Literature Based Unit: Sydney Harbour Bridge

Wattle Gum Education: Literature Based Units – Sydney Harbour Bridge pdf

When implementing this Literature Based Unit, we suggest reading at least a couple of the books recommended below and choose a selection of the following activities to best suit your family.


WishlistImageNameWritersIllustratorsSeriesTagsCurriculumsCurriculum CodesTarget AgePrint Statushf:tax:writerhf:tax:illustratorhf:tax:serieshf:tagshf:tax:curriculumhf:tax:curriculum_codehf:tax:target_agehf:tax:print_status
13 Bridges Children Should Know, , finger-brad1930-1940 sydney sydney-harbour-bridgenon-fictionin-print
Lennie the Legend : Solo to Sydney by Pony, , , , reeder-stephanie-owenheritage-heroesgippsland lennie-gwyther leongatha sydney sydney-harbour-bridge7-13-yearsin-print
My Australian Story: Bridging Sydney, , farrer-vashtimy-australian-story1930-1940 sydney sydney-harbour-bridge10-14-yearsin-print
The Day We Built the Bridge, tidy-samanthaburrows-fionasydney sydney-harbour-bridge5-10-yearsin-print
The Sydney Harbour Bridge, , spearritt-peter1930-1940 sydney sydney-harbour-bridgenon-fictionin-print
The Sydney Harbour Bridge: Australia's Iconic Landmark in Words and Pictures, , luck-peter1930-1940 sydney sydney-harbour-bridgenon-fictionin-print
To The Bridge : The Journey of Lennie and Ginger Mick, , , , fenton-corinnemclean-andrewgippsland lennie-gwyther leongatha sydney sydney-harbour-bridge6-12-yearsin-print


Teacher’s Notes

To the Bridge – Corinne Fenton

Booktopia: Teacher’s Notes

Lamont Books: Teachers Notes


The Day We Built the Bridge – Samantha Tidy

Samantha Tidy: Teachers Notes

Lamont Books: Teachers Notes


Lennie the Legend: Solo to Sydney by Pony – Stephanie Owen Reeder

Stephanie Owen Reeder: Teachers Notes

Stephanie Owen Reeder: Teaching Resources

Stephanie Owen Reeder: Heritage Heroes Classroom Resources


Themes to Cover
Arch Bridges
Bradfield Plan
Engineers: what do they do
Australian History: 1930s
Design & Construction: STEM


Art/Craft Activities
Colour a picture of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Draw a Picture of the Sydney Harbour Bridge


STEM Activities
Make a model of the Sydney Harbour Bridge using various materials: cardboard, paper plates, paddlepops, pasta or other materials of your choice.
Easy Craft Make Sydney Harbour Bridge
Make Sydney Harbour Bridge with Cardboard
Make Sydney Harbour Bridge with Paddlepops
How to Make an Arch Bridge with Pasta

Make a more detailed model of Sydney Harbour using Lego or Minecraft
Lego Sydney Harbour Bridge Instructions

Design your own bridge, as if you were one of the designers in the early 1900s. How would you make the bridge iconic? What do you need to consider when designing it?
NESA: Build a Bridge


STEM Research
Research how many rivets were used in the building of the bridge. What other materials were required? How much of these materials were required?
The final design that was used for the Sydney Harbour Bridge was one of many that were considered. Research those designs and compare and contrast them.


Language Arts Activities
Using a world map, mark flags or colour countries, to show the many nationalities who worked on the Harbour Bridge.
Write/dictate a Narration based on one of the books you’ve read from the list.
Make a poster (or power point presentation) showing how the Sydney Harbour Bridge is used today, what benefits it brings to the City of Sydney.
Create a timeline of all the major moments in the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, from conception to opening. What other major world events were happening at that time in Australia? Include those in the timeline.
Bridge Timeline
Develop a PowerPoint presentation describing how the idea of a bridge across Sydney Harbour became a reality, how it took shape, what the final product looked like.
Pretend you are a workplace safety inspector today, transported back in time to 1929. What machines and tools are they using? Does their equipment and clothing offer any special protection? What are their working conditions like? Consider these as you write a Health and Safety report.
Health and Safety


Further Research Areas & Discussion Questions
Sydney Harbour is one of the finest natural harbours in the world. As Sydney expanded in the 1800s how did geography influence the need for infrastructure such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
What benefits does the Sydney Harbour Bridge offer the city and its people?
Who proposed, designed and built the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
Dorman Lang & Bradfield
What did the rejected bridge designs look like ?
Rejected Bridge Designs
In 1924 work began with the demolition of hundreds of buildings to make way for the bridge and its approach roads. Research about the homes and communities being demolished. How did those people affected feel?
The First Harbour Bridge Toll
How did the Great Depression affect Australia?What role did the construction of Sydney Harbour Bridge play during this era?
The Iron Lung
The construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was one of Australia’s greatest engineering feats. It provided thousands of jobs during the Great Depression, but working conditions were hazardous.Look at the Honour Roll, of all who worked on the bridge, including the 16 people who lost their lives in the process. One worker survived a fall into Sydney Harbour in the 1930s and was awarded a medal. Research about the working conditions and how the worker came to survive.
Honour Roll
Why were Scottish and Italian stonemasons brought out to Australia during the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Where did they work and live?
Granite for the Bridge and the Stonemasons
What controversy happened on the day of the opening of the bridge? What effect did it have on the proceedings of the day?
Sensation at Opening Ceremony
What would today’s engineers change about the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Peter Mann’s Thoughts


Online Resources
National Museum Australia: Sydney Harbour Bridge for Kids

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