Learning about History in Elementary

Learning about History in Elementary
  • Grade 3
Serrin Smyth

Grade 3 students have been inquiring into ‘Inventions’ as part of the Transdisciplinary Theme “Where We Are In Place & Time: An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; and the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

Students have been learning about the concepts ‘inventions, impact, innovation and discovery' in order to develop a conceptual understanding “Inventions influence the way we live today and can impact the future".

Students have been exploring:

  • Conditions that lead to the creation of inventions 

  • Inventors and inventions throughout history

  • The impact of inventions and inventors


A big thanks to many of our parents who helped to resource our provocation with items from home. 

As a provocation to ignite interest in the unit, and explore what students may already know about this topic, they engaged in three different stations:

Station 1: Change & Innovation

Why did it change? 

What caused it to change?


Station 2: Timelines

Can you order these inventions from the earliest invention to the most recent invention?


 Station 2: Function

Purpose/Function of the invention - How does it work? What is the purpose of this invention? What can this invention be used for?

Students matched the invention with one of the purposes for inventions: To make work and travel easier, protection from weather, need to defend ones self, good health, entertainment, communication with others, hunger, making a healthy planet to live.

What are all the inventions we know of that meet a need?

Field Trip - The National Showa Memorial Museum

Learning through observation. 

Students applied a range of research skills, such as observation and thinking deeply, to learn more about the past through historical artifacts. They considered how conditions in Japan during this time led to the creation of these inventions.



SOLO Taxonomy: The parent version of the SOLO taxonomy may support you to have discussions with your child by asking some of the guiding questions. The questions develop across the SOLO from a shallow understanding where factual knowledge is developed to a more deeper understanding where conceptual understandings are formulated.

Vocabulary Lists: The Vocabulary Lists are a guide for the possible vocabulary that may be explored throughout the unit of inquiry. You may wish to explore the words within this list with your child in their mother tongue. Perhaps you may talk about the concept of some of the words in English and also in your home language in order to deepen their understanding of them.


More Seisen News