Western Australia School Activities

Between 2012 and July 2018, WA Education Outreach Officers Melissa Kirkham and Joanna Tyler presented free school workshops on the history of emotions to over 6,000 students in schools in Perth and regional Western Australia. They also presented Teacher Professional Development Days and workshops at the UWA campus.

Topics included:

First time Shakespeare (Years 7-9): A one-hour workshop uses practical and written activities to give students an introduction to the historical context of Shakespeare and Elizabethan theatre. This includes changing the classroom into the Globe Theatre, learning fun and disguising facts about the period and an entertaining look at the Romeo and Juliet prologue!

Senior Shakespeare (Years 10-12): Using the class text being studied, this one or two-hour workshop uses practical and written activities to introduce the function of the Elizabethan Theatre and it’s ability to communicate social status, themes and emotions in Shakespeare’s work. Students ‘translate’ emotions from Shakespeare’s plays into modern English, analyse and map the emotional journey of characters. Drama students also have the opportunity to interpret emotion into movement and vocal techniques.

Renaissance Portraiture (Years 6-12): Adaptable for a wide range of age groups, this workshop provides students with a fun and hands-on introduction to Renaissance art. Students participate in activities on symbolism, learn to identify characteristics of Renaissance portraiture and look at how these were used to convey emotions, social class, life experience and popular ideologies. The workshop also addresses the concept of appropriation and allows students to create their own, reworked Renaissance art to communicate modern emotions and ideas.

Black Death (Years 7-12): Predominately aimed at Year 8 Humanities students, the Black Death workshop looks at the emotional responses people had to the Black Death in the 14th-century and how experiences of the plague varied for people of different social, religious and economic backgrounds. This is done using a variety of activities where students work with both primary and secondary sources. The two-hour version of this workshop is an excellent cross-curricular project with Drama and includes activities on how the plague was contracted and special effects makeup to recreate the look of the Black Death!

Download the Black Death Teacher Ed. Pack here


Curating Emotions (Years 5-10): This workshop is aimed at upper primary and lower secondary students and is particularly useful for classes who are attending excursions to museums. Students curate their own museum experience and experiment with displaying and describing museum items in a manner that elicits an emotional response. Students also examine their own emotional attachment to objects and how this can affect their perception of the age and importance of an object.

Emotions 3D (Years 6-12): Emotions 3-D allows students to ‘do’ history, rather than simply reading about it! Adaptable for Humanities, Media, Drama and Visual Art, students are introduced to digital and 3-D printed cultural heritage objects by interacting with online, 3-D museum objects from the UK. There is even an opportunity for students to examine the objects using the Sketchfab mobile phone app and Google Cardboard! The emotional and moral implications of this exciting avenue for cultural heritage interaction are addressed as we consider; is there is a difference between emotional connection to digital items and the ‘real thing’?

Print Media (Years 7-12): Using satirical newspaper comics, advertisements and other illustrations, students are exposed to the history of print media’s ability to shape our thoughts and feelings. Classes compare illustrations from the past – some from UWA’s own Special Collections Library – with those of today, identifying the use of rhetoric, satire, parody and visual advertising devices. Media students also have the opportunity to create their own work based on historic sources, some of which were printed 300 years ago!

Download the complete list of schools


Download the 2017 School Workshop flyer