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What is this?

A resource for building historical skills - Foundation Year

'What is this?' is designed to inspire young students to engage in historical inquiry, and to cultivate their historical literacy and skills.

It aligns with the Australian Curriculum: History for students in Foundation Year and includes a 15-minute video to introduce teachers to the inquiry-learning approach used in the resource.

  • Explore the different structures of families and family groups today, and what they have in common - Link opens in a new website.ACHHK002.
  • Explore how the stories of families and the past can be communicated, for example through photographs, artefacts, books, oral histories, digital media, and museums - Link opens in a new website.ACHHK004.
  • Distinguish between the past, present and future - Link opens in a new website.ACHH016.
  • Pose questions about the past using sources provided - Link opens in a new website.ACHHS017.
  • Explore a range of sources about the past - Link opens in a new website.ACHHS018.
  • Identify and compare features of objects from the past and present - Link opens in a new website.ACHHS019.
  • Explore a point of view - Link opens in a new website.ACHHS020.
  • Use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written, role play) and digital technologies - Link opens in a new website.ACHHS022.

What is this? Six historical objects

At the core of this resource is a set of six short videos to use in the classroom. Each one invites students to explore a different historical object. Having watched a video, students can undertake the suggested learning activities to help develop their skills of:

  • observation and sequencing
  • contextualisation and research
  • empathy and speculation


We hope this resource makes teaching and learning history easy and fun. Let us know how it works for you and your students  we welcome your feedback.

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The curriculum links in this resource are drawn from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Australian Curriculum: History website.