This webquest will help you investigate Sydney: its history, music and famous landmarks. You will also plan a trip and send a postcard home. Downloadable worksheet and teacher's notes are available at the bottom of the page.
Activity 1: Introductory quiz
Visit the link below:
Look at the page and, in pairs or small groups, find the answers to the following eight questions on the history of Sydney and Australia.
1. Who originally lived in Sydney?
2. When did the First Fleet arrive?
3. Why did the First Fleet travel to Australia?
4. When did the British stop sending convicts to Australia?
5. Where are the houses of parliament?
6. When did Sydney become a city?
7. What is the Town Hall made of?
8. Where is the Opera House?
Activity 2: Famous landmarks
Sydney has two landmarks which are famous around the world: Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
In this activity, your teacher will put you in two groups: A and B.
If you are in Group A, visit the website below:
Read through the information on the Opera House and write six questions. When you are done, give your questions to Group B.
If you are in Group B, visit the website below:
Read through the information on the Harbour Bridge and write six questions. When you are done, give your questions to Group A.
Now try to find the answers to the questions your group has been given. It’s a race – the quickest group to finish is the winner.
Activity 3: Planning a trip
In this activity you will plan an itinerary for a visit to Sydney. Imagine your group are going to spend three days in Sydney. Write down everything you are going to do and everything you think you will need. The websites below may help!
Once you are finished, you could visit the link below to read about a ‘real’ two-day tour taken by a couple of tourists. Is it similar to the tour you planned?
Activity 4: Grammar – future: going to and will
When you were planning your trip around Sydney, you probably used ‘will’ or ‘going to’ to talk about your plans, the weather and the choices you made. Look at the following sentences and, in pairs, choose the best response:
- What are your plans for your next holiday?
a) We’re going to Australia.
b) We will go to Australia.
- I’ve forgotten my sunglasses.
a) Don’t worry – we’re going to buy some in Sydney.
b) Don’t worry – we’ll buy some in Sydney.
- Why don’t we go to the beach?
a) Look at those clouds! It’s going to rain.
b) Look at those clouds! It will rain.
- A: We’re going to the Opera House later.
B: Didn’t you hear? It’s closed today.
a) Oh well, we’re going to Bondi beach instead.
b) Oh well, we’ll go to Bondi beach instead.
- How are you getting to the Blue Mountains?
a) Perhaps we’re going to drive there from Sydney.
b) Perhaps we’ll drive there from Sydney.
Now look at the sentences again. Why did you choose that answer? Can you make some rules for using ‘will’ and ‘going to’? Check your ‘rules’ with another pair, and ask your teacher if you’re not sure.
Activity 5: Listening – Midnight Oil
Some very famous bands have come out of Sydney, one of these is Midnight Oil, who are famous not only because they come from Australia but because they are an ‘environmental’ band. Most of their songs are about globalisation, environment and aboriginal rights. The band split up in 2002, but there are rumours they may reform.
Visit the link below and listen to the introduction of an interview with former lead singer Peter Garret (2 mins 15 seconds).
Now answer the following eight questions:
1. What did Peter do in the band?
2. What other job did Peter have?
3. What did Midnight Oil criticize?
4. What did Peter study at university?
5. When did Peter first stand for parliament, and for which party?
6. How long was he President of the Australian Conservation Foundation?
7. What honour did Peter Garrett receive?
8. What was Peter’s final act as Minister?
Click on ‘Show full transcript’ and, in pairs, check your answers.
If you have time, you could visit Midnight Oil’s official website and listen to one of their songs. Do you like their music?
Activity 6: Didgeridoo quiz – didga know?
The Didgeridoo is a famous Australian instrument. Look at the following four questions about the Didgeridoo and choose the correct answer.
- The Didgeridoo is made from …
a) kangaroo skin b) wood c) a sea shell
- The Didgeridoo is played by …
a) blowing b) hitting c) plucking strings
- The Didgeridoo is …
a) quite an old instrument b) quite modern c) very old
- Didgeridoos all sound …
a) the same b) similar c) different
When you have finished, check your answers by looking at the information on the following website:
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City WebQuests: Sydney