Year 8 unit overview — Australian Curriculum: History
Source: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Australian Curriculum v3.0: History for Foundation–10, .
Duration of unit
Depth study: The Western and Islamic World: Medieval Europe
The Year 8 curriculum provides study of history from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern period, c.650 AD (CE) – 1750. This was when major civilisations around the world came into contact with each other. Social, economic, religious, and political beliefs were often challenged and significantly changed. It was the period when the modern world began to take shape.
In this depth study, students build on understandings of the ancient world to develop an understanding of medieval life (social, cultural, economic and physical features), the dominance of religion, the role of key individuals, interaction between different social groups and also between the Western world and the Islamic world.
The key inquiry questions for this unit are:
How did societies change from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern age?
What key beliefs and values emerged and how did they influence societies?
What were the causes and effects of contact between societies in this period?
Which significant people, groups and ideas from this period have influenced the world today?
Content descriptions to be taught
General capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities
Historical Knowledge and Understanding
The Ancient to the Modern World
Overview content includes:
the transformation of the Roman world and the spread of Christianity and Islam
key features of the medieval world (feudalism, trade routes, voyages of discovery, contact and conflict)
The Western and Islamic World: Medieval Europe (c.590–c.1500)
The way of life in Medieval Europe (social, cultural, economic and political features) and the roles and relationships of different groups in society (ACDSEH008)
Significant developments and/or cultural achievements, such as changing relations between Islam and the West (including the Crusades), architecture, medieval manuscripts and music (ACDSEH050)
Continuity and change in society in ONE of the following areas: crime and punishment; military and defence systems; towns, cities and commerce (ACDSEH051)
The dominance of the Catholic Church and the role of significant individuals such as Charlemagne (ACDSEH052)
Chronology, terms and concepts
Sequence historical events, developments and periods (ACHHS148)
Use historical terms and concepts (ACHHS149)
Historical questions and research
Identify a range of questions about the past to inform a historical inquiry (ACHHS150)
Identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods (ACHHS151)
Analysis and use of sources
Identify the origin and purpose of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS152)
Locate, compare, select and use information from a range of sources as evidence (ACHHS153)
Perspectives and interpretations
Identify and describe points of view, attitudes and values in primary and secondary sources (ACHHS155)
Describe the way of life in Medieval Europe and the roles and relationships of different groups in society
Identify perspectives in historical sources
Investigate the changing relations between Islam and the West
This unit provides opportunities for students to develop historical understandings particularly focused on the key concepts of:
Information obtained from historical sources used to construct an explanation or narrative, to support a hypothesis, or prove or disprove a conclusion.
☒ Continuity and change
Continuities are aspects of the past that have remained the same over certain periods of time. Changes are events or developments from the past that represent modifications, alterations and transformations.
☒ Cause and effect
The relationship between a factor or set of factors (cause/s) and consequence/s (effect/s). These form sequences of events and developments over time.
A point of view or position from which events are seen and understood, and influenced by age, gender, culture, social position and beliefs and values.
An understanding of the past from the point of view of the participant/s, including an appreciation of the circumstances faced, and the motivations, values and attitudes behind actions.
The importance that is assigned to particular aspects of the past, such as events, developments, movements and historical sites, and includes an examination of the principles behind the selection of what should be investigated and remembered.
Debate about particular interpretations of the past as a result of the nature of available evidence and/or different perspectives.
By the end of Year 8, students recognise and explain patterns of change and continuity over time. They explain the causes and effects of events and developments. They identify the motives and actions of people at the time. Students explain the significance of individuals and groups and how they were influenced by the beliefs and values of their society. They describe different interpretations of the past.
Students sequence events and developments within a chronological framework with reference to periods of time. When researching, students develop questions to frame an historical inquiry. They analyse, select and organise information from primary and secondary sources and use it as evidence to answer inquiry questions. Students identify and explain different points of view in sources. When interpreting sources, they identify their origin and purpose, and distinguish between fact and opinion. Students develop texts, particularly descriptions and explanations, incorporating analysis. In developing these texts, and organising and presenting their findings, they use historical terms and concepts, evidence identified in sources, and acknowledge their sources of information.
Relevant prior curriculum
Curriculum working towards
The Queensland SOSE Essential Learnings by the end of Year 7
Ways of working
identify issues and use common and own focus questions
plan investigations using inquiry models
collect and analyse information and evidence from primary and secondary sources
evaluate sources of information and evidence for relevance, reliability, origins and perspective
communicate descriptions, decisions and conclusions, using different text types for specific purposes and the conventions of research-based texts
respond to investigation findings and conclusions by planning and implementing actions
apply strategies to contribute effectively to representative groups and to participate in civic activities
reflect on and identify different perspectives, and recognise and clarify beliefs and values relating to social justice, the democratic process, sustainability and peace
reflect on learning, apply new understandings and identify future applications.
Year 9 Australian Curriculum: History
The Making of the Modern World
The Year 9 curriculum provides a study of the history of the making of the modern world from 1750 to 1918. It was a period of industrialisation and rapid change in the ways people lived, worked and thought. It was an era of nationalism and imperialism, and the colonisation of Australia was part of the expansion of European power. The period culminated in World War I 1914–1918, the ‘war to end all wars’.
Chronology, terms and concepts
Use chronological sequencing to demonstrate the relationship between events and developments in different periods and places (ACHHS164)
Use historical terms and concepts (ACHHS165)
Historical questions and research
Identify and select different kinds of questions about the past to inform historical inquiry (ACHHS166)
Evaluate and enhance these questions (ACHHS167)
Identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods (ACHHS168)
Analysis and use of sources
Identify the origin, purpose and context of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS169)
Process and synthesise information from a range of sources for use as evidence in an historical argument (ACHHS170)
Evaluate the reliability and usefulness of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS171)
Perspectives and interpretations
Identify and analyse the perspectives of people from the past (ACHHS172)
Identify and analyse different historical interpretations (including their own) (ACHHS173)
Explanation and communication
Develop texts, particularly descriptions and discussions that use evidence from a range of sources that are referenced (ACHHS174)
Select and use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies (ACHHS175)
The SOSE Essential Learnings by the end of Year 7, with their strong focus on Australian environments (historical, political, economic, social and cultural) do not link to the historical period or focus content of the Year 8 Australian Curriculum: History. Bridging learning experiences related to these concepts may be necessary to assist in developing student understanding, particularly in relation to the chronology of key events, developments and ideas evident from the ancient period to the beginning of the modern period.
The SOSE Essential Learnings Ways of Working require students to have an understanding of different types of sources, as well as the ability to evaluate sources of information. However, this will need to be revisited as the depth required by the Year 8 Australian Curriculum may show some gaps of the students’ skills in using historical sources.
Links to other learning areas
There is the possibility of linking the concepts and content in this unit to the broader Year 8 Queensland and Australian Curriculum content that may be taught in other curriculum areas when implementing the Australian Curriculum: History.
Describe the assessment
Teachers gather evidence to make judgments about the following characteristics of student work:
explanations of the influence of beliefs and values on significant individuals and groups
descriptions and interpretations of past events and developments including the perspectives of different individuals and groups
communication in texts that incorporate the use and acknowledgement of sources of historical evidence
For further advice and guidelines on constructing guides to making judgments refer to the Learning area standard descriptors: www.qsa.qld.edu.au
Students are given opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding across a range of assessments. The assessment is collated in student folios and allows for ongoing feedback to students on their learning.
Year 8 teachers make decisions about the length of time required to complete the tasks and the conditions under which the assessment is to be conducted.
The teaching and learning experiences throughout the term provide opportunities for students to develop the understanding and skills required to complete these assessments. As students engage with these learning experiences, the teacher can provide feedback on specific skills.
Research: Assignment (Written or multimodal)
The purpose of this assessment is to make judgments about students’ responses to evidence within a specified context and based on the process of historical inquiry.
Students research and communicate their understanding from a medieval individual’s point of view in response to an event or phenomenon such as:
the medieval way of life
role and relationships of the individual in a feudal society
influence and dominance of the Catholic Church.
For further advice and guidelines on conditions for assessment refer to Assessment advice: History on the QSA website: www.qsa.qld.edu.au
create a timeline that shows the emergence of major civilisations from the ancient to medieval world
map the spatial extent of major civilisations of the period (Byzantine, Celtic, AngloSaxon, Viking, Ottoman, Khmer, Mongols, Yuan and Ming dynasties, Aztec, Inca)
revisit prior learning to explore legacies of the Roman world in Medieval Europe
sequence historical significant cultural and political events and developments in Medieval Europe on an annotated timeline and in descriptions
use and understand historical terms and concepts such as feudalism, Anglo-Saxon, peasants, fief, vassal, manorialism, trade routes, civilisations, secular, religion, historical sources, primary and secondary sources, evidence and inquiry
revisit prior learning about nature and use of primary and secondary sources
Way of life in Medieval Europe
develop graphic organisers to show the structure of feudal society and annotate the roles, responsibilities and social interactions between the differing groups (for example the role of kings, nobles, church, knight and peasant)
explain why these relationships between social groups exist in feudalism due to the significance of land ownership
identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods, to explore social, cultural, economic and political features of the way of life in Medieval Europe
use primary sources to investigate the reasons why the Catholic Church was so dominant in Medieval Europe
map and explain, using significant events and personalities, the spread of Christianity during the Medieval period
explore different viewpoints and perspectives of Charlemagne and his actions
describe the features of castles and churches of the period as examples of the Catholic Church’s power in terms of its control of wealth and power
investigate different types of crime and punishment and in what ways the nature of crime and punishment stayed the same, or changed over time
Investigate the role of trade in the development of towns, city and commerce in the Medieval world
Use primary and secondary sources (such as maps) to recognise how relations between the Islamic and Medieval Europe developed through trade and trading routes. Explain the role of trade in changing geopolitical boundaries in Medieval Europe.
Changing relations between the western and Islamic world
investigate the similarities and differences between life in Medieval Europe and life in the Byzantine Empire
outline inventions and developments in the Islamic world (for example the astrolabe, public hospitals and libraries and their subsequent adoption in the Western World)
identify the causes and effects of the Crusades on both Medieval Europe and the Byzantine Empire
use primary sources to describe the points of view and attitudes towards the Crusades in Medieval Europe and the Byzantine Empire and discuss the contestability of these sources
draw conclusions about the usefulness of sources to develop an opinion on the significance of the Crusades
investigate the consequences of the Crusades in both Medieval Europe and the Islamic world.
Research methodology and the inquiry process
develop a thesis/hypothesis to guide and inform the research process
identify a range of focus questions about continuity and change in society on a topic associated with Medieval Europe (e.g. the Medieval way of life, role and relationships of the individual in a feudal society and the influence and dominance of the Catholic Church)
use library catalogues, internet search engines and text resources to locate relevant information to answer focus questions from a range of sources
discuss the reliability of various sources and identify any bias evident in the information (Consider whose point of view is represented in the source)
find evidence in a text to support statements of understanding, hypotheses (informed predictions) or that appears to answer the focus questions of the inquiry
practise note-making skills when recording historical information in response to particular focus questions or topics. Identify key words, dates, names and main ideas when summarising information
select different types of evidence to compare and evaluate what appears to be most effective in support of an explanation
understand the purpose of and conventions surrounding the recording of bibliographic information and practise constructing bibliographies using a recognised format (e.g. APA, Harvard)
experiment with different forms of communication to convey understanding (e.g. spoken presentations with visual aids, PowerPoint presentations, webpages, short films), with a focus on the desirable qualities in each form.
Section 6 of the Disability Standards for Education (The Standards for Curriculum Development, Accreditation and Delivery) states that education providers, including class teachers, must take reasonable steps to ensure a course/program is designed to allow any student to participate and experience success in learning.
The Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cwlth) is available from: select Human rights and anti-discrimination > Disability standards for education.
opportunities to explore primary and secondary sources in order locate, select, compare and use as evidence.
Historians or librarians/museum curators could discuss the methods and sources used in historical investigations and/or locating and using evidence related to this period of history.
Invite medieval groups (e.g. Abbey Museum) to the school to provide an overview on medieval life.
Ways to monitor learning and assessment
Teachers meet to collaboratively plan the teaching, learning and assessment to meet the needs of all learners in each unit.
Teachers create opportunities for discussion about levels of achievement to develop shared understandings; co-mark or cross mark at key points to ensure consistency of judgments; and participate in moderating samples of student work at school or cluster level to reach consensus and consistency.
Feedback to students
Teachers strategically plan opportunities and ways to provide ongoing feedback (both written and informal) and encouragement to students on their strengths and areas for improvement.
Students reflect on and discuss with their teachers or peers what they can do well and what they need to improve.
Teachers reflect on and review learning opportunities to incorporate specific learning experiences and provide multiple opportunities for students to experience, practise and improve.
Reflection on the unit plan
Identify what worked well during and at the end of the unit, including:
activities that worked well and why
activities that could be improved and how
assessment that worked well and why
assessment that could be improved and how
common student misconceptions that need, or needed, to be clarified.