People Power: Focus Question 2: Overview of Teaching and Learning Activities

Read: Focus Question 2: How Did Australians Improve Their Working Conditions in the 1850s?


Teaching and Learning Activities

Resources for Students

  • Understanding of the achievement of the eight-hour day and the concept of ‘work-life balance’

2a: Work and Recreation in the 1850s

  • Students consider the impact of extended school hours to their sleep and leisure time.



  • whiteboard
  • computers
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Exploring the key figures and milestones of the Eight-hour Day movement

2b: The Eight-hour Day movement 

  • Using online resources students answer questions about the Eight-hour Day movement. Students collect, organise and present their information using Museum Box website tools.
  • Using computer software students create an animated version of the eight-hour day story.
  • Students create an interactive multimedia timeline highlighting the key milestones of the Eight-hour Day movement, using an online Timeline creator.

  • Using the categories of injustice, action and result students complete an ‘Eight-hour Day movement’ matrix to analyse the cause and effect relationship of the Eight-hour Day movement.


e Resources

Provides the tools for students to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. You can display anything from a text file to a movie. 

Provides an online timeline creator which allows the inclusion of graphics and multimedia elements.

Includes descriptions of the eight hour day movement, images, links and resources.

Includes descriptions and images of trade union banners.

These Museum Victoria websites include descriptions of the Eight-hour Day movement, links to further resources and particular information on Trade Union banners and medals.

Provides a link to an image of an eight-hour day procession in 1902.

Provides a large array of images relating to the Eight-hour Day movement.

  • Learning Objects (See teacher notes for details regarding access)
    • Eight-hour day commemorative medallion TLF ID R3692 
    • 1864 Eight-hour day demonstration TLF ID R2799


  •  The symbols and celebrations of the Eight-hour Day movement

2c: Symbols and Celebrations

  • Using online resources students view and discuss concepts of symbols and images in relation to trade union banners, badges, ribbons and medals.  
  • Students complete one of the following design tasks related to the Eight-hour Day movement.
    • Design a motif for the Eight-hour Day campaign

    • Design a banner for an occupation to use in a procession campaign

    • Design a poster to educate others about the Eight-hour Day campaign



e Resources

  • The relevance of the Eight-hour Day movement to today’s workers
2d: Work-life Balance in the 21st Century

Students examine the question: does the eight-hour day exist for modern workers? Students conduct a survey of their family members to record their main activities of a typical day. Students use their findings to present a vodcast examining work-life balance in the 21st century.


  • computers with audio capacity
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Microsoft Excel
  • digital camera(s) with video and audio capacity
  • Video-editing software such as Windows Movie Maker.

Overview of Activities: Focus Question 1 | Focus Question 2 | Focus Question 3 | Teacher Information

People Power Introduction1. Aboriginal Rights | 2. Eight-Hour Day |  3. Equal Pay for Women