Teaching Foundation History through picture books

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Having taught Foundation Year (Prep) History for several years I thought I would dip into my collection of picture books to share which books were successful for teaching the History concepts of family. Click on the pictures/links below to view these books in more detail or to order from Book Depository.

Today our family by Deana Dutcher is only a small book but the story links perfectly with Foundation History. Some tricky vocabulary is introduced but the story is what matters for young students. Mum is having a birthday (family celebrations) and the children prepare a present for her with help from their grandparents. Concepts covered include: birthdays, how families celebrate and family structures.

My grandma by Jeannette Rowe has attractive visuals to prompt discussion about grandma's role in the family structure. My grandma likes watermelon, what does your grandma like? Concepts covered include: grandparents, family structure and family roles.

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon might seem an odd choice but I've found this text very useful for a number of topics. When used in conjunction with the Foundation History unit, different family structure can be explored such as the bird's family versus the bat's family. Both bat and bird families have mothers and similar family roles but they live their lives differently, which makes for a great compare and contrast discussion. How is your family like Stellaluna's? Do you have brothers and sisters? Concepts covered include: different family structures, family roles, belonging to a family and the role of family in providing comfort and security. 

Tom Tom is a beautiful book by Rosemary Sullivan and Dee Huxley and fits effortlessly with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective of the Foundation History unit. Tom Tom is a small Aboriginal boy who lives in a remote community and relies heavily on his family, especially his two grannies, for comfort and life instruction. There are lots of connections and comparisons that can be made between your student's life and the life of Tom Tom. Concepts covered include: Aboriginal family structures and community, remote communities, the importance of family.

The Family Book by Todd Parr is a fun and very bright book with a fantastically positive message about family diversity. Single parents, same sex parents, grandparents as primary carers and more are explored in a fun visual way. This book is always a hit with my Foundation Year students. Concepts covered are: same sex families, single parent families, traditional family structures, grandparents are primary carers, different family appearance and contrasting family homes.

If you have any other useful books for teaching Foundation History please leave a comment below.

In addition, you may enjoy the Foundation Year History Unit download which is aligned to the Australian Curriculum (ACARA) for Foundation History.

Save money by purchasing the HASS Foundation Year bundle.

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