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Feeding the family - video transcript

Upbeat music plays over a series of images. A black and white photo of a nineteenth century family on a picnic, a milk bottle, a painting of a picnic, a promotional poster for milk, a 1930’s kitchen and 1970’s kitchen. The text ‘Feeding the Family’ appears over the images and then dissolves to the presenter who is on the left side of the screen. Next to her is the text ‘Angela Casey, Educator, National Museum of Australia’.

ANGELA: Hi, I’m Angela Casey from the National Museum of Australia. Welcome to the Teacher Support video for the ‘Feeding the Family’ resource. This has been devised to help teachers introduce Year 1 and 2 students to the key historical skills in the Australian Curriculum: History.

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Heading: Feeding the Family

Dot point: Picnic set

Dot point: Kitchen set

Dot point: Milk set)

ANGELA: The ‘Feeding the Family’ resource is comprised of three image sets each containing three activities designed to develop a student’s ability to empathise and speculate, research and contextualise, and observe and sequence.

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Activity 1: Empathise and speculate

Activity 2: Research and conceptualise, Activity 3: Observe and sequence)

ANGELA: A strong focus of these activities, and central to the successful teaching of the new History curriculum, is ‘inquiry learning’.

(Text appears on the right side of the screen: Inquiry Learning)

ANGELA: Inquiry learning, put simply, is a student-centred approach to education and differs from other learning styles in its focus on questioning.

Encouraging students to raise questions about historical sources plays a big part in the development of the required Year 1 and 2 historical skills.

Inquiry learning is based on sound research and evidence, and if you’re interested in finding out more about its methodology and how it is being implemented across a range of curriculum areas, this link will point you in the right direction.

(Text appears on the right side of the screen: www.nma.gov.au/resources)

ANGELA: So, where do you fit in to this? The teacher’s role in an inquiry learning classroom is to facilitate the students’ discovery of historical knowledge and understanding for themselves.

How does this all work in practice, then? Let’s look at some of the common characteristics of inquiry used within the nine activities, and identify the historical skills covered.

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Heading: Common Characteristics of Inquiry)

ANGELA: Naturally, any time spent in the classroom is student-centred, but how does that relate specifically to the process of historical inquiry?

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Heading: Common Characteristics of Inquiry

Sub Heading: Student-centred and directed

Dot point: Students to ask questions

Dot point: Initiated by teacher’s leading questions)

ANGELA: Students may not always be forthcoming with lists of questions, so have a few leading questions up your sleeve to get them thinking.

(A graphical box appears on the right side of the screen where Images are shown of National Museum of Australia website pages containing education resources.)

ANGELA: When you look at the individual activities, especially the ones focusing on empathy and speculation, you’ll notice that students are asked to consider, for example, whether picnics are the same across the world. This activity, in itself, will prompt questions within the group as they speculate and discuss their ideas.

(The graphical box’s images change to: a milk promotion poster with cows on the left and a family at a picnic on the right and the text ‘Milk. More Drink More’. This dissolves to an empty glass milk bottle.)

ANGELA: The small group activity for the milk image set has students undertaking a health promotion project.

ANGELA: Students will need to discuss aspects of a health promotion campaign of the past – a discussion which is prompted by leading questions like, ‘What actions could people take to improve their health?’ for example.

ANGELA: In preparation for any of the activities that involve students interviewing parents or grandparents, you may want to spend some time helping them develop a list of appropriate questions.

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Heading: Common Characteristics of Inquiry

Dot point: Student-centred and directed

Dot point: Emphasise process and skills development)

ANGELA: The next characteristic we’ll look at is emphasise process and skills development. There are several components that we want to focus on here, such as chronology, terms and concepts.

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Heading: Emphasise Process and Skills Development

Dot point: Chronology, terms and concepts)

ANGELA: Put simply, this involves introducing terms like, ‘then’, ‘now’, ‘years ago’, ‘generations’ and ‘in the future’ and so forth. Terms that help develop a concept of time and that identify a vocabulary of the past.

(The graphical box reappears on the right side of the screen. It contains images of kitchens from two historical periods:

  • a black and white image showing a table in the foreground, and a free-standing cupboard and wood-fired stove in an alcove in the background
  • a modernist and minimalist kitchen with sleek benches and a built in gas or electric stove.)

ANGELA: In the activities for the kitchen image set, for example, students are asked to observe different types of kitchen appliances. They may discover that a ‘mincer’, for instance, has been replaced by a more modern equivalent with a different name.

ANGELA: Using correct terms to indicate the places where historical sources are kept is vital too. Another activity that uses the milk image set, for example, refers to a letter sent to the Prime Minister in 1943, a file held at the ‘National Archives’.

Similarly, the content of the image sets come from sources like the ‘State Library of Western Australia’ or the ‘Powerhouse Museum’.

Sequencing familiar objects and events is another historical skill required by the new curriculum. When looking at the kitchen image set, students will create a timeline for the different images to develop a sense of how kitchens have changed over the years.

This requires students to observe and compare the objects within these images, making determinations about their age. Developing a concept of change through speculation is also featured here, as students are asked to imagine a kitchen of the future.

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Heading: Emphasise Process and Skills Development

Dot point: Chronology, terms and concepts

Dot point: Historical questions and research)

ANGELA: Historical questions and research help to provide students with a context in which to develop their understanding.

ANGELA: This can be as straightforward as structuring questions using appropriate verb tenses. ‘Were kitchens the same when your parents were young?’, for example. Or, ‘Did your parents ever have milk home-delivered?’

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Heading: Emphasise Process and Skills Development

Dot point: Chronology, terms and concepts

Dot point: Historical questions and research

Dot point: Analysis and use of sources)

ANGELA: We also want to emphasise an analysis and use of sources as a means of identifying and comparing the past and present. Having students describe an object’s interesting feature is one way to begin analysing sources by noting what objects are made from, or what objects from the past may have been used for.

(The graphical box reappears on the right side of the screen. It shows images of kitchens from two historical periods:

  • a black and white image showing a table in the foreground, and a free-standing cupboard and wood-fired stove in an alcove in the background
  • a modernist and minimalist kitchen with sleek benches and a built in gas or electric stove.)

ANGELA: Students are asked to compare appliances in old and new kitchens to prompt a discussion about labour-saving: what do the modern appliances do, and how do they make work in the kitchen easier, for example?

(The graphical box reappears on the right side of the screen containing a colour painting of a picnic under trees. The women are wearing long dresses with hoop skirts and the men quite formal attire with coats and hats. The camera zooms in and pans across the image.)

ANGELA: Through close examination of the images in the Picnic image set, students will create a list of everything they see – clothing, vehicles, settings – as a means of comparing what they see with what they know of picnics in their own lives.

ANGELA: Close observation helps to develop a student’s curiosity …

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Heading: Emphasise Process and Skills Development

Dot point: Chronology, terms and concepts

Dot point: Historical questions and research

Dot point: Analysis and use of sources

Dot point: Perspectives and interpretations)

ANGELA: … and leads to the expression of different perspectives and interpretations, not just from the students themselves, but by introducing the perspectives of others, such as parents and grandparents, through oral histories.

ANGELA: In preparation for creating a ‘picnic investigation chart’, students are asked to interview their parents and grandparents, for example. They will gather and share information about the different ways that their families experienced picnics.

When students hear the stories of others, they learn to contextualise the world of the past in relation to the present – to see the bigger picture, if you like, and develop a narrative about the past.

ANGELA: Explanation and communication are two techniques that help us achieve this. Talking, drawing, playing ... essentially any activity that encourages student interaction goes a long way toward developing such narratives.

If you think back to the examples I’ve mentioned so far, you’ll find that each of the activities in this resource utilises a range of these aspects to develop your students’ historical skills.

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Heading: Emphasise Process and Skills Development

Dot point: Chronology, terms and concepts

Dot point: Historical questions and research

Dot point: Analysis and use of sources

Dot point: Perspectives and interpretations

Dot point: Explanation and communication)

ANGELA: Of course, none of the techniques or skills that help to develop good inquiry learning mentioned so far is used in isolation. An integrated approach is a hallmark of inquiry learning, and allows for flexibility in the teaching and learning experience. Good primary teachers do this all the time!

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Heading: Common Characteristics of Inquiry

Dot point: Student-centred and directed

Dot point: Emphasise process and skills development

Dot point: Conceptual vs factual)

ANGELA:

Another element of inquiry learning challenges the balance between concepts and facts.

A good understanding of history is not merely about regurgitating lists of facts and figures.

Facts, of course, are still important. But contextualising these facts helps students to develop their understanding of past cultures, peoples, ideas and their own place in the world.

(Text appears on the right side of the screen:

Heading: Conceptual vs factual

Dot point: Encourages learner interaction

Dot point: Prior knowledge

Dot point: Utilises/considers the learners’ interests

Dot point: Direct experience

Dot point: Application of ideas)

ANGELA: This relates to inquiry learning in a very practical sense and encourages learner interaction, draws upon the learner’s prior knowledge, utilises and considers the learners’ interests, their direct experiences, and finally, an application of ideas.

It sounds like a lot to take in, doesn’t it? But when you think about it, each of these concepts still relates directly to student-centred learning.

(The graphical box reappears on the right side of the screen and redisplays the images shown earlier: the milk promotional poster, a 1970s kitchen and the painting of a picnic.)

ANGELA: Take some time to have a closer look at the image sets and the associated student activities. They’ll help you, and your students, to extend the Year 1 and 2 historical skills covered in the History curriculum.

As with the examples I’ve mentioned here, each of these activities develops the students’ ability to observe, sequence, research, analyse, speculate and empathise.

Essentially, teaching history is all about engaging students and encouraging their natural curiosity about the world around them; what it was like in the past and what it’s like now.

(A screen appears on Angela’s right where a series of still images of the National Museum of Australia are shown:

  • an aerial exterior shot of the Museum
  • an image of people walking through the Museum’s courtyard – a space called the Garden of Australian Dreams
  • a little girl looking at an exhibit which has the word ‘Joy’ displayed
  • an image of gallery with an electronic map of Australia displaying the spread of feral animals in the northeast.)

ANGELA: The National Museum of Australia looks at our social history and uses objects to tell the stories of Australians from numerous walks of life, different cultures and experiences. We aim to develop the same historical skills that are the focus of the Australian Curriculum: History for Foundation level students.

(The screen appears on Angela’s right again and shows a display in the National Museum of Australia are shown:

  • first, an image of a gallery wall with a blue signs that has an image of a shirt and a set of circular and rectangular text boxes.
  • a close-up of the poster so that the heading ‘Objects reveal, represent and communicate stories’ is legible.

ANGELA: Within one of our galleries, we have an area called the Thinkspot. We use it in a number of our programs and it contains a board with several questions that help students in the development of their historical skills.

(The screen reappears on Angela’s right again and again shows the display with the shirt and text boxes, but the text is too small to read.)

ANGELA: Some of them are quite specific to the museum environment, but generally, you’ll find these types of questions helpful in your own classroom when investigating historical sources.

(A series of questions appears in text next to Angela on the right corresponding to what she is saying.)

ANGELA: What can you see? Can you describe it? What does it do? What stories can it tell us? Who might have used it? Does it have a special significance? What event or period in Australian history might it represent? How could you find out more about this story?

ANGELA: So, jump in and give the activities a go. You’ll find that they aren’t just helpful for developing historical skills, but they incorporate aspects of other curriculum areas, too.

See you later.

Upbeat music plays over a series of images. A black and white photo of a nineteenth century family on a picnic, a milk bottle, a painting of a picnic, a promotional poster for milk, a 1930’s kitchen and 1970’s kitchen. The text ‘Feeding the Family’ appears over the images and then dissolves to the a logo with the text ‘National Museum Australia’.



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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.