Australia: Didgeridoos, Kangaroos, & Shrimp on the Barbie
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.
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.
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.
An Australian meal
Prepare and serve Shrimp on the Barbie, "chips" (french fries), a salad (spinach leaves, diced Granny Smith apples since they 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
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.
- 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)
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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 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!
- 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)
- 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
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 .
The flag of Australia
Visiting Australia on YouTube
Where is Canberra, the capital of Australia?
Have you ever visited Australia?
Other countries starting with the letter A
Would you prefer to study a different country? Try one of these.
Antigua and Barbuda
Ready to visit other countries?
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