Teaching Stage 1 History: The Past in the Present

This resource was developed by Dr Jennifer Lawless, State Library of NSW Fellow 2016.

Overview

In Stage 1, The Past in the Present provides a study of the history of their local area, examining the remains of the past and why they should be preserved.

The following are teaching ideas for this stage that incorporate skills and concepts, using sources from the State Library of NSW’s teaching and learning collection. The teaching ideas are not in any sequence. Teachers should choose those that are suitable for their class and integrate them into their program where relevant.

Syllabus Links

  • What aspects of the past can you see today?
  • What do they tell us?
  • What remains of the past are important to the local community? Why?
  • How have changes in technology shaped our daily life?

HT-1-2: identifies and describes significant people, events, places and sites in the local community over time

HT-1-3: describes the effects of changing technology on people’s lives over time.

HT-1-4: demonstrates skills of historical inquiry and communication.

Throughout the content, the relevant historical skills and concepts should be taught. The skills and concepts of Perspectives and Empathetic understanding have been integrated.

History Skills: How Can We Integrate Them?

Comprehension: chronology, terms & concepts

  • Discuss and recount stories of family and local history
  • Sequence familiar objects and events
  • Distinguish between the past, present and future.

Students:

  • examine a large local map showing clearly the local original Aboriginal clan or group and the teacher pinpoint where the school is located and any major historical sites.
  • discuss the oldest building, monument or site in the local area. Perhaps the teacher shows photographs of local sites and questions whether students can identify them.
  • recount stories from parents and grandparents about their lives in the local area. What has changed and what remains the same?
  • examine photographs and images from the local area and discuss using historical terms such as then and now, in the past,  a long time ago...
  • discuss the purpose of a simple timeline showing the history of their local area. Students illustrate the timeline.

Links to Library Learning Sequences:

Analysis and Use of Sources

Explore and use a range of sources about the past

  • Identify and compare features of objects from the past and present.

Students:

  • examine a range of photographs from the local area and discuss similarities and differences from today.
  • look carefully at chosen objects that illustrate technology, draw them and discuss what they may have been used for and what might be used today in their place.
  • sequence simple objects from photos from the oldest to the most recent  eg irons, telephones.

Links to Library Learning Sequences:

Perspectives and Interpretations (Skill & Concept)

People from the past (or present) will have different views shaped by their experiences.

  • Explore a point of view within an historical context
  • Different points of view about a significant person or site in the local area.

Students:

  • discuss a local historical site that may be demolished or removed and be aware that people’s views differ about it.

Links to Library Learning Sequences:

Empathetic Understanding (Skill & Concept)

Students develop an understanding of another’s views, life and decisions made.

  • Recognize that people in the local community may have lived differently in the past – and decisions they may have made.

Students:

  • listen to the story of a local guest speaker explaining how their past family lived (a local Aboriginal speaker would be very relevant here).
  • choose a figure from an historical photograph of the local area and pose questions they would ask that character about their life. What answer may that character provide?

Links to Library Learning Sequences:

Research

  • Pose questions about the past using sources provided.

Students:

  • choose a local historical building or monument (eg a war memorial), draw it  and explain why it should be conserved for future generations. Why is it important?

Links to Library Learning Sequences:

Explanation and Communication

Develop a narrative about the past

  • Use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written, role play) and digital technologies.

Students:

  • examine a photograph of past life in the local area (eg a streetscape) and explain how life appears to be different and similar to today referring to specific  evidence from the photo.
  • choose one example of changing technology over time and role play the differences between then and now. The class must guess what is being shown.

Links to Library Learning Sequences:

Historical Concepts: How Can We Integrate Them?

Continuity and Change

This concept refers to either change over time or how developments remained much the same.

  • Aspects in the local community that have changed or remained the same overtime.

Students:

  • refer to a range of photographs of the local area from the past and discuss how they are similar or different from today. What are the clues in the photographs that suggest they are from the past?
  • discuss the ‘oldest’ buildings/monuments/objects that they see in their local area. Have they changed over time? Why are they still there?
  • participate in a ‘heritage walk’ around the local area drawing the ‘oldest’ feature they see.

Links to Library Learning Sequences:

Cause and effect

Students can develop an understanding of reasons why events or developments in the past produced later actions, results or effects.

  • How everyday life has changed over time.

Students:

  • examine photographs of the local area from the past and discuss how life has changed or remained the same. What has caused the changes? eg developments in technology such as in transport, communication.

Links to Library Learning Sequences:

Significance

The importance of an event, development or individual/group.

  • An important or significant event, site or development in the local area.

Students:

  • discuss the most important older building or site they observed in their heritage walk and consider why they are important.

Links to Library Learning Sequences:

State Library of NSW Learning Sequences and Resources

Games Children Play

Students learn about the impact of changing technology on people’s lives.

 

Anzac War Memorial Sydney

Students explore, recognize & appreciate the history of their local area by examining remains of the past and consider why.

 

Holidays, Past and Present

Students learn about similarities and differences in family life by comparing the present with the past.

 

Get Your Icecream

Students explore, recognize and appreciate the history of their local area.

 

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Students explore, recognize and appreciate the history of their local area.

 

Flying into History

Students explore, recognize and appreciate the history of their local area.