Case Study: Children's questions about historical pictures

Primary History article

By Penelope Harnett, published 30th July 2008

'Did they always draw things on the pots which they made?'

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content and links may be outdated.

Pictures are an important source of evidence for children to use to find out about the past. They have an immediate impact and children of all ages and abilities find that they have something to say about what they represent. As teachers we often guide the comments which children make about pictures through drawing attention to certain features through our questions. In this respect our questions may restrict some of the observations which children would like to make. This article describes what happens when children are invited to ask the questions. The questions children ask provide some indication of their historical understanding and in this respect may be useful for assessing their learning in history...

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