Let’s Talk about Past (LS-HR-347)

A type of family tree with the parents occupying the centre space surrounded by their progeny with each of the figures appearing to be suffering from some kind of deformity. Engraving.

In the third grade of primary school students learn about their past, their ancestors and the concept of time – they learn what is the meaning of a decade, century and millennium and what life looked like in certain periods in the past. At this age, students learn best through conversation and gamelike activities, so I decided to create such a lesson that consists of a few short activities that enable students to be actively involved in the lesson.


For homework (to prepare themselves for the lesson) students have to find out their parents’ and grandparents’ birth year. At school, all students put these years on a class timeline, link the years to the decades and discuss it with the teacher. They discuss the differences between the decade they were born in and the decade their grandparents were born in.

Europeana research

In groups, students do research on Europeana website. They have to find ten interesting pictures from the decade in which their grandparents were born. They paste their pictures on a class Lino board and discuss the pictures in their groups.

Class guest

The teacher invites a guest to the class – it can be one of the students’ grandmothers or grandfathers. Each group shows pictures they found on Europeana and ask the guest questions about it. The guest and students have a conversation about past and present.

Thinking about future

Students choose one of the pictures they found on Europeana and try to imagine how it would look like in the future. They draw their predictions. They take a photo of their drawing and put it on the Lino pinboard.

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below :

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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