Burke and Wills - Timeline untangle

Learning intention

Students develop an understanding of the sequence of events in the Burke and Wills story by creating a timeline.

Students will:

  • Understand the impact of a significant development or event on a colony; for example internal exploration
  • Sequence historical people and events


You can find background information for students in the Exploration section of Explore history and the Select resources section of Learn skills.



Students brainstorm what they already know about the Burke and Wills story. Hand out the timeline resource with key events all mixed up.

Students work in pairs to put the timeline events in the correct order and then check their order against the Terra incognita timeline and add dates to events. They then present their timeline in order on an A3 sheet.

As an extension could find five other events that occurred in Australia or around the world at the time of the expedition and include them in their timeline.

Share as a whole class to see how many different events occurred during the same period.