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A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum

Investigating History

A two-hour on site program for students led by National Museum of Australia staff and linked to the Australian Curriculum.

A school student looking at a Museum display.

Inquiry questions, perspectives, source analysis and chronology are all essential skills for historians. Students identify and develop a range of historical skills and creatively report their findings, understanding and conclusions using information and communications technology.


  • Challenge students to investigate the reliability of a variety of primary and secondary source types
  • Provide students with the opportunity to construct chronologies and narratives using ICT
  • Enable students to explore and interpret how historical sources are used in the exhibition A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum.


Introductory activity
Students work initially as a whole group and then in small groups to identify and analyse primary and secondary sources. Through object handling, they consider how sources can tell histories and represent different perspectives.

Gallery activity
Working in groups, students explore A History of the World in 100 Objects. They record what sources are used and how they are used, and identify significant inquiry questions before making a digital response that creatively demonstrates their understanding.

Students share with the class the objects and stories they focused on and contextualise these investigations chronologically. Students are asked to consider the ways in which history is recorded and how perspective and personal histories are embedded in historical stories.

Curriculum links

pdf Australian curriculum links for Investigating History (PDF 69kb)

Book a school visit

Program: Investigating History
Years: 5–10
Group size:
40 students (two groups can run concurrently)
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $6 per student
Availability: Tuesday to Friday at 10am and 1pm
Other times may be available for local schools

Book a school visit

More on planning a school visit

Print a 3-D rhinoceros

Print an A4 version of Dürer’s ‘Rhinoceros’ (PDF 1.95mb)

A woodcut print on paper depicting a rhinoceros.
Rhinoceros, by Albrecht Dürer, woodcut print on paper, 1515 CE, Germany. © Trustees of the British Museum.

Classroom activity

Engage your class in A History of the World in 100 Objects with your very own 3-D printable Indian rhinoceros.

Inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s Rhinoceros woodcut, this printable rhino is a great hook into the exhibition. Dürer’s woodcut depicts an Indian rhinoceros, though he had never seen one in the flesh.

Print a 3-D rhinoceros (.stl in zip file 119mb)

Print an A4 version of Dürer’s ‘Rhinoceros’ (PDF 1.95mb)

Compare the Dürer print to the 3-D printed rhino

  • How is the 3-D model similar to the print?
  • How accurate is Dürer’s depiction of the rhinoceros?
  • How would you describe a rhinoceros to someone who had never seen one before?

The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum, the Western Australian Museum and the National Museum of Australia.