Changing technology: Get your ice cream!

Topic: The past in the present
Learning Activity
Schools & Teachers
Stage 1
History: Years 1 & 2
Students consider the impacts of changing technology over time by examining photographs related to ice cream.

Key inquiry question #1

How have changes in technology shaped our daily life?

Learning Intention

We are learning to:

  • use historical sources to find out how technology has changed over time.

Success criteria

What I'm looking for:

  • I can explain how changing technology shows that life in the present is different from or similar to the past.

Student Activities

Get your ice cream

Students explore sources to identify changing forms of transport used to deliver ice cream.

Number of set tasks:

NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum History K-10

A student:

  • HT1-3 describes the effects of changing technology on people's lives over time


Comprehension: chronology, terms and concepts

  • sequence familiar objects and events (ACHHS031, ACHHS047)
  • distinguish between the past, present and future (ACHHS032, ACHHS048)

Use of sources

  • explore a range of sources about the past (ACHHS034, ACHHS050)
  • identify and compare features of objects from the past and present (ACHHS035, ACHHS051)


  • explore a point of view within an historical concept (ACHHS036, ACHHS052)


  • Pose questions about the past using sources provided (ACHHS033, ACHHS049)

Explanation and communication

  • use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written, role play) and digital technologies (ACHHS038, ACHHS054)
  • Continuity and change: some things change over time and others remain the same
  • Cause and effect: events, decisions or developments in the past that produce later actions, results or effects
  • Empathetic understanding: developing an understanding of another’s views, life and decisions made

Learning across the curriculum

  • Literacy

The impact of changing technology on people's lives (ACHHK046)


  • identify examples of changing technologies in their home or community 
  • discuss the similarities and differences of technology from the past through a range of sources and sequence them over time
  • use a range of communication forms to explain how one example of changing technology affected people's lives 

Additional resources

Task 3

The advertisement for Harris Scarfe's Special Ice Chest appeared in The Mail (1932, October 29), p. 4 (Magazine Section).  Thsi can be accessed via Trove

Detailed information about the how ice was delivered in Australia can be found at the Dictionary of Sydney article, Sydney's First Ice