Please note that this video player does not yet work with IE10; use IE8, IE9, Safari, Firefox or Chrome. You can also:
Students ask questions to investigate the changing nature of children's toys and games.
Students compare the experiences of childhood from the past with their own experiences, through oral history activities.
- 3-minute video about the knucklebones
- a few sets of knucklebones, so small groups of students can play the game
- the materials and rules to play a number of games not often played by children today
Note: the games selected for play may depend on the grandparent who helps with this activity, and also on the games played by the children at school. Jacks, hopscotch, 'What's the time Mr Wolf?', skipping and marbles are some suggestions. The rules for these games and others can be found on various websites, such as Games Kids Play.
With your students, watch the video 'What is this? Knucklebones'.
- Explore how the stories of families and the past can be communicated, for example through photographs, artefacts, books, oral histories, digital media and museums - ACHHK004.
- Pose questions about the past using sources provided - ACHHS017.
- Explore a range of sources about the past - ACHHS018.
- Identify and compare features of objects from the past - ACHHS019.
- Explore a point of view - ACHHS020.
- Use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written, role play) and digital technologies - ACHHS022.
Have a class conversation about the types of games the students play today. Ask students if they know other types of games children played in the past. Ask them if they can think of games they play today that grandparents would not have played when they were children. Ask the students to draw a favourite game, either as a poster or as an annotated picture story.
2. Playing games
Review the rules of knucklebones. (A detailed explanation can be found on this Knucklebones (Jacks) web page.)
Break the class into small groups and let each group play the game.
3. Interviewing elders
Explain to students that some grandparents and older friends are going to visit the class to talk about the games they played when they were children. Talk to the grandparent/older friend helpers before they arrive, so you have an idea of the games that might be discussed. Ask the children to brainstorm some questions they would like answered by their visitors. To help students develop questions, you can prompt the whole class discussion with questions like:
- What games do you play today that were not played in the past?
- Why do you think these games weren't played in the past?
- What games do you play today do you think were played when our visitors were your age?
- What makes these games fun?
- Where did/do you play these games?
- Other than play, what else did you do when you were young?
- Did you have your own toys? Where did you keep them?
- How did you get to school?
- Was school different? What was your favourite part of school?
Go to What is this? and the teacher support video.
Go to other pages in this resource:
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.
Unless otherwise indicated (in this copyright notice or in relation to particular material on this website) you may copy, distribute, display, download and print the material on this web page for your own person use, for non-commercial education purposes or for non-commercial use within your organisation, provided that you attribute the National Museum of Australia. All other rights are reserved by the Museum. For example, you will have to obtain permission from the Museum if you wish to: (a) charge others for access to the material (other than at cost); (b) include the material in advertising or a product for sale; or (c) alter the material; unless a notice for that material provides otherwise.
The curriculum links in this resource are drawn from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Australian Curriculum: History website.