Last Updated: Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Exploring personal links to the past - early level

What is this?

Children at the early level are developing their awareness of how things change over time. This experience encourages children to think about the passage of time in relation to items of importance to them from earlier in their life.

You can use or adapt this experience for children in your setting or while they are learning at home. Consider the range of learners, prior knowledge and their individual circumstances in relation to this experience and adapt accordingly. This experience is based on early level experiences and outcomes.

Warm nurturing relationships help open up communication and connect literacy to the child’s life.’ (Realising the Ambition, page 72)

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) experiences and outcomes: Early level

Literacy and English

  • Within real and imaginary situations, I share experiences and feelings, ideas and information in a way that communicates my message. (LIT 0-09a and LIT 0-26a)

Social Studies

  • I can make a personal link to the past by exploring items
    or images connected with important individuals or special events in my life. (SOC 0-02a)

Purpose of the activity

This experience aims to help children recall their own past through engaging with familiar items. This will support them in developing an understanding of the passage of time and how they are changing.

Learning activity

  • Invite children to recall when they were younger and ask questions such as:
    • Can you tell me what you liked to play with when you were younger?
    • What kind of clothes do you think you wore when you were a baby?
  • Together, gather a few items that will remind children of when they were younger. This could be items from a role-play area. For example, baby shoes, clothing or toys, which babies or younger children might use. Alternatively, you could show children some images. If at home, items can be used from a memory box or younger sibling.
  • Encourage children to discuss the items or images which can link to their past and ask them to share their own experiences.
  • Children could be prompted to recall by asking useful questions such as:
    • Did you have anything like this when you were younger?
    • When did you have it, for example, when you were a baby, when you were learning to walk or ride a bike?
    • What did your (item) look like?
    • Do you still have or use it, for example, a teddy bear?
    • Why do you not need or use it anymore?
  • Encourage children to think about how and why things change. For example, as they physically and mentally grow and as their likes and dislikes change.

Extension activity

Children could contribute to the creation of a scrapbook which illustrates images of things they made use of in the past and their own reflections on these objects. This could be created using drawings, cutting out and sticking pictures, photographs and with support, children could write their thoughts and ideas.

National Benchmarks

Literacy and English

  • Talks clearly to others in different contexts, sharing feelings, ideas and thoughts.
  • Writes to convey ideas, messages and information in different ways in play, imaginative and real contexts.
  • Writes to reflect own experiences and feelings using appropriate vocabulary to convey meaning.

Social Studies

  • Identifies at least two different types of evidence, which can provide information about the past, for example, pictures, family stories, artefacts.
  • Recalls past events from their own life or that of their family, for example learning to ride a bike, a special party.

Possible approach to assessing learning

Children’s reflections could be recorded within an individual learning profile. Children’s recall of how they have grown, developed and changed over time could be illustrated.

When planning your approach to assessing learning, please take account of the latest guidance on assessment approaches.