Picturing the past

14th March 2008 at 00:00
My collection of seaside photographs, dating from 1880 to 2000, was created to enable the children in a Year 1 class to see how the seaside has changed over the past 100 years.

This links together with the QCA history topic: "What were seaside holidays like in the past?"

History can be a difficult subject to teach to young children. Some refer to last week as the past or "the olden days". They often talk about teachers being "ancient". They find it hard to think back beyond their own childhood without a stimulus, and a visual image is often a good way to help with this.

This resource allows children to see the past for themselves, enabling them to travel to another era and dip their toes into virtual rock pools.

Visually this resource provides them with evidence to tap into their imaginations. It gives them cues, while allowing them to investigate the past, and it becomes a starting point for their own investigation.

It can be used as a window into the past, allowing children to see what holidays were like when their parents and grandparents went to the seaside.

It's great to get the children talking and using vocabulary related to this history topic. It can be a stimulus for writing a postcard to friends and family, or motivation for role-play and for comparisons to their own holidays.

The children could identify similarities and differences between the pictures and order them in a timeline.

Finally, the photographs can be used as a mind-map at the start of the topic. The children can then decide the direction their learning might take, and the teacher can alter the objectives of the lesson accordingly.

Kate Hunt is a teaching assistant at St Cecilia's Primary School in Sutton.

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