Using Historical inquiry to engage students in History K-6

Sabreena Taylor
Historical Inquiry brings alive the NSW K-6 History syllabus with students becoming genuine historians. Confidently teach the skills, concepts, sources and content.
Target Audience
Primary teachers in general but specially those with limited experience with research and historical inquiry.

Learning Areas

Teaching Standards

General Description

This course unpacks the method which brings alive the NSW K-6 History syllabus: with Historical Inquiry students become real historians investigating exciting questions about our past – personal, local, community and national. We cover primary and secondary sources, historical skills and concepts, and analysing and evaluating sources. We also learn how to conduct effective and safe online research which includes good search engines for students, advanced searches and evaluating websites. We will also share practical strategies for covering the content and outcomes.


Primary teachers in general but specially those with limited experience with research and historical inquiry.

Available Delivery Formats

This course contributes to 5.0 professional development hours.


There are no occurrences of Face to Face - Individual in Australia (NSW) at this time.


What is it all about?

15 minutes

Following a fun practical introductory task we will develop an understanding of the nature of the new syllabus through a brief discussion – what is it all about?

What is Historical inquiry?

15 minutes

This session gives an overview of what historical inquiry is and how it works in the classroom. This overview will be unpacked in the following sessions.

Posing good historical questions

30 minutes

In this sessions we unpack using the key inquiry questions from the syllabus to facilitate students developing their own historical questions. We also examine ways to avoid questions that can be answered directly from Google

Mastering sources and evidence

1 hour

The key to understanding historical inquiry is mastering sources and evidence. We learn to locate appropriate sources, how to analyse and evaluate those sources and how to use those sources so that they become evidence. We investigate different types of sources such as primary and secondary, written and non-written and the vital importance of context.

Skills in History K-6

30 minutes

In this session we learn exactly what the skills are and look at ways to help students to develop their skill levels with practical tasks related to the course content.

Concepts in History K-6

30 minutes

In this session we learn exactly what the concepts are, how some overlap with historical skills and look at ways to help students to develop their conceptual understanding with practical tasks related to the course content.

Safe and effective reseach for History

1 hour

Ideas for K-6 historians to present their research

1 hour

In this sessions we’ll look at a variety of methods for students to present their historical research including options using ICT, writing, displays and performance.

What To Bring

Preferably a laptop but a tablet will also be useful

No Reviews

There are no reviews of this format at this time.

About the team

Sabreena Taylor


Sabreena has been a successful consultant with TTA since 2008. Her current roles include providing tailored professional learning and consultancy services in Instructional Practices Inventories (IPI – student cognitive engagement and higher order thinking), strategic planning, school evaluation, change management, classroom practice, ICT and History. In 2015 Sabreena traveled to the United States to train with IPI developer, Professor Emeritus Dr Jerry Valentine of the University of Missouri, and is now the only certified teacher trainer for IPIs in the Asia-Pacific region.

Sabreena is the Professional Learning Consultant- History/Civics and Citizenship as part of the quality assurance team at TTA. Sabreena has presented at both State and National conferences on topics such as user engagement in workplace online learning, augmented reality and using data in schools including Instructional Practices Inventories.

Sabreena’s career in education has been varied, contributing at local, regional and State levels. In her 32 years in education Sabreena has been a head of History, regional Quality Teaching Consultant and Professional Learning and Leadership Coordinator with the Education Department of New South Wales.

Sabreena’s work has included developing online learning, the implementation of the Australian Curriculum and designing and delivering a wide range of courses registered with the NSW Institute of Teachers. Her most recent role was as School Planning and Performance Advisor in the Learning, High Performance and Accountability directorate developing online solutions for effective school planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

Sabreena has been able to feed her passion for all things History through forming networks of History teachers, Ancient History HSC marking, developing ICT History resources and, of course, travel. Sabreena has also been Head judge during the standards setting process for the Ancient History HSC.