‘Technologies then and now’ Inquiry Activities:
A great way to explore technologies from the past and present in the early years (particularly year 1-2) is to link it in to the HASS curriculum which looks at the concept of time/past/present and how things change over time.
A sequence of activities/lesson could be as such:
1) children engage in some educational material such as YouTube videos for their age level about how technologies have changed. For example this great kid’s video to ‘Journey with Steve Jobs’ which talks about how computers have changed:
Then, children can explore a table of new and old technologies that are set up. This could include anything from old fashioned phones to 90s mobile phones to iPhones. Old Irons (made of iron), compasses, old fashioned model cars etc and they can have hands-on exploration and chat about what they think is old and new and why. (see picture)
2) Children, in pairs can be given a coloured piece of card on which they draw a Venn diagram and write ‘then’ over one circle and ‘now’ over another (with the middle for any technologies that may not have changed/are still used in the same way). They are then given a handout with images of all sorts of old and new technologies and they have to cut them out and paste them in to each circle accordingly. During this activity the teacher can go around asking them why they chose each item for each circle (formative assessment). NOTE: this activity could be done with more specific application such as ‘Technologies used for communication” or “Technologies used for schooling then and now”
3) As a final project in this enquiry, students can chose a piece of technology such as the telephone or the computer or microwave…and they do some research using books and ICT. then they present a poster with some neatly hand written lines that present their information with sub headings such as:
“What is it?”
“Where was it invented?”
“Who invented it?”
“When was it invented?”
“Why was it invented?”
“How was it used before?”
“How do we use it now?”
These posters can form the summative assessment and be presented all around the room.