Today I had the pleasure of joining my year 4 cohort on their incursion Living History. This was a whole day incursion and I must say I had fun. It was engaging, informative, hands on and entertaining. The first session of the day consisted of a 2 hour performance and the two men dressed up and told stories from the colonial time. Their clothes and props were amazing accurate. They allowed students to be a part of the show and encouraged questions. Story telling – who would have thought this would be a great way to learn about history! They also used language from that time and even had some salted meat for the students to smell – not a fan! It was great, all students were engaged and well behaved (even those students who normally exhibit challenging behavours). The second session allowed for more questions from the students and this particular group of year 4’s were fixated on the rations everyone on the boat received and in particular the beer. They wanted to know the punishment if someone got drunk on board (many different punishments would have been handed out). This session also allowed for the students to touch the props/artifacts and try on the costumes. I was in charge of a firearm – it was quite heavy and was approximately 208 years old. There was food to touch and smell, swords, firearms, children’s toys, fountain pens, and much more. The students love touching everything and enjoyed this real life experience. During this session we also learned and danced the Heel and Toe. Great fun! The last session saw the two men playing games with the students which was just some fun. Everyone had a great day!
Living History is the company dedicated to bring history alive. They do not just bring a show and tell to your school but an interactive living history experience. This company is able to bring history (ancient, colonial, medieval, knight school, modern) to life for Year 4 – Year 10. I highly recommend this company and will consider them if I have the pleasure of teaching year 4 as I do believe many students enjoyed the experience and learned a lot.
Now this is where I have to be negative and express that in my opinion ICT could not do what this hands on real life experience did. Could looking at a screen be as interactive and engaging as this real live experience? Story telling – this is how many cultures have past on their history. Think about the stories of the Dream Time or from people back in the colonial era (convicts, settlers, soldiers and explorers). Yes sure you can make a power point or a short video clip or even a movie, but what about the children engaging their imagination and visualising the stories being told. After experiencing this great interactive living history experience I do not believe that ICT could have done what these two men did. I do not believe it would have been as engaging or enriching. On this occasion in my opinion real life experience wins over ICT.
Living History Australia. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.livinghistory.com.au/about-us/