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Kindergarten students are introduced to the ‘Olive Smith’ lost and found photographic collection. Thiscollection documents the life of Olive Smith, from infancy until her mid-twenties, in West Sydney during theSecond World War. The collection spans back to the time before Olive’s birth, (c. 1926) with a few glassplates and photograph cards of early Western Sydney (c.1890-1910) and her grandfather Zachary.

The interactive incursion program engages students in media analysis, historical archaeology practice,
appropriate archive management techniques and creative story telling. It was developed in accordance with
encourages activities that encourage students to • be connected with and contribute to their world • are
confident and involved learners • are effective communicators.

Students are asked to respond to the question: Who was Olive Smith?

After an introduction to critical media literacy and material analysis, students put on their cotton gloves and
with the help of magnifying mirrors, they investigate the original collection for clues.
Students are given colouring-in copies of the collection. Some children preferred to work alone, others in
groups. As they trace-over and colour-in the images they are encouraged to regard themselves as creative
problem solvers.
Does she look happy or sad? What events are happening around her? When were these photos taken? What
Where did she grow up? Who lived in Australia back then? What did she do on her school holidays? What did
she like doing with her family and friends? What can we see when we look at the back of photos, or more
closely at the things in the background? Who else do we see? Which are the oldest photos? Can we put
some of the photos in time-order? How has fashion, household items, technology changed over time?


- Students from low socio-economic, culturally and linguistically diverse introduced to the possibility of
archaeology and history as professions.
- Children felt confident in sharing their common and unique experiences of family, community and
neighbourhoods connections to place and identity, in relation and compassion to ‘Olive’s’ imagined

History curriculum points, Foundation to Grade 2


1. Sequence significant events about personal and family history to create a chronological narrative (VCHHC053)

Historical sources as evidence

1. Identify the content features of primary sources when describing the significance of people, places or events (VCHHC054)
2. Identify perspectives about changes to daily life from people in the past or present (VCHHC055)

Continuity and change

1. Identify examples of continuity and change in family life and in the local area by comparing past and present (VCHHC056)

Historical significance

1. Identify the significance of a person and/or place in the local community (VCHHC057)

Historical Knowledge

Personal histories

1. Who the people in their family are, describe where they were born and raised and how they are related to each other and how their stories are communicated and shared (VCHHK058)
2. Differences in family structures of families and the role of family groups today, and what they have in common and how these have changed or remained the same over time (VCHHK059)
3. How the present, past and future are signified by terms indicating and describing time (VCHHK060)
4. Differences and similarities between students' daily lives and perspectives of life during their parents’ and grandparents’ childhoods, including family traditions, leisure time and communications (VCHHK061)

Community histories

1. How they, their family, friends and communities commemorate past events that are important to them (VCHHK062)
2. The history of a significant person, building, site or part of the natural environment in the local community and what it reveals about the past (VCHHK063)
3. The significance today of an historical site of cultural or spiritual importance (VCHHK064)
4. The effect of changing technology on people’s lives and their perspectives on the significance of that change (VCHHK065)

Media Arts curriculum points, Foundation to Grade 2

Explore and Represent Ideas

Explore ideas characters and settings in images, sounds and multi-modal texts (VCAMAE017)
Use media technologies to capture and edit images, sounds and text (VCAMAM018)
Present media artworks that communicate ideas (VCAMAP019)
Respond to media artworks by describing ideas, characters, settings and stories (VCAMAR020)


Students applied the following curriculum-defined historical concepts and skills to the historical knowledge: sequencing chronology, using historical sources as evidence, identifying continuity and change, analysing causes and affect and determining historical significance.

The following is a copy of a blog posted by one of the students at Brunswick East Primary School after one of our visits. It’s still one of our favourite reviews. It details the impact of the incursion from the perspective of Felix, one of the student participants.  He explains the experience just as well as I can.

Posted by 123 Learning Community  June 05, 2016



This happened on the 26th of May 2016. Gracie and Kat from The Foundling Archive came in so they could talk to us about artefacts. They taught us that everything counts, each atom, each movement and all details. When you are trying to look for details, here is a list:


Writing               Colour                  Emotion               Backgrounds


Then you add it all up and that’s what they have taught us and we should be grateful.


In the incursion we were learning to identify and spot out evidence in photographs.


We all had a go at using a iPad and each got to take three pictures of photographs that inspired our imagination to spark.


A minute or two later we got to look at some pictures and had to identify details we could see in the picture than shared our thoughts opinions and feelings.


After that we pulled our connections together and got a big lump of evidence.


It reminded me of the story of my great grandmother who was in world war 2 she was only sixteen when the war started both of her parents died and her house set on fire! She sprinted into the house to receive a picture of her parents when she was running out when she got shot in the arm she dropped the picture there was no time to cry when suddenly a bunch of Jews (her kind) grabbed her by the hand and they went hiding in the woods.

And she is still alive now she is nighty years of age at the end of the session we got a little fridge magnet and I think we are going to try and find out what that’s about….


PS:I said to them ‘often my mum asks to take a photo and I run away but that lesson has taught me respect and to worship them now I’m grateful and maybe just maybe I’ll have a story like my great grandma.




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