chapter  3
22 Pages

Investigating activities using sources

ByPenelope Harnett, Sarah Whitehouse

This chapter presents a range of ways in which children may be encouraged to develop investigations in different contexts and through using a range of sources of information. It begins by discussing opportunities for developing creativity within historical activities and draws attention to different models of curriculum planning and organisation which may support such learning opportunities. Attention is drawn to the importance of engaging children’s interest from the outset with stimulating activities, which fire children’s imagination. Two case studies are presented. The first analyses historical learning occurring with Key Stage 1 children engaged in a history day at their local school. In particular, the chapter draws attention to the importance of play, the value of hands-on experience in handling artefacts and the use of language in enabling children to explain their ideas. Case study 2 focuses on a visit of Year 5/6 children from three local schools to the University of the West of England to investigate the experiences of children living during the Second World War. The value of using a wide range of resources is analysed, together with developing historical investigations, which draw on a range of cross-curricular skills and activities. The chapter concludes with some discussion of issues arising from the case studies, including teachers’ roles, supporting child-initiated learning and curriculum integration.