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Australia: Didgeridoos, Kangaroos, & Shrimp on the Barbie

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I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo with Joey

Eastern Grey Kangaroo with Joey

Do you want to know more about Australia? Would you like to have fun while learning about the countries of the world? In an effort to make world geography more meaningful and memorable, I have provided everything you need to locate Australia on a map, cook an ethnic meal, watch YouTube clips on Australia, color the flag, create an Australian craft, read a book about Australia, and more! This is part of a fun series of lessons covering world geography. You can find the links for all the countries at Around the World in 26 Letters.

Map showing Australia's location

Map showing Australia's location

Where is Australia?

Locate Australia on this map of Australia/Oceania. Use this map of Australia to label the capitol, Canberra. Mark other relevant features (rivers, mountains, famous locations, etc.) if desired. If you'd like to spend a bit more time researching the country, you can add the language, currency, type of government, religion, and/or famous landmarks. Write them on the back of the map. You can easily find all this information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia.

Koala

Koala

Fun Facts About Australia

  • The following animals were first found in Australia: the emu, the kangaroo, the kookaburra, and the koala. The platypus is only indigenous to Australia.
  • Australia is the largest inhabited island as well as the smallest and the least populated continent of the world.
  • There are more than 150 million sheep in Australia and only around 20 million people.
  • Because the rainwater in Tasmania is some of the purest in the world, over five tons of the water was transported to Seoul, Korea to provide drinking water to Olympic athletes. Tasmania is also considered to have the best air in the world.

(Information Credit)

a-is-for-australia

An Australian meal

Prepare and serve:

  • "Shrimp on the Barbie" (though most Australians call shrimp "pawns"),
  • "chips" (French fries),
  • a salad: spinach leaves, diced Granny Smith apples (since Granny Smiths originated in Sydney), and a vinaigrette dressing,
  • Cheese Damper (bread),
  • hot tea, and
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding.

*If you have children (or a spouse) who isn't fond of seafood, you can make Australian Meat Pies instead of Shrimp on the Barbie.

Shrimp on the Barbie

Shrimp on the Barbie

Shrimp on the Barbie

The "barbie" refers to the BBQ/grilling. If you're making this when the weather isn't BBQ-friendly, you can simply broil the shrimp in the oven for about 3 minutes per side.

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

20 min

8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh herbs like parsley and thyme
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot or green onion
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs medium-large shrimp
  • spinach leaves for garnish (optional)
  • lemon slices for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in shrimp. Marinate at room temperature 1 hour or in the refrigerator 5 hours, stirring occasionally. Heat your barbecue with medium-hot coals or turn to medium-hot if you have a gas grill. Thread shrimp on narrow skewers. Grill until just opaque, about 2 minutes per side. If desired, line your platter with spinach. Arrange skewers on the platter. Garnish with lemon and serve.
Australian Cheese, Garlic and Chive Damper

Australian Cheese, Garlic and Chive Damper

Australian Cheese, Garlic and Chive Damper

Damper is a traditional Australian bread, made without yeast, and traditionally cooked over hot coals. The original recipe calls for "tasty cheese", which is the Aussie term for "sharp cheddar cheese" as used in the US.

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

20 min

35 min

4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-rising flour (or use a scant 2 cups of regular flour plus 2 tsp. baking powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ounce butter cut in small cubes
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Blend together flour, salt, and butter pieces until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Mix in cheeses, garlic and chives. Combine milk and water. Make a well in flour and pour in all of the liquid, reserving a little for the glaze. Mix into a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly for a few minutes. Press into a round. Place onto a greased baking tray. Brush with leftover milk and water mixture and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese. Bake 25 minutes. Serve sliced with butter or olive oil if desired. (This recipe came from food.com.)
Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding is originally a British dessert, but it is quite popular in Australia as well. It is a moist cake topped with a caramel-like sauce. Yum!

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

40 min

55 min

8

Ingredients

  • CAKE:
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (or a scant 1 1/2 cups of flour plus 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder)
  • TOFFEE SAUCE:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup low-fat whipping cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (for serving) (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large glass bowl, combine dates and baking soda. Pour boiling water on top and set aside. In a separate bowl cream butter and sugar until pale, and then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently fold in flour and date mixture, and pour into a lightly buttered 7" or 8" square or round cake pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes clean. Meanwhile, combine sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and butter in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes, stirring constantly. (When making this, we poked holes in the cake with a skewer as soon as it came out of the oven and poured the toffee sauce over the hot cake.) Otherwise, you can set aside the sauce until ready to serve and then quickly reheat it when needed. Cut the pudding into squares and place each square in the centre of a warm dinner plate. Pour hot toffee sauce over each square and serve with whipped cream, Cool Whip, or vanilla ice cream. (This recipe came from food.com.)

Read a book about Australia

a-is-for-australia

Make & decorate a didgeridoo

A didgeridoo is a long tubular wooden musical instrument used by the Aborigines. Make & decorate one using a cardboard tube by following the directions at dltk-kids.com or create the aboriginal dot art as described at dltk.kids.com. Find even more great activity ideas at activityvillage.co.uk/.

(Photo Credit: dltk-kids.com)

Pray for the people of Australia

To find out about the religious nature of Australia and specific ways you can pray for the country, go to http://www.operationworld.org/country/aust/owtext.html .

Flag of Australia

Flag of Australia

The flag of Australia

Print and color the flag of Australia and learn the history and meaning of it from http://en.wikipedia.org/.

Visiting Australia on YouTube

Where is Canberra, the capital of Australia?

Other countries starting with the letter A

Would you prefer to study a different country? Try one of these.

Afghanistan

Aland

Albania

Algeria

American Samoa

Andorra

Angola

Anguilla

Antigua and Barbuda

Argentina

Armenia

Aruba

Austria

Azerbaijan

a-is-for-australia

Go to Around the World in 26 Letters to find links to all the countries we "visited." Each webpage features a menu, craft, books, video clips, worksheets, and more!

© 2011 Shannon

Comments, questions, or ideas? - I LOVE hearing from you! Please leave a note to let me know you dropped by!

Michelle on December 13, 2019:

The bad news is that Australians say “prawn” and not “shrimp”. I believe that line was made for the Crocodile Dundee film and isn’t too accurate.

-Former Australian Resident

Shannon (author) from Florida on February 18, 2015:

Thank you for visiting!

Blackspaniel1 on February 16, 2015:

Interesting. we also eat shrimp, and sometimes they are grilled. I wanted them to jump off the page and eat them. Nice hub.

Shannon (author) from Florida on September 04, 2012:

@theallin1writer: Thank you!

theallin1writer on September 03, 2012:

Nice lens :)

dessertlover on December 22, 2011:

This is a wonderful lens! I could see why kids would love this idea, even I learned something :)

Shannon (author) from Florida on November 26, 2011:

@PaulaMorgan: Thank you for the tip! I updated that on my page.

Paula Morgan from Sydney Australia on November 24, 2011:

Great page but just one tip - we don't call women "Shelias" not since the 1950s anyway ;)

tcorbs on November 22, 2011:

Australia is one of my favorite countries! I think it's great that you're homeschooling your children, and with 5 I would expect it's very challenging. Great lens.

HubLens Admin on November 19, 2011:

From geography, books, music to food, this is a lens that teaches interesting aspects about Australia with creative approach. A+++ & thumbs up -

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on November 16, 2011:

What a clever idea, not only for a learning course for classroom and home schooling, but educational for everyone who reads this page. We 'almost' moved to Australia once and we did a lot of research in preparation for it. Enjoyed my mini-tour here.

MyDestination on November 07, 2011:

Awesome lens! Really want to go Australia

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