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Rationale

In a world that is increasingly culturally diverse and dynamically interconnected, it is important that students come to understand their world, past and present, and develop a capacity to respond to challenges, now and in the future, in innovative, informed, personal and collective ways.

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Aims

The F–6/7 Australian Curriculum for Humanities and Social Sciences aims to ensure that students develop:

a sense of wonder, curiosity and respect about places, people, cultures and systems throughout the world, past and present, and an interest in and enjoyment of the study of these phenomena

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Structure

The Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences may be implemented as a combined F–6 program or as an F–7 program. The F–6/7 curriculum is organised into two interrelated strands: knowledge and understanding and inquiry and skills.

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PDF documents

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences F-6/7 are available as PDF documents.
F-6/7 HASS - Combined Sequence of Content
F-6/7 HASS - Combined Sequence of Achievement

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Glossary

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Year 3

Year 3 Level Description

Diverse communities and places and the contribution people make

The Year 3 curriculum focuses on the diversity of people and places in their local community and beyond, and how people participate in their communities. Students study how places are represented geographically and how communities express themselves culturally and through civic participation. Opportunities are provided to learn about diversity within their community, including the Country/Place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and about other communities in Australia and neighbouring countries. Students compare the climates, settlement patterns and population characteristics of places, and how these affect communities, past and present. Students examine how individuals and groups celebrate and contribute to communities in the past and present, through establishing and following rules, decision-making, participation and commemoration.

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 do symbols, events, individuals and places in my community make it unique?
  • How do people contribute to their communities, past and present?
  • What events do different people and groups celebrate and commemorate and what does this tell us about our communities?

Year 3 Content Descriptions

Questioning

Pose questions to investigate people, events, places and issues (ACHASSI052 - Scootle )
  • posing relevant questions when investigating the contribution individuals and groups have made to the development of the local community ('Who?', 'What?', 'When?', 'Where?', 'Why?')
  • developing inquiring questions as they investigate (for example, ‘Why there?’ questions about location; ‘What might happen?’ questions about future consequences of natural processes or people’s actions in places; and ‘What ought to happen?’ questions or other questions about ethical behaviour, sustainability and preferred futures)
    • Sustainability
  • asking key questions when investigating a topic (for example, questions such as 'How did people settle?', 'Who were they?', 'Why did they come to the area?' when researching the establishment of a local community) and probing questions during an investigation (for example, ‘Why is that so?’, ‘What else do we need to know?’)
  • posing evaluation questions (for example, ‘Is the process fair?’, ‘Could the process have been managed better?’)

Researching

Locate and collect information and data from different sources, including observations (ACHASSI053 - Scootle )
  • locating sources suited to learning about the past (for example, photographs, interviews, newspapers, stories and maps, including those online)
  • collecting information in the field (for example, taking photographs, making sketches, taking water measurements or collecting natural objects to support the investigation of eocological health, settlement or demographic details of a place)
    • Sustainability
  • collecting data from maps, aerial photographs, satellite images or a digital application (for example, Google Earth) to identify, locate and describe different types of settlement
  • collecting information about the changing composition of their community from sources, such as census data, cemetery observations, interviews with older people or surveys
  • interviewing people to seek information about feelings, preferences, perspectives and actions (for example, to find out how people feel about places; how people celebrate and commemorate; how decisions are made in different situations; how and why people participate in their community)
  • acquiring geographical information from schools in geographically contrasting parts of Australia and/or neighbouring countries
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
Record, sort and represent data and the location of places and their characteristics in different formats, including simple graphs, tables and maps, using discipline-appropriate conventions (ACHASSI054 - Scootle )
  • using information technologies to record and organise information in tables, databases and digital concept maps (for example, creating a consequence chart to show what happens when school rules are not followed, or when human settlement damages a component of the natural environment)
    • Sustainability
  • creating tables or picture and column graphs to show patterns in data collected from observations or other sources (for example, to show similarities and differences between places; the results of class votes on issues or decisions, participation in community activities, number of local monuments)
  • placing graphs and other data on electronic maps to visualise differences between types and patterns of settlements
  • constructing and annotating maps (for example, to show the natural and human features of Australia) using the appropriate cartographic conventions including map symbols, title and north point
Sequence information about people’s lives and events (ACHASSI055 - Scootle )
  • developing an annotated timeline (for example, a timeline of celebrations and commemorations)
  • creating visual representations of a sequence of events or happenings (for example, the stages involved in making decisions in a familiar context, such as a planning a class activity, the sequence of seasonal changes in different climates)

Analysing

Examine information to identify different points of view and distinguish facts from opinions (ACHASSI056 - Scootle )
  • distinguishing fiction and non-fiction texts in relation to representation of places, environments and past events
  • identifying statements of fact and statements of opinion in class discussions
  • identifying differences in the meaning of celebrations when viewed from different perspectives that result in different actions (for example, the meaning of Australia Day for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples when compared with its meaning for many other Australians)
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • exploring stories about places and people told by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and by people from other cultures including people from Asia and the Pacific region
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • sharing points of view and identifying different perspectives and actions relating to issues that affect themselves and their peers (for example, discussing class rules, the different responses to them by class members, different perceptions of the value of places and ecosystems in the local area, communicating across cultures)
    • Sustainability
Interpret data and information displayed in different formats, to identify and describe distributions and simple patterns (ACHASSI057 - Scootle )
  • finding the meaning of acronyms/initialisms they encounter (for example, NAIDOC, ANZAC, NZ, USA, ACT)
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • interpret data to identify patterns of change over time using graphic organisers (for example, a Venn diagram using data collected from different times and groups to compare Australia Day celebrations over time; a scattergram of cemetery headstone information to make inferences about changing life expectancy)
  • identifying differences in the representation of a place on a map, in an aerial photo and in a satellite image and discussing how different methods of representation give different information about distributions and patterns
  • interpreting cartographic information such as titles, map symbols, north point, compass direction, grid references and major lines of latitude
  • using maps, ground and aerial photographs and satellite images or a digital application (for example, European Space Agency, NASA World Wind or Google Earth), to identify, locate and describe geographical patterns and distributions (for example, different types and patterns of settlements in Australia and Asia)
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • discussing and comparing how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples may represent places and their features visually (for example, in paintings and sand drawings) and identify symbols and patterns
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

Evaluating and reflecting

Draw simple conclusions based on analysis of information and data (ACHASSI058 - Scootle )
  • explaining conclusions about how their place and community have changed and developed (for example, settlement patterns, local changes in plant and animal species, historic events, cultural celebrations)
    • Sustainability
  • drawing conclusions about their community’s heritage based on an evaluation of information provided by the local council (for example, the development of its multicultural profile; its significant events and how people have participated in them and contributed to their maintenance; the preservation of unique features of the natural environment)
    • Sustainability
  • examining the meaning of diversity using examples drawn from their community (such as celebrations and commemorations), drawn from other countries (such as environments, climate, lifestyle, settlement) and from the experiences of their peers (such as how they participate in their family and community)
Interact with others with respect to share points of view (ACHASSI059 - Scootle )
  • sharing and listening to others’ stories about their community and place (for example, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander oral histories of an area, park ranger recounts, speakers from commemorative organisations, personal experiences of celebrations)
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • understanding their roles, rights and responsibilities in group situations
  • respecting ways to ensure others’ points of view are shared in group situations (for example, adhering to and defending strategies that enable turn-taking and eliminate talking over others)
  • valuing for and against arguments when making personal and group decisions
Reflect on learning to propose actions in response to an issue or challenge and consider possible effects of proposed actions (ACHASSI060 - Scootle )
  • recalling what they know when contributing ideas to a group response to a community challenge (for example, planning how to celebrate a unrecognised cultural event; such as how local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples celebrate their Country/Place or how to retell a historical event from a silent or unfamiliar voice)
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • reflecting on anticipated effects of actions designed to protect and improve places that people perceive as important (for example, places of environmental value, cultural value or historic significance)
    • Sustainability
  • choosing and enacting roles for group work that recognise an awareness of members’ knowledge and skills and customs
  • considering the findings of an inquiry when developing a plan of action to achieve a set goal (for example, to protect a place, to participate in a community festival or commemoration, to raise awareness about an issue, to raise money for a purpose)

Communicating

Present ideas, findings and conclusions in texts and modes that incorporate digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms (ACHASSI061 - Scootle )
  • composing different types of texts to report findings of an investigation (for example, reporting on a historical investigation and its researched facts and findings by writing a biography about a noteworthy individual or group, a narrative account of a significant event, a report about a celebration, an explanation of the multicultural character of the community)
  • arguing a point of view on a civics and citizenship issue relevant to their lives (for example, the consequences of breaking school rules, the value of contributing in their community, the need to preserve an endangered species) and making effective use of persuasive language such as ‘I think’ and ‘I dis/agree that’ to gain the support of others
    • Sustainability
  • describing the location and direction from a local place in Australia to a local place in at least two neighbouring countries (for example, New Zealand and Indonesia) using a globe or wall map
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • selecting and applying appropriate media to communicate their findings, including the use of graphs, tables, timelines, photographs and pictures
  • using subject-appropriate terms when speaking, writing and illustrating, for example, historical terms (such as ‘immigration’, ‘exploration’, ‘development’, ‘settlement’, ‘naming days of commemoration’ and ‘emblems’); geographical terms (such as ‘climate’, ‘settlement’, ‘environment’, ‘natural’ and ‘constructed’); and civic terms (such as ‘community’, ‘decision-making’, ‘participation’)

History

Concepts for developing understanding

The content in the history sub-strand provides opportunities for students to develop historical understanding through key concepts including sources, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy and significance. The Year 3 curriculum provides a study of identity and diversity in their local community and beyond, past and present. Students develop understandings about the heritage of their local area (sources, continuity and change), including the importance of Country/Place to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples (significance, perspectives, empathy), and how and why their community has changed (continuity and change, cause and effect). Students explore the historical features and diversity of their community as represented in individuals and their contributions, symbols and emblems of significance (significance) and the different celebrations and commemorations, locally and in other places around the world (significance, perspectives, empathy).

Inquiry Questions

  • Who lived here first and how do we know?
  • How has our community changed? What features have been lost and what features have been retained?
  • What is the nature of the contribution made by different groups and individuals in the community?
  • How and why do people choose to remember significant events of the past?
The importance of Country/Place to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples who belong to a local area (ACHASSK062 - Scootle )
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • liasing with Community to identify original language groups of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples who belong to the local area and exploring the relationship between language, Country/Place and spirituality. (This is intended to be a local area study with a focus on one language group; however, if information or sources are not readily available, another representative area may be studied.)
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • listening to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Elders, grandparents and older community members tell stories associated with the local language groups and the land they belong to
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • discussing when to use ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ and ‘Welcome to Country’ at ceremonies and events to respectfully recognise the Country/Place and traditional custodians of the land, sea, waterways and sky
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
How the community has changed and remained the same over time and the role that people of diverse backgrounds have played in the development and character of the local community (ACHASSK063 - Scootle )
  • exploring photographs, newspapers, oral histories, diaries and letters to investigate how an aspect of life in the local community (for example, transport, entertainment, the natural and built environment, technology) has changed over time (for example, from the time of European settlement to the present day)
  • comparing photographs from the past and present of a specific location to identify the change or continuity (similarities and differences over time) associated with people, events/developments, places or ecosystems
    • Sustainability
  • identifying individuals and groups from the past of diverse backgrounds (for example, gender, culture, ability, age, socioeconomic circumstance) who have contributed to the community’s development (for example, economic, social, cultural, civic or environmental contributions) and character (for example, culturally diverse, multi-faith, prosperous, helpful)
  • exploring how the contributions of individuals, groups and organisations are recognised (for example, parades, Australia Day Awards, monuments)
Days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia (including Australia Day, Anzac Day, and National Sorry Day) and the importance of symbols and emblems (ACHASSK064 - Scootle )
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • identifying and discussing the historical origins of an important Australian celebration or commemoration
  • generating a list of local, state and national symbols and emblems (for example, club emblems, school logos, flags, floral emblems, the Commonwealth Coat of Arms) and discussing their origins, use and significance
  • examining the symbolism of flags (for example, the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags) and recognising special occasions when they are flown (for example, all three flags are flown during NAIDOC Week, National Reconciliation Week, National Sorry Day and Mabo Day) and the roles, rights and responsibilities the community has when observing protocols around flag flying
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • recognising the significance of other days or weeks (including the anniversary of the national Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples of 2008, National Reconciliation Week, International Women’s Day, Labour Day and Harmony Day)
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
Celebrations and commemorations in places around the world (for example, Chinese New Year in countries of the Asia region, Bastille Day in France, Independence Day in the USA), including those that are observed in Australia (for example, Christmas Day, Diwali, Easter, Hanukkah, the Moon Festival and Ramadan) (ACHASSK065 - Scootle )
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • comparing the significance of national days in different countries, looking at why they developed and elements they have in common
  • exploring through secondary sources significant events of cultures or countries around the world, including national days, and discussing whether they are celebrations or commemorations
  • investigating the origins and significance of some international celebrations or commemorations (for example, the International Day of Peace)
  • investigating the origins and significance of celebrations important to particular cultural groups in Australia and in other places of the world

Geography

Concepts for developing understanding

The content in the geography sub-strand provides opportunities to develop students’ understanding of place, space, environment and interconnection. Students develop an understanding of the similarities and differences between places within and outside Australia through a study of their environmental and human characteristics (place). They examine climate (environment) and the types of settlements (space) in Australia, the Country/Place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and Australia's neighbouring countries (place). Students come to understand how people feel about and care for places (place, environment, interconnection). Students’ mental maps further develop through learning about the representation of Australia and the location of Australia’s neighbouring countries (place).

Inquiry Questions

  • What are the main natural and human features of Australia?
  • How and why are places similar and different?
  • What would it be like to live in a neighbouring country?
The representation of Australia as states and territories and as Countries/Places of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples; and major places in Australia, both natural and human (ACHASSK066 - Scootle )
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • using geographical tools (for example, a globe, wall map or digital application such as Google Earth) to locate and name significant places such as the states, territories, major cities and regional centres in Australia
  • identifying and describing the major natural features of Australia (for example, rivers, deserts, rainforests, the Great Dividing Range, the Great Barrier Reef and islands of the Torres Strait) and describing them with annotations on a map
  • comparing the boundaries of Aboriginal Countries with the surveyed boundaries between Australian states and territories to gain an appreciation about the different ways Australia can be represented
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • describing how the territory of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples contains the Country/Places of many individuals and language groups
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • exploring how oral traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples were used to map landscapes
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
The location of Australia’s neighbouring countries and the diverse characteristics of their places (ACHASSK067 - Scootle )
  • using a globe to locate the Pacific Island nations, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Indonesia and countries relevant to students, labelling them on a map, and identifying the direction of each country from Australia
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • describing the similarities and differences between their local place and places in neighbouring countries (for example, Indonesia, Pacific Island nations) in their natural and human characteristics
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
The main climate types of the world and the similarities and differences between the climates of different places (ACHASSK068 - Scootle )
  • examining how weather contributes to a climate type
  • identifying the hot, temperate and polar zones of the world and the difference between climate and weather
  • identifying and locating examples of the main climatic types in Australia and the world (for example, equatorial, tropical arid, semi-arid, temperate and Mediterranean)
  • investigating and comparing what it would be like to live in a place with a different climate to their own place
The similarities and differences between places in terms of their type of settlement, demographic characteristics and the lives of the people who live there, and people’s perceptions of these places (ACHASSK069 - Scootle )
  • exploring people’s feelings for place and the factors that influence people’s attachment to place, through reading and viewing poems, songs, paintings and stories
  • discussing why it is important to protect places that have special significance for people (for example, a wetland, a sacred site, a national park or a World Heritage site)
    • Sustainability
  • exploring different types of settlement, and classifying them into hierarchical categories (for example, isolated dwellings, outstations, villages, towns, regional centres and large cities)
  • investigating the diversity of people who live in their place (for example, surveying the school community about age, birthplace and ancestry) and comparing them with a school in another place in Australia or neighbouring country
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • examining the similarities and differences between their daily lives and those of people in another place in Australia or neighbouring country, and inferring what it would be like to live in these places
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia

Civics and citizenship

Concepts for developing understanding

The content in the civics and citizenship sub-strand provides opportunities for students to develop understanding about democracy, laws and citizens and citizenship, diversity and identity. Drawing on familiar contexts and personal experiences of fair play, different points of view, rules and consequences, and decision-making, students begin to develop an understanding of democracy as rule by the people (democracy, laws and citizens). Students explore how individuals, including themselves, participate in and contribute to their community (citizenship, diversity and identity).

Inquiry Questions

  • How are decisions made democratically?
  • Why do we make rules?
  • How can I participate in my community?
The importance of making decisions democratically (ACHASSK070 - Scootle )
  • making a decision as a class by allowing everyone to have a say and a vote
  • building empathy by reflecting on how it feels to be included or excluded from making decisions and identifying situations when it is fair for decisions to be made without taking a majority vote (for example, by teachers or parents)
  • identifying places and situations in communities where decisions are made democratically
Who makes rules, why rules are important and the consequences of rules not being followed (ACHASSK071 - Scootle )
  • developing and justifying a set of fair rules and consequences for the class
  • identifying familiar rules, how rules protect the rights of others, what their responsibilities are to others, and the consequences when rules are not followed
  • considering why rules differ across contexts (for example, a library, the playground, in class, at home, in games and in cultural groups)
  • discussing situations where it is not fair to have one rule that treats everyone the same, if some people (for example, students with a disability) have different needs or would be unable to follow the rules
  • exploring cultural norms behind some rule-making (for example, removing shoes before entering places of cultural significance)
  • identifying who has the authority to make rules (for example, at school or in a sporting club)
Why people participate within communities and how students can actively participate and contribute (ACHASSK072 - Scootle )
  • identifying groups in the local community or through a virtual community and exploring their purpose
  • exploring how they could participate in a school or community project (for example, raising money for a relevant aid project such as sponsorship of a sports team; working to protect a bird habitat)
    • Sustainability
  • investigating an individual’s contribution and why it was recognised (for example, an individual who was awarded an Order of Australia)
  • exploring the motivations of people who have contributed to communities (for example, local community volunteers, leaders and Elders)
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

Year 3 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 3, students identify individuals, events and aspects of the past that have significance in the present. They identify and describe aspects of their community that have changed and remained the same over time. They describe the diverse characteristics of different places at the local scale and identify and describe similarities and differences between the characteristics of these places. They identify connections between people and the characteristics of places. Students explain the role of rules in their community and the importance of making decisions democratically. They identify the importance of different celebrations and commemorations for different groups. They explain how and why people participate in and contribute to their communities.

Students pose questions and locate and collect information from sources, including observations, to answer these questions. They examine information to identify a point of view and interpret data to identify and describe simple distributions. They draw simple conclusions and share their views on an issue. They sequence information about events and the lives of individuals in chronological order. They record and represent data in different formats, including labelled maps using basic cartographic conventions. They reflect on their learning to suggest individual action in response to an issue or challenge. Students communicate their ideas, findings and conclusions in oral, visual and written forms using simple discipline-specific terms.

By the end of Year 3, students identify individuals, events and aspects of the past that have significance in the present. They identify and describe aspects of their community that have changed and remained the same over time. They identify the importance of different celebrations and commemorations for different groups.

Students sequence information about events and the lives of individuals in chronological order. They pose questions about the past and locate and collect information from sources (written, physical, visual, oral) to answer these questions. They analyse information to identify a point of view. Students develop texts, including narrative accounts, using terms denoting time.

By the end of Year 3, students describe the location of the states and territories of Australia, the location of selected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Countries/Places and selected countries neighbouring Australia. They describe the characteristics of different places at local scales and identify and describe similarities and differences between the characteristics of these places. They identify connections between people and the characteristics of places and recognise that people have different perceptions of places.

Students pose geographical questions and locate and collect information from different sources to answer these questions. They record and represent data in tables and simple graphs and the location of places and their characteristics on labelled maps that use the cartographic conventions of legend, title and north point. They describe the location of places and their features using simple grid references and cardinal compass points. Students interpret geographical data to identify and describe distributions and draw conclusions. They present findings using simple geographical terminology in a range of texts. They reflect on their learning to suggest individual action in response to a geographical challenge.

By the end of Year 3, students explain the role of rules in their community and the importance of making decisions democratically. They describe how people participate in their community as active citizens.

Students pose simple questions about the society in which they live. They collect information from sources to answer these questions. They examine information to identify a point of view and draw simple conclusions. Students share their views on an issue and describe how they participate in a group. They present their ideas and conclusions in oral, visual and written forms using civics and citizenship terms.