Resource One: Historic Houses Trust of NSW Website- Discovery for Kids


This resource is a website designed by the Historic Houses Trust of NSW. The "Discovery for Kids" section of the website provides a number of short factsheets about important aspects of Australian history, based around the venues associated with the Historic Houses Trust. The factsheets provide information including "Why were convicts transported to Australia?", "A day in the life of a Convict" and relevant descriptions of people who were important figures in the colonisation of Australia. The website is clearly laid out and both teachers and students would find it easy to use.

This resource was selected for a number of reasons. Firstly, it relates to the chosen focus outcome, as many of the factsheets were designed to correspond directly to stage two HSIE content. Therefore the factsheets are short, informative and age-appropriate. They provide meaningful and relevant text aimed at school students which is supported by interactive images that engage students and make the website more accessible.

Furthermore, this website would be appropriate as a starting point for developing students' content knowledge in preparation for the creation of a multimodal text. The descriptions of important figures in colonisation are used in the first lesson in our unit of work, and other factsheets would be useful for students completing their own research in the area.

This resource also has clear links to literacy outcomes. As Groundswater-Smith, Ewing and Le Cornu (2007, p.144) point out, 'literacy' incorporates more than one skill and multimodal texts, including websites, provide a great opportunity for students to develop a range of skills. This text provides opportunities for students to work towards reading outcomes including RS2.5 (Board of Studies NSW, 2007, p.29). Students could use the website as a basis for tasks including reading the text and contributing to classroom discussions, as well as obtaining information from the internet. The resource would also be useful in developing students reading skills addressed in RS2.6 (Board of Studies NSW, 2007, p.31) The website could be implemented effectively to allow students to develop skills in locating appropriate information from a internet source, skimming text for overall meaning and taking notes on a topic.

This website was chosen for its relevant content, clear layout and appropriate links to both HSIE and literacy outcomes. It could be used throughout the unit of work to provide contextual information and support students' understanding of multimodal texts. -Michaela Laming

References:
Board of Studies NSW (2007) K-6 English Syllabus. Sydney, NSW: Board of Studies NSW

Groundswater-Smith, S., Ewing, R. & Le Cornu, R. (2007) Teaching: challenges and dilemmas. 3rd edition. South Melbourne, Victoria: Thomson Learning. Chapter 6: Teaching and learning in a changing world. (pp. 134-150)

Historic Houses Trust of NSW (2010) Discover for Kids. Retrieved September 22, 2010 from: http://www.hht.net.au/page_specific_content/discover/discover_search?queries_type_query=For+Kids


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