Year 4 Level Description

How People, Places and Environments Interact, Past and Present

The Year 4 curriculum focuses on interactions between people, places and environments over time and space and the effects of these interactions. Students gain opportunities to expand their world knowledge and learn about the significance of environments, examining how people’s need and want of resources over time has affected peoples, societies and environments. Specifically, students study European exploration and colonisation in Australia and elsewhere up to the early 1800s and life for Indigenous Australians pre- and post-contact. They examine the concept of sustainability, and its application to resource use and waste management, past and present, by different groups. The curriculum introduces the role of local government, laws and rules, and group belonging and how they meet people’s needs. Themes of law and citizenship extend into their studies of diverse groups, the colonisation of Australia and other places, and how environmental sustainability is enacted.

The content provides opportunities for students to develop humanities and social sciences understanding through key concepts including significance; continuity and change; cause and effect; place and space; interconnections; roles, rights and responsibilities; and perspectives and action. These concepts may provide a focus for inquiries and be investigated across sub-strands or within a particular sub-strand context.

The content at this year level is organised into two strands: knowledge and understanding, and inquiry and skills. The knowledge and understanding strand draws from three sub-strands: history, geography and civics and citizenship. These strands (knowledge and understanding, and inquiry and skills) are interrelated and have been developed to be taught in an integrated way, which may include integrating with content from the sub-strands and from other learning areas, and in ways that are appropriate to specific local contexts. The order and detail in which they are taught are programming decisions.

Inquiry Questions:

A framework for developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills is provided by inquiry questions. The following inquiry questions allow for connections to be made across the sub-strands and may be used or adapted to suit local contexts: inquiry questions are also provided for each sub-strand that may enable connections within the humanities and social sciences learning area or across other learning areas.

  • How have laws affected the lives of people, past and present?
  • What were the short- and long-term effects of European settlement on the local environment and Indigenous land and water management practices?
  • What is the significance of the environment and what are different views on how it can be used and sustained, past and present?

Standard Description

By the end of Year 4, students recognise the significance of events in bringing about change. They explain how and why life changed in the past and identify aspects of the past that have remained the same. They describe the experiences of an individual or group in the past.

Students sequence information about events and the lives of individuals in chronological order with reference to key dates. They develop questions about the past and locate, collect and sort information from different sources to answer these questions. They analyse sources to detect points of view. Students develop and present texts, including narrative recounts, using historical terms.

A number of Units of work suitable for this year level based on the Australian Curriculum: History -10 are available from the Author. In addition, A Unit of work can be personilised for your school’s needs: to focus on particular knowledge, skills, key concepts or elements of Exit Criteria. Please contact the author, Sue Burvill-Shaw using the contact form on this website,outlining your school’s needs and time constraints, and for more information.