Changing streetscapes

1. Display Roberts’ painting for your students and use the Harvard visible thinking routine, ‘See Think Wonder’, to explore the picture. Ask students to analyse the painting (as a class or in small groups) using the following prompts:

  • What do you see?
  • What does it make you think about?
  • What does it make you wonder?

Following this activity, use the background information to tell the students more about the painting.

2. The following images depict Bourke Street at different periods since Roberts created his painting.

Ask your students to analyse each of the three photographs and identify the changes that have occurred over time. Students should compare each image to Allegro con Brio and list things that are the same and things that are different.

As a class, search online to find a contemporary image of Bourke Street, Melbourne, and consider how the changes that have occurred over the last 130 years might have affected the lives of people living and working in the city.

3. How has a streetscape near your school changed over the last 100 years? Challenge your students to consider this by selecting a street in your local area to document. Ask students to take a photograph of their chosen street and then use their imagination to paint a contrasting picture, using Allegro con Brio as an inspiration, to capture what the street/area may have looked like 100 years ago.