Mapping Diversity
Level 3 Geography Focus

Introduction to Mapping Diversity

In this module students explore why people live where they do and the implications of these decisions.  With a focus on diversity, students analyse personal stories, maps and data to understand the motivations that people have for moving to Australia and decisions that all Australians make about where to settle within Australia.  Students explore why cultural groups often live in similar areas and analyse the concept of locational disadvantage.

All activities in this module are aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Geography, Years 7 and 8.  (Click here to see the Curriculum Links

The module focuses on developing intercultural understanding through the following learning objectives.  Students will:

This guide provides information about the four activities in this module:

These activities are complementary but can also be used independently.  Each activity is supported with suggested teacher-led introductory and concluding activities.  For the online components students can work individually, in pairs or as small groups.  These activities can also be adapted for use with a smartboard.

Activity 1: Making Assumptions

In this activity students explore the assumptions and generalisations that people make about others based on how they look.  In particular, it looks at assumptions people make about where others might work and live.

Introductory Activity — Offline

Ask students if they ever make assumptions about strangers based only on how they look.  As a class brainstorm the sorts of things we might assume about people we see walking down the street e.g. age, martial status, what they do, income level, where they live.  Explore the following questions:

Online Activity

Before commencing this activity, familiarise your students with how to navigate through the website.

Part A: Who is this?
In this activity students are asked to look at images of six different Australians and make assumptions about their name, profession and place of residence.

Students are presented with an image and use drop down menus to make their guesses about each person.  They are provided with the actual details for that person after submitting.

Concluding Activity — Offline

Now that students have completed an activity to consider the assumptions they make about others, ask students to reflect on the labels that strangers may apply to them.  Give students some stick it notes and ask them to write some labels about themselves, which reflect how others might see them.  Students should attach and wear the labels as they create them.

As a class discuss the following questions:

Activity 2: Why People Come to Live in Australia

In this activity students reflect on three personal migration stories and then identify the push and pull factors that might influence a migrant's decision to migrate.

Introductory Activity — Offline

As a class, brainstorm the reasons why people come to Australia to live.

Online Activity

Part A: Why people come
Students watch a video where three people share their different reasons for migrating to Australia.  They are also provided with data relating to Australian immigration.

Students use these insights to identify and list some possible push and pull factors that may influence decisions to migrate.

Concluding Activity — Offline

Discuss the following questions with your students:

You may like to refer to the Talking about contentious issues guide.

Activity 3: Why Do People Live Where They Do?

In this activity students explore why people live where they do with a particular focus on the roles that cultural heritage and religion might play.  They do this by comparing data from four Melbourne suburbs.

Introductory Activity — Offline

Ask students to use the Think Pair Share strategy to consider the place in Australia that they would most like to live and their reasons for choosing that place.  Students should be given time to reflect on the question before pairing with another student to share their thoughts.

Online Activity

Part A: Explore the data
Students watch a video in which a Jewish rabbi reflects on the ways in which his culture and religion influence his decisions about where to live.  Students then explore Australian Bureau of Statistics data about religious affiliation and place of birth from four suburbs in Melbourne.

Students write a short analysis about each suburb and then compare and contrast the data across the suburbs to identify patterns and develop cultural profiles.  Students are able to complete this activity online and to print out their responses.

Part B: Why do you live where you do?
Students complete a survey to identify the significance of different factors in their family's decision to live where they do.

Concluding Activity — Offline

Ask students to conduct a PMI about the statement: It is good for people from similar cultures and/or religions to live close to each other.  What are the pluses?  What are the minuses?  And what interesting issues does it raise?

You may like to use the PMI template.


Activity 4: Can Location Affect Opportunity?

In this activity students are introduced to the concept of locational disadvantage and analyse maps of three unidentified Sydney suburbs to explore the correlation between location, education and income.

Introductory Activity — Offline

(There is no Introductory Activity for this Activity)

Online Activity

Part A: Location and opportunity
In this activity students explore the concept of locational disadvantage.  They watch a short video where a Sydney woman discusses her experience of being 'judged by her postcode'.

Students then analyse maps of three unnamed Sydney suburbs, which focus on educational qualifications and income.  Students compare and contrast the data to identify patterns and trends across the suburbs.  Students are able to complete this activity online and to print out their responses.

Concluding Activity — Offline

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has easily accessible online data about all areas in Australia.  Involve your students in a research activity about your suburb/town/area.  Students should develop investigation questions and locate and analyse appropriate data, and present their conclusions.

Module Reflection

You may like to use a reflection or self-assessment strategy to monitor student engagement with this module.

Further Activity Ideas