Our paths to Australia (EALD activity)

Lesson overview

Learning Area:English EALD
Age Group:Primary Upper (10-12) – Secondary Lower (13-14)


Students will identify their own feelings about coming to a new country. Students will understand vocabulary associated with emotions. Students will recognise that their emotions are not unusual amongst people with similar experiences.


These activities are suitable for newly-arrived, beginning and intermediate level EALD students. Teachers should approach students’ Paths to Australia sensitively and respect that many students may feel unable to share their particular story. However, understanding that many of their class members have shared experiences and being given the necessary language skills to express them may encourage those students to join the class discussions.

Resources needed

  • Projector or interactive whiteboard


  1. Download Feelings handout. This handout can be adapted into flashcards or an information gap task, depending on the ability of the students.
  2. Teach the emotions illustrated on the handout, for example using flashcards or concentration, memory or snap games.
  3. Download the three maps. Using the three maps, show Map 1 and discuss what can be seen. As a class, add labels to it. Do the same with the second and third maps, giving students new vocabulary such as migrant, refugee, journey as required.
  4. Using above stimulus, elicit emotions of students and their reasons for those emotions when arriving in Australia.
    Note: Depending on how long the students have been in the country, further discuss if these emotions have changed and why.
  5. Present the Feelings handout to the class. Survey class on who felt a particular emotion when they arrived in Australia. Write the number of students next to the emotions. Students can feel more than one emotion. Results should show that regardless of background, newly-arrived students often experience the same emotions.

If students are newly-arrived:

  1. Students write down their current feelings about being in Australia. This can be done in their first language or in English. Students with minimal English may draw a picture that shows how they feel.
  2. Place these in an envelope, re-open several months later and discuss any changes and possible reasons for these changes.
  3. As homework, students may write a journal entry on Coming to Australia.