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Gathering intergenerational interpretations of cultural heritage in a local area: “Culture over the Years”

Keywords: intangible heritage; cultural memory; rituals; traditions; narrative; cultural identity.

Aims and Rationale

The aim of this activity is to foster knowledge exchange between participants (adults and children) and for them to appreciate the intangible aspects (memories and stories) of tangible heritage (places).

It can also provide with a way to record cultural memory over time.

Learning Outcomes and Associated Areas of Knowledge

Recognise intergenerational differences/perceptions around heritage in local area

Value inclusivity in interpretation

Reflect on the nature of cultural changes

21st Century skills

  • Collaboration and Communication
  • Global and Local Connections


Big map of local area.

Photos of places.


How to

Gather children and parents in a common space where a big map with photos of previously selected places on it is is also displayed. Ask a child and a parent respectively to provide their memories and knowledge associated with one of the places in the map.

Allocate time to do more rounds with the same participants as their memories could be fostered by hearing other people stories.


A first challenge is associated with the fidelity of the photo to the real place. In this regard, ensure that each image is an authentic representation of the place and it is considered such by the participants. To do so, you can ask prior to the activity whether the participants can recognise all the places in the map.

Adults may tend not to take the activity seriously due to the presence of the children. This could be kept at bay by emphasising the importance of this activity in light of exploring the significance of the urban space through very different eyes. It is also important to politely ask the parents not to patronise the children views and consider them as “expert” of their own perception around the selected places.

Finally, the children may have a shorter attention span and they should be playfully engaged in keeping going with the activity if they get too distracted.

Assessment for Learning

This activity represents an important chance for both cohorts to learn new things about the local heritage. More specifically, the children could appreciate new facts about the place such as how it has physically changed over time or the way in which the population has made use of it. On the other hand, the parents could appreciate a different perspectives and compare them with their own views as children.

Assessment 'How to'

The assessment for learning of this activity chould happen similarly to the Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model. At the end of the experience, all participants should produce a piece of reflection that treats the following points:

  • What the activity helped them remember;
  • If their perceptions and/or use of the place has changed over time;
  • What new things they have learned about the place and if more from adults or children.

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Download Word File of activity in English


  • Sensitise the parents towards taking the activity seriously.
  • Try to hold the attention of the children in a playful manner.

Hilali Community Contributions

The activity in this section was  co-created by teachers, students, researchers, academics and others interested in developing tools for those working in Higher Education and Cultural Heritage. To make the activity, the Hilali Toolkit Learning Designer was used. If you are interested in contributing activities, please use our learning designer or contact us.

Co-creators of ‘Culture over the years’:

Anna Woodham (Kings College London)

Amber Lamonby-Pennie (Southampton/Kingston Universities)

Eirini Gallou (UCL)

Richard Makay (Kingston University)

Anisha Ruparelia (Kingston University)