Australia Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Have you ever wanted to travel to Australia, the country down under? Take a virtual field trip to explore this country's culture, wildlife and history!

The Land Down Under

Australia is unique in that it is both a country and an entire continent. The mainland is composed of six states, and the surrounding islands are also a part of the country. It is often called the Land Down Under because it is located extremely south of the equator. It is the largest island in the world, being completely surrounded by the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

History of the Country

Australia was originally inhabited by a group of people called aborigines. However, in the 1600s, Dutch explorers landed on the coast and later, in the 1700s, the English came to Australia. The English established several colonies on the island, including a penal colony where they could ship prisoners. In the early 1900s, the colonies began establishing independence in their governments and joined together to become the Commonwealth of Australia. However, although they were now a country, they were still under British rule and subject to their laws. On March 3, 1986, Australia became its own independent nation. There are still ties to England, including the representation of the Union Jack on the Australian flag.

The Australian flag contains the Union Jack in the corner, and this is a symbol of the history and connection with England.
Australian Flag

Unique Wildlife and Geography

Australia is home to some very special plant and animal life. If you travel to this island country, you may see kangaroos, wombats, and all types of snakes! Koalas are often attributed to Australia, since they love to snack on the eucalyptus trees that grow naturally in the country. Have you ever heard of the Tasmanian Devil? Did you think it was just a cartoon character? Nope, it is a mammal that is only found on the island of Tasmania. But its name is very appropriate as it will fly into a rage, bare its teeth and make some very loud, scary growls if it feels threatened.

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