Primary history: historical inquiry - interpreting and analysing historical documents


These seven learning activities focus on interpreting and analysing historical documents using a variety of tools (software) and devices (hardware), and illustrate the ways in which content, pedagogy and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. In the activities, teachers assist students to comprehend the nature of a historical source, locate its provenance and context, ask questions about it, distinguish between the claims it makes and the assumptions and values that give it its present shape, and compare it with competing sources.

Educational value

  • These are valuable resources for teachers of students in years F-6 who are looking for teaching and learning activities that are pedagogically sound, address the Australian Curriculum in history, and use tools (software) and devices (hardware).
  • Each learning activity has been written to explicitly support specific strands and descriptors within the Australian Curriculum in history. In most cases an activity will cover a number of descriptors. The educational content of the activities is current and relevant to the needs of Australian teachers and students.
  • These are useful learning activities that cater for a broad range of abilities. A number of the activities are short and focused, using few resources and tools; these tend to be more teacher-centred and allow for greater teacher guidance of student learning. Other activities include more student-centred learning and incorporate a diverse set of tools; less experienced teachers undertaking these activities might benefit from a team-teaching approach.
  • The learning and teaching of the history content is supported by a focus on sound pedagogies and descriptions of the effective use of technological devices. The selection of the tools and devices reflects considerations such as accessibility and ease of implementation, as well as their relevance to content knowledge.