Reading Enriches Learning: History
Promoting the teaching of history
Reading Enriches Learning: History provides online student-centred activities based on a range of history-themed texts. It responds to a key recommendation of the 2006 Australian History Summit to revive the teaching of Australian history and its global, environmental and social contexts in all States and Territories, at both a primary and secondary level. The activities are designed to promote discussion of historical events in the classroom, and to help students develop curiosity, understanding and knowledge about times past and to make connections with the present. The fiction and non-fiction books have been carefully selected for a range of interests and abilities: for younger readers (years 2–4) and older readers (years 5–8).
About Reading Enriches Learning: History
History-themed literature provides an excellent way of interesting and motivating students. Well-chosen, accurate fiction and non-fiction texts allow students to travel with the author through times past, bringing the period to life. Historical texts can provide multiple perspectives of events, help students understand the complex nature of issues in history, and guide them in relating their own experiences today to times past.
Although the books selected for Reading Enriches Learning: History have been organised into categories for younger readers and older readers, teachers may choose to use and adapt the activities in either category to suit their student group, or a particular area of interest or need.
Building literacy and historical literacy skills
The activities in this online collection have been organised to focus on specific literacy and historical literacy outcomes. Each book in the collection features activities that cover a number of the following categories:
- Responding to text – focusing on aspects of plot, setting, character and language
- Responding to images – focusing on aspects of visual literacy such as reading graphics, layout, colour and font
- Events of the past – building knowledge and understanding of historical events, people and places
- Research skills – requiring students to gather, analyse and use evidence, and build understanding about the use of primary and secondary sources
- Language of history – assisting students to learn about the language of the past
- Making connections – helping students make connections between the past and themselves and the world today.
The following icons are used to describe the activities:
Activities designed for individual students to complete independently.
Activities designed for small groups of students to work collaboratively, with an expectation that each group member makes a contribution to the group product.
Activities designed for all students in the class to participate in. This may include individuals or small groups contributing work to the larger activity.
Beyond the classroom
Activities that aim to extend or enrich students' learning by providing real-life contexts that engage them with the wider community beyond the classroom.
About the author
Joy Lawn is a respected speaker and writer about children's and young adult literature. She has an MA in Children's Literature and Literacy and has been a specialist children's literature consultant for more than a decade. Formerly a teacher herself, Joy has wide experience in presenting at national and state conferences and advising teachers, teacher librarians and others on children's and young adult literature.
Joy is the Secretary of CBCA (Queensland). She reads children's literature avidly and reviews for a range of specialist journals.
The selection of Internet addresses (URLs) provided was valid at the time of publication. However, due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, some addresses may have changed or ceased to exist. Dead links can be reported by email.