Year 2

History Support Materials

History snapshot: Posing questions about the past

History/Historical Skills/Historical questions and research

Content DescriptionRelevant aspects of the Achievement Standards

Pose questions about the past using sources provided (ACHHS049)

Students pose questions about the past and use sources provided (physical, visual, oral) to answer these questions.

Nature of the assessment

Class activity and teacher observation

Purpose of the assessment

To observe students' ability to pose questions about the past using sources provided

Stage in the teaching sequence

Start of a teaching cycle to check prior understanding.

Assessment task

The teacher decided to start a series of lessons about the history of the school by assessing students' ability to pose questions about the past. As an original classroom had been preserved on the school site, the teacher planned to use the classroom to investigate the past. She asked the students what they saw, what they thought about the classroom, why they thought that and what they wondered about the classroom.

The class returned to their classroom. The teacher projected an image of the classroom. She re-ran the discussion, this time recording the students' responses and scaffolding where appropriate. Where a student could offer an answer to an 'I wonder' statement the teacher rewrote it as an 'I think' statement.

I see
I think
I wonder
I see it is small.
I see it is made of wood.
I see it has a chimney.
I see it has a small door.
I see the windows are quite high up.
I see the roof is made of tin.
I think the children didn't come to school by car because my grandfather said all children used to walk to school.
I think the fence is new because I saw it being built.
I think the trees have been there a long time because they are big.
I wonder if there were other classrooms.
I wonder where the children played.
I wonder why they had a chimney.
I wonder if the children learnt the same things that we learn.

Using the information

The teacher ascertained that most students were able to have a go at posing questions. She kept a record of those students who seemed to struggle with the task. She decided to proceed with the next lesson as planned where students would look at past photographs of the school and the students would use an enquiry question cube (Who? What? Where? How?) to generate a range of questions. In addition she planned to work more closely with those students who had struggled to pose questions and give them more scaffolded support in posing questions.