unit study; Australia!

My kids were super excited to study Australia because of their favorite cartoon show Bluey. 😆 The show has actually taught them a lot about the time/seasons change and language of Australia which was fun to talk about as we were learning. We did a guided tutorial from Art for Kids Hub of Bluey and added it to our notebooks too!

If this is the first Around the World unit study blog post you are reading, be sure to scroll to the bottom and start by reading some of my others we did previously (I would start with China.) This will give you an idea of how we structure our learning and what we do, in what order. We are using Around the World with Picture Books as our spine/guide. If you have been here a while, I’m just going to jump right into the usual. 😊

We began our unit by reading about Australia in our Maps book, and DK Countries of the World. They colored and labeled their maps, as well as painted the country’s flag from our Traveling the World pack. We also enjoyed reading about a few children that live in Australia from Children Just Like Me (one of our favorite books!)

We studied a few specific topics when learning about Australia such as marsupials (kangaroos mostly,) the Sydney Opera House, and Aboriginal Australian Art.


For this unit we mostly watched a lot of great YouTube videos, but these are some of the fun picture books we read as well. Not pictured, but are great books to add: Over in Australia by Marianne Berkes, A Platypus Probably by Sneed B. Collard, Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker, Possum Magic by Mem Fox, and Saved!! By Lydia Williams. If you can’t find many of these books at your local library, watch or listen to the read aloud version on YouTube.

For our read aloud, we all enjoyed Magic Tree House Dingoes at Dinnertime. This was a fun adventure book and shared a lot of great information about the animals native to Australia.

My daughter (3rd grade) read Audrey of the Outback by Christine Harris for her independent reading. It was a funny story and shared lots of detail about rural Australian life. I would say she is like an Australian Pippi Longstocking.

Some other great read aloud options: Brindabella by Ursula Dubosarsky, Braver: A Wombats Tale by Susanne Selfors, or Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead.

Marsupials/ Kangaroos

We could have done a whole unit on marsupials alone, but narrowed it down to just kangaroos. We studied koalas and wombats in previous years; some great books about them above.

We read SO many fun picture books about kangaroos. Our favorites were the Blue Kangaroo books (there are a few) by Emma Clark and Joey by Jack Kent. Katy No-Pocket by Emma Payne has always been a family favorite too. Most of these books we read in the late afternoons after rest time or before bed.

This Draw Write Now book (#7) has an entire section for Australian animals. My kids drew a few of the animals, including the kangaroo, in their notebooks and wrote some facts about them.

For a simple craft they each made their own pouch out of a paper bag. I cut two pieces from a brown grocery bag and punched holes all along the rounded edge. They took yarn and weaved in and out to sew the pieces together. We added a long piece of yarn at the top that they could hang around their neck. They were able to put their favorite stuffed animals and carry them around like a kangaroo pouch.

After learning about many of the native Australian animals, we had a fun movie night and watched the movie Back to the Outback on Netflix.

If you are looking for a full unit study on Marsupials, THIS is a great one to help you do a lot of the planning and has great anatomy and worksheet pages.

Stephanie Hathaway Designs

The Sydney Opera House

My kids were really interested in learning about this iconic building. We watched a virtual tour on YouTube and learned so much! We then watched THIS art tutorial and drew a version of it in their notebooks. They labeled it and the year it was built.

We have really enjoyed looking our Wonders of the World book throughout all of our country studies. It has a pair of 3D glasses that you use and prop up the book to see many amazing places around the world. The Sydney Opera House is in there too. Our book was a hand me down from years ago, but THIS one is very similar.

My kids worked on this next project together. First they painted the bottom half of white card stock blue with liquid watercolor and added salt for the textured look. They colored the top half yellow for the warm sky. I cut out a bunch of pieces from white paper plates to look like the points and arches of the building. I had my kids try to piece them together on the paper to look like the Sydney Opera House. It was a great STEM challenge where they had to work together. They did a great job!

Aboriginal Australian Art

Next we studied about the Aboriginal Australians and their beautiful artwork. We didn’t read this book (Dreamings: the Art of Aboriginal Australia,) because it was a very large textbook, but we did look through it at all the different pictures and artwork.

We made our own aboriginal dot paintings. I had them each pick out an animal native to Australia. I found a silhouette of the animal on Google images and printed it out. I cut it out and glued it to the middle of a small piece of watercolor paper. They each chose four colors of paint and used Q-tips to create their dot patterns around their animal silhouette.

As their paintings dried we used THESE fun worksheets to learn about some of the aboriginal symbols and their meanings. We used the symbols to decipher the messages and create our own.

We didn’t have to time to get to it, but THIS project also looked fun to learn about the native Australian flower; the golden wattle.

An amazing surprise from a follower in Australia came to our door after we wrapped up our study. They sent us the most amazing package full of books, animals, pictures, games, and fun treats to try from Australia. We loved trying some Tim Tams and Vegemite. SO thankful for this online community!!

We wrapped up our Australia study right before we went on our vacation to Hawaii. Now that we are back we are going to continue learning about the Great Barrier Reef for our biome study of coral reefs. We will continue this study of coral reefs as we make our way to our next country; Brazil! I will have another blog post all about our coral reef biome unit coming soon. You can read about our other biomes we have studied this year HERE.

Here are the other blog posts of our country studies we have completed so far this year:

Around the World: China Unit Study

Around the World: Japan Unit Study

Around the World: Thailand Unit Study

Around the World: India Unit Study

Around the World: Egypt Unit Study

Around the World: Antarctica Unit Study

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