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CensusAtSchool Australia

Education Services home page > CensusAtSchool home page > Year 6 Resources


Back to CensusAtSchool home page CasHis40 - Investigating History

You can download this activity as a rich text file (RTF) using the links at the bottom of the page

1. Subject Area
Studies of Society and Environment / Human Society and its Environment - History

2. Suggested Level
Years 8-10

3. Key Statistical Literacy Competencies Addressed
  • Data awareness
  • The ability to understand statistical concepts
  • The ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate statistical information
  • Communicating statistical information and understandings

4. OverviewHistory is the study of people. As an initial task for investigating history, you are required to prepare a newspaper review describing the usefulness of the CensusAtSchool Questionnaire (and resulting data) as a primary source for historical studies. In your review you are asked to refer specifically to questions from the ABS CensusAtSchool Questionnaire to enhance your argument.

5. Requirements
  • Computer with internet connection
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Calculator
  • Pens and paper
  • Student Worksheet

6. Instructions
This is a very broad task. The CensusAtSchool Random Sampler will give access to data from students across Australia analysing the data will assist you to prepare a response to your task. Your article should include specific examples of how the CensusAtSchool material could be used in history. Graphs and tables can compliment your response.

6.1 Examine the questions.
Look carefully at the questions on the CensusAtSchool Questionnaire and locate questions that would assist you in the study of history. Write down the reasons for the link to history on the CensusAtSchool analysis record sheet in column A.

6.2 Produce the information.
Go to the CensusAtSchool Random Sampler and request a sample. The sample size is for you to choose (suggest at least 100).
Record the average answer for each of your chosen questions (e.g. average age of respondents).
( Hint: It will be easier to count the number of students in each category if you sort the data first. If you are good at Excel it will be even easier if you use the COUNTIF function to do the counting for you)

Where there is a long list of options for the question, record only the top five responses (e.g. New South Wales 44%, Malta 21%, China 12%, South Africa 8%, Chile 4%)

6.3 Ideas on investigating history.
At the bottom of the CensusAtSchool record sheet write down a few ideas about how the data could be used when investigating history.

6.4 Prepare a newspaper review.
Based on your analysis of the CensusAtSchool website prepare a newspaper review by answering the following question:

What are some of the ways the CensusAtSchool questionnaire can be used to gather evidence to answer questions about history as the study of people?

7. Record sheet

Column A
Link to history – why?
Estimate of a typical student
1. Sex
2. When born
3. Were you were born
4. Where you live
5. Aboriginal or Torres St. Islander
6. Number of language you can hold an everyday conversation
7. What language you can hold an everyday conversation in?
8. Right handed or left handed
9. Reaction time dominant hand
10. Reaction time non-dominant hand
11. Colour of eyes
12.a Hours sleep school next day
12.b Hours sleep no school next day
13. Height
14. Belly button height
15. Arm span
16. Length of right foot
17. How many bedrooms
18. How many people live in your home
19. Internet access
20. Kinds of pets you have
21. Postcode of school
22. Type of school
23. Number of students at school
24. Year level you are in
25. Method of travel to school
26. Time to travel to school
27. Favourite types of take-away food
28. What you had for breakfast this morning
29. Did you receive money last week?
30. How much?
31. Time for concentration exercise
32. Technology available at home
33. Hours you usually spend on activities
34. How time on the Internet is spent
35. Favourite types of music
36. Sport or activity you most enjoy
37. Frequency of holidays
38. Importance of environmental issues
39. Importance of social issues
40. Action you have taken to address water issue

8. Marking Criteria

A student demonstrates
High-level effective use of the CensusAtSchool web site to gather information
·Detailed conclusions about the usefulness of the source as historical evidence
·Clear communication of ideas using appropriate written forms
·Effective use of the CensusAtSchool to gather information
·Makes some judgments about the usefulness of the source as historical evidence
·Good communication of ideas using appropriate written forms
·Limited use of the CensusAtSchool web site to gather information
·Makes limited judgments about the usefulness of the source as historical evidence
·Limited communication of ideas using appropriate written forms.
·Elementary use of the CensusAtSchool to gather information
·Makes simple observations about the source
·Elementary communication of ideas using appropriate written forms
·Makes some reference to the CensusAtSchool website
·May make an observation about the statistics

Download the Activity


Data in a spreadsheet

Data in a table

(RTF document 373 KB)

(Excel document 635 KB)

This activity involves a broad ranging investigation so, a simple table of data is not appropriate.

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