Doing history in the early years and foundation stage


By Christine Screech, published 6th December 2010

Developing early historical understanding through the promotion of talk and thinking skills using a picturebook

Please note: This article pre-dates the current National Curriculum and some content and references may be outdated.

Introducing the youngest children to the concept of history can be a challenging prospect for some foundation stage practitioners, particularly if they feel their experience of the subject has been limited or their own memories of ‘doing the Tudors' three times in secondary school has left them lukewarm about the potential of history for engaging anyone, let alone the youngest children. However, using the starting point of a well-loved, familiar picture-book can help practitioners and children alike to begin unpicking issues and ideas around time, place and community that are the building blocks of early historical understanding. In Kieran Egan's words, it is ‘the contents of children's everyday experiences that yield the most basic concepts we use to make sense of the world' (Egan, 1982)...

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