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Pool, The (ATOM Study Guide)

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SKU: SG1733

The Pool is a documentary series that looks at Australian identity through the prism of The Pool over two one-hour episodes.

Whether it's the backyard pool, community pools, ocean pools, Olympic pools or outback billabongs, unlike any other country Australians come together around the pool, in all its varieties, sizes and changing styles and designs.

But it's not just a hedonistic playground, or a way to get fit – beneath the surface there's a surprising and untold story about the pool as a battleground where feminism, racism and sexuality were explored, and sporting heroes born. This story is still alive and developing.

From the above-ground plastic pools that scattered Australian suburbs in the seventies – with the smell of yellow plastic floaties and the sting of chlorine in the eyes – to the number of homes today that have fancy in-ground pools … they also tell the story of our economic success.

Curriculum Links:

This series would be suitable for upper primary and secondary students from Years 5–12. It swims through Australian history, mostly over the past 100+ years as it explores and illustrates the importance of swimming pools in an island country with thousands of swimming beaches around the coast and hot and dry inland areas where rivers don't always flow and waterholes dry up as they await the rain.

For younger students, after watching an episode, they could be asked to use these stories as a stimulus for their own swimming stories.

Students of Modern Australian History and Society can engage with this story of the central role pools and swimming have played in Australia, mirroring other aspects of our history. Is it more than the weather that gives pools such a central role in many people’s lives? What do pools represent in Australia?

  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Australian History and Society
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Geography

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