Prep Year unit overview — Australian Curriculum: History
Source: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Australian Curriculum v3.0: History for Foundation–10, .
Duration of unit
Exploring my family history
The Foundation curriculum provides a study of personal and family histories. Children learn about their own history and that of their family; this may include stories from different cultures and other parts of the world. As participants in their own history, children build on their knowledge and understanding of how the past is different from the present.
This unit begins using literature as a source to explicitly develop children’s personal understanding of who the people in their family are and how they are related. As the children’s knowledge of family develops the unit focus moves to the differences and commonalities of families.
There is a strong focus in this unit on the use of the historical skills. The children will explicitly focus on:
sequencing significant family information
using simple historical terms related to the past, present and future
posing questions about the past
exploring a range of sources
identifying and comparing sources
exploring a point of view by
developing an oral narrative supported by pictures or photographs
explaining and communicating in a range of forms, including digital technologies.
Learning opportunities in this unit are collaboratively developed between children and adults. Learning is embedded within each learning context and uses intentional teaching practices to make learning explicit, challenge children to consider new ideas, test current thinking and develop deeper understandings.
The unit uses focused teaching and learningandinvestigations as the main contexts for learning however multiple opportunities to extend learning and gather evidence of learning will be found by incorporating historical understanding and skills into the remaining learning contexts: play, real-life situations, routines and teachable moments.
Discover who they are and where they fit into their family. Work with partners and within small groups using collaborative strategies, such as taking turns
Describe aspects of their personal identity (for example describing place/role in family)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
Explore sense of identity through the interconnected aspects of Country/Place
Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
Explore the importance of family in peoples from Asia
This unit provides opportunities for children to develop historical understandings particularly focussed on the key concepts of:
☒ Continuity and change
Continuities are aspects of the past that have remained the same over certain periods of time. Changes are events or developments from the past that represent modifications, alterations and transformations.
☒ Cause and effect
The relationship between a factor or set of factors (cause/s) and consequence/s (effect/s). These form sequences of events and developments over time.
A point of view or position from which events are seen and understood, and influenced by age, gender, culture, social position and beliefs and values.
An understanding of the past from the point of view of the participant/s, including an appreciation of the circumstances faced, and the motivations, values and attitudes behind actions.
The importance that is assigned to particular aspects of the past, such as events, developments, movements and historical sites, and includes an examination of the principles behind the selection of what should be investigated and remembered.
By the end of the Foundation year, students identify similarities and differences between families. They recognise how important family events are commemorated.
Students sequence familiar events in order. They pose questions about their past. Students relate a story about their past using a range of texts.
Relevant prior curriculum
Curriculum working towards
Queensland kindergarten learning guideline
Identity key focus: Building a confident self-identity
Knowledge, skills and dispositions
Teachers promote the following aspects of children’s learning:
pride and confidence in “who they are” as a member of their family, community and place, that is, their environment
confidence to share experiences, feelings and ideas
Year 1 Australian Curriculum: History
Present and Past Family Life
Historical Knowledge and Understanding
Differences in family structures and roles today, and how these have changed or remained the same over time (ACHHK028)
How the present, past and future are signified by terms indicating time such as ‘a long time ago’, ‘then and now’, ‘now and then’, ‘old and new’, ‘tomorrow’, as well as by dates and changes that may have personal significance, such as birthdays, celebrations and seasons (ACHHK029)
Chronology, terms and concepts
Sequence familiar objects and events (ACHHS031)
Distinguish between the past, present and future (ACHHS032)
Historical questions and research
Pose questions about the past using sources provided (ACHHS033)
Explore a range of sources about the past (ACHHS034)
Perspectives and interpretations
Explore a point of view (ACHHS036)
Explanation and communication
Use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written, role play) and digital technologies (ACHHS038)
Both the Australian Curriculum: History and The Early Years Curriculum Guidelines emphasise the development of inquiry skills and build children’s capacity with the key concepts for developing historical understandings.
Early Years Curriculum Guidelines
Using the five contexts for learning and the eight guiding principles of practice, teachers create teaching and learning opportunities that may include:
thinking and enquiring by generating and investigating ideas about family and structures of family
developing a sense of personal identity
investigating and communicating positively about family and family structures
Links to other learning areas
In the Australian Curriculum: English Prep (Foundation level)
Explore how language is used differently at home and school depending on the relationships between people (ACELA1428)
Understand the use of vocabulary in familiar contexts related to everyday experiences, personal interests and topics taught at school (ACELA1437)
Recognise that texts are created by authors who tell stories and share experiences that may be similar or different to students’ own experiences (ACELT1575)
Share feelings and thoughts about the events and characters in texts (ACELT1783)
Retell familiar literary texts through performance, use of illustrations and images (ACELT1580)
Listen to and respond orally to texts and to the communication of others in informal and structured classroom situations (ACELY1646)
Use comprehension strategies to understand and discuss texts listened to, viewed or read independently (ACELY1650)
In the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics Prep (Foundation level)
Answer yes/no questions to collect information (ACMSP011)
Compare and order the duration of events using the everyday language of time (ACMMG007)
Connect days of the week to familiar events and actions (ACMMG008)
In the Australian Curriculum: Science Prep (Foundation level)
Respond to questions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS014)
Share observations and ideas (ACSIS012)
Describe the assessment
In this unit learning is documented using:
observation across contexts for learning
a history journal “Family Stories”
a contextualised assessment task
Each contributes to an assessment folio that is used when making an on-balance judgment against the achievement standard for the purposes of reporting.
Teachers gather evidence to make judgments against about the following characteristics of children’s work:
Identification or description of similarities and differences between their own and other families
Distinguishing between the past and present using terms to denote time
Use of questioning about familiar artefacts in relation to personal and family histories
Communication of stories relevant to personal histories using a variety of texts
For further advice and guidelines on constructing guides to making judgments refer to the Learning area standard descriptors: www.qsa.qld.edu.au
Children are given opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding through a range of assessments. The assessment is collated in folios and allows for ongoing feedback to children on their learning.
Prep teachers make decisions about the length of time required to complete the tasks and the conditions under which the assessment is to be conducted.
The teaching and learning experiences throughout the unit provide opportunities for children to develop the understanding and skills required to complete these assessments. As children engage with these learning experiences, the teacher can provide feedback on specific skills.
The sequence of teaching and learning provides opportunities to gather evidence of children’s learning in a variety of contexts for learning over time. The evidence may provide teachers with valuable additional information to:
monitor children’s growing use of historical understandings and skills
determine future directions for teaching and learning with children
assist in making on-balance judgments on a folio of work when reporting.
Guided research: Presentation (Multimodal)
The purpose of this assessment is to make judgments about children’s abilities to research and draw conclusions about family structures including their differences and commonalities.In the assessment technique “guided research”, teachers and children collaborate to gather and record information.
Setting the scene for the contextualised assessment:
In preceding weeks children have built an understanding of their own family and documented their evidence of learning in a history journal “Family Stories”.
Children and teachers collaborate to construct an imaginary example of a family to use in a game. They build the example families using digital or other media. They develop a wide range of icons or visual representations of possible family members to draw on when developing versions of the imagined families.
Teachers provide explicit modelling and multiple opportunities for children to build their own examples of imagined families.
Teachers and children engage in a game, Guess who’s in the family, to generate questions and answer responses to identify the structure of the family.
Within a group activity or teacher/child game, children engage in the Guess who’s in the family game. The children demonstrate their understanding of family difference and commonality as they engage in the game. Children respond orally to teacher-prepared questions and pose personal questions to communicate the structure of their selected family. Teacher questions target:
the identification of similarities and differences between families
pose questions using sources provided
using historical terms indicating past, present and future, e.g. then now yesterday today tomorrow.
Across Prep–Year 2 there are several contexts for learning. The context Focused teaching and learning and investigations is an explicit focus in History.
In socio-dramatic play spaces teachers provide opportunities for children to explore family and family membership.
In exploratory play teachers may provide source materials (family photos) for children to explore and discuss.
In manipulative play teachers may provide puzzles and manipulative materials that reinforce family membership and sequencing.
In games with rules teachers introduce understandings of family structures and membership. Teachers and children collaborate to develop and play a barrier game.
Teachers make opportunities to share children’s own view of family through short presentations, e.g. My family show and tell sessions.
Teachers use sequencing of family as a concept in transition games.
Context: Real-life situations
Teachers invite guests into the classroom to talk about family.
Teachers use their own family as a context for discussion.
Teachers use informal opportunities with parents and caregivers at pick up and drop off times to build understandings of children’s family context.
Context: Teachable moment
Teachers take opportunities to respond to the interests and experiences of individual children, small groups or the whole class in relation to understandings of children’s own family and family structure.
Section 6 of the Disability Standards for Education (The Standards for Curriculum Development, Accreditation and Delivery) states that education providers, including class teachers, must take reasonable steps to ensure a course/program is designed to allow any child to participate and experience success in learning.
The Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cwlth) is available from: select Human rights and anti-discrimination > Disability standards for education.
resources that cater for diversity, e.g. a range of texts
a range of games and puzzles
family people props for use with block, socio dramatic play and focused teaching sessions
software resources related to family and family structure
Context: Focused teaching and learning and investigations
Each focused teaching and learning experience should be covered in the two session format shown below giving children opportunities to build, revisit and contextualise understandings. The learning experiences use literature as a source to explicitly develop children’s understanding of the past, present and future and extend the use of the historical skills.
Complete shared focus reading of a story book as a discussion stimulus.
Personalise or contextualise the story for the children.
Provide an explicit explanation of a focus historical skill in relation to the story.
Discuss the focus skill in relation to the child and or the story.
Reread the story from session 1 or another on the same topic.
Revisit and use the focus skill.
Make an at home or in class journal entry or an activity in relation to the skill and in the context of family. Children use a “Family Stories” history journal. Journal entries could be written/scribed, drawn, digital, annotated or labelled diagrams, spoken/signed explanations or multimodal and can be developed collaboratively with peers, adults and family members.
Family stories (week 3–12)
Content: Who is in my family
Select a story with a focus on family. Share and discuss who is in families. Explain and contextualise the skill of sequencing and ordering within the story, e.g. Who are the members of the family? Who was first in the story?
Reread, revisit and use the focus skill and complete a guided journal entry demonstrating children’s family members in a sequential order.
Content: Family members are related to each other
Skill: Posing questions about the past
Select a story with a focus on family members. Share and discuss relationships of family members, e.g. grandparents, sisters, mothers, brothers.
Explain and contextualise the skill of posing questions, e.g. What is a Grandad? What do we call Mummy’s Daddy? Can we find more people in Mummy’s family?
Reread, revisit and use the focus skill and complete a guided drawing or annotate a photo showing family relationships, e.g. annotate a photo of the child with their grandfather/brother/uncle.
Example of text suited to focus: Gravois, J.M. 1994, Quickly Quigley, ABC/The All Children’s Co., London.
Example of text suited to focus: Lester, A. 2006, When Frank was Four, Hodder Headline, Australia.
Content: Family past present and future
Skill: Using historical terms
Select a story with a focus on a family changing over time. Share and discuss to find out about the past, present and future. Explain and contextualise the use of terms to show past present and future.
Reread, revisit and use the focus skill and complete a guided drawing showing: the child when a baby in the past, the child now, and the child in the future when grown up. Use the drawings for a class mural.
Content: Family stories
Skills: Explore a point of view
Select a story with a focus on a story from a particular member. Share and discuss to find out about how other people may have thought about the past. Explain and contextualise the skill of exploring a point of view.
Reread, revisit and use the focus skill, journal entry as appropriate.
Content: Where does my family come from?
Skills: Identify and compare
Select a story with a focus on families coming from different places or a new arrival in the family. Share and discuss to find out where children were born and raised. Explain and contextualise the skill of identifying and comparing.
Reread, revisit and use the focus skill. Invite a guest in to talk about their family origin. Create a journal entry as appropriate.
Example of text suited to focus: England, K. 2007, Grandfather’s wrinkles, Flashlight Press, USA.
Example of texts suited to focus: Khanduri, K. 2003, Toys (What Was it Like in the Past?), Heinemann Library, USA.
Dr Seuss and LeSieg, T. 2010, Come over to my house, HarperCollins Publishers, Australia.
Example of text suited to focus: Parr, T. 2003, The family book, Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom.
All families are different (week 13–17)
Content: The differences and commonalities of families and family groups
Skill: Explaining and communicating
Teacher takes opportunities to share and model a retell of the past based on their own or a community member’s family story. In this session the teacher demonstrates the use of sources and sequence. Teachers use their model to make explicit connection to the differing structures of families and family groups today and focus on the skill of explanation and communication.
Children and teachers collaborate to construct an imaginary example family for use with the class using digital or other media. They develop a wide range of icons or visual representations of possible family members to draw on when developing versions of imagined families. Teachers provide explicit modelling and multiple opportunities for children to build their own examples of imagined families drawing from the range of visual representations developed by the class. This forms the basis for a game Guess who’s in the family.
Teachers meet to collaboratively plan the teaching, learning and assessment to meet the needs of all learners in each unit.
Teachers create opportunities for discussion about levels of achievement to develop shared understandings; co-mark or cross mark at key points to ensure consistency of judgments; and participate in moderating samples of student work at school or cluster level to reach consensus and consistency.
Feedback to students
Teachers strategically plan opportunities and ways to provide ongoing feedback (both written and informal) and encouragement to children on their strengths and areas for improvement.
Children reflect on and discuss with their teachers or peers what they can do well and what they need to improve.
Teachers reflect on and review learning opportunities to incorporate specific learning experiences and provide multiple opportunities for children to experience, practise and improve.
Reflection on the unit plan
Identify what worked well during and at the end of the unit, including:
activities that worked well and why
activities that could be improved and how
assessment that worked well and why
assessment that could be improved and how
common student misconceptions that need, or needed, to be clarified.