Our opening hours will be changing between Tuesday 24 December 2019 and Wednesday 1 January 2020. All reading rooms will be closed from Christmas Day, reopening on 2 January. But you’ll still be able to visit our Exhibition Galleries, our children’s holiday space, WordPlay, and Bookshop from 9am-5pm (except on Christmas Day). Bookplate café will also be open during this period, but with varied hours. Be sure to check our Summer Opening Hours before you visit.



1. Share the picture of Thomas Baines’ (1820─1875) painting with your students. Use the following questions to explore aspects of the painting:

  • What people can you see? What are they doing?
  • What animals can you see?
  • What buildings can you see?
  • When and where do you think this picture was painted?
  • What does the painting tell you about European settlement of Australia?

When your students look at the painting, ensure they identify details such as people’s tools, the ship, trees (the fallen tree, and trees in the background including a boab tree), animals (a sheep and an emu) and buildings.

2. Invite each student to select a person or object in the painting and take on the perspective of that person or object to respond to the following three questions. (This activity is adapted from the Visible Thinking ‘Step Inside’ routine.)

  • What can the person or object see?
  • What might the person or object know about or believe?
  • What might the person or object care about?

Share oral or written responses in pairs, groups or as a class.

Discuss the following questions, drawing on the students’ experiences in the Difference Differently introductory activity:

  • What might have encouraged the people in the painting to communicate and work together?
  • What might have worked against these people communicating and working together?

Other Treasures sources related to the concepts explored in this source include: First peoples, Early settlement, Communication.