The Post-War World: a video Game Applicable for use in Australian Curriculum: Year 10



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Watermark Photo Credit: Australian War Memorial (E02790)

The Post-War World: A Video Game

Applicable for use in Australian Curriculum: Year 10
Written by Olivia Kinnear

Pre-service teacher, RMIT, Victoria

This Unit has eight lessons taught over a four-week period.

Table of Contents


Aims and Objectives 9

Course Overview 10

Resources List 13

Australian Curriculum: History and AusVELS Chart 15

Assessment Rubric 19

Detailed Lesson Plan Example 20


Aims and Objectives


Knowledge and Understanding/Skills

This unit aims to:

have students deepen and consolidate their knowledge of the impact of World War II by designing a video game

fit into the Year 10 History curriculum on World War II. The unit is mainly grounded in this section of AusVELS:

The significance of World War II to Australia’s international relationships in the twentieth century, with particular reference to the United Nations, Britain, the USA and Asia (ACDSEH110), which occurs at the end of the unit on World War II, and leads well into The Globalising World.

integrate across several areas of study and help students create and deepen connections between different bodies of knowledge.

The unit is designed to work with economics, civics and citizenship and mathematics. It incorporates the elements of the economics curriculum that relate to the international economic context and globalisation, and the elements of Civics and Citizenship – particularly those relating to human rights, the United Nations, and Australia’s role in the global community. This unit can also be run parallel with a mathematics unit examining the impact of World War II, the subject matter can be used in data and statistics and also linear relations.

promote student engagement. Gaming is very popular and may spark the interest of some students who don’t usually enjoy history.

challenge students whilst building their confidence by taking on an intellectually rigorous task in a familiar and for many students “natural” medium, and to have them experience the “win” of producing something

develop future job skills by creating links between technology and academic pursuits

develop the students’ capacity to look at history from multiple points of view, and develop understanding of and hopefully compassion for perspectives other than their own.

Course Overview


Week

Lesson

Content/Activities

State/Territory and ACARA curriculum links

Assessment

1

1–2

The Impact of World War II

This task begins once students have learnt about World War II with the questions that confronted the world at the time – What now? How do we rebuild a shattered world? What kind of economy should we have? Who should be in charge?

To start the task students will use their Mathematics class to research the statistical impact of the war – what had happened to armies, economies and societies. During their data and statistics unit they will create graphs and other images to demonstrate some aspects of the world of 1945 (if it is not possible to integrate with the mathematics curriculum this work can be done within the history class).

Students could brainstorm areas of relevant areas of military and civilian life and then divide these amongst themselves.

For example several students could look at the number of people killed and displaced during the war and create: pie charts to show percentage of population; bar graphs to divide it by country, gender, etc.; and line graphs to show change throughout the century. They could then present this to the class and display it in the classroom along with images such as maps, photos, and posters that they have discovered during their research.

Gapminder (see Resources) is a great website for demonstrating the power of this approach, although unfortunately only a small amount of its data relates to World War II.

This is a good opportunity to work on research skills, and for the class to discuss what websites and sources they are using, and why. (At the end of the file there is an example of a detailed lesson plan for this lesson.)

There will then be a class discussion of all students’ work to collectively build up a picture of the impact of World War II.

Once this is clear for all students the teacher poses the questions above, and the class discusses them. Then the teacher introduces the task: that in pairs or small groups or individually (depending on what the teacher thinks will work with the class) they will be designing a video game that illustrates some aspect of the decision-making process in 1945. This is a way of exploring the impact of the war on Australia’s international relationships.

The class will then brainstorm a list of the major players involved – the winners and losers of the war, as well as several countries that were not directly involved but were heavily affected. It could also be useful to not only include Australia, but also to include several aspects of Australian society such as the government, returning soldiers, Indigenous soldiers, and civilians (especially women).


See the AusVELS chart for the whole unit


Assessment can occur throughout the task using the rubric included

Alternatively, the class could design a rubric together

Students can self-assess and assess each other as well as being assessed by the teacher








2

3–4

Character Research

Once a workable list has been created the students will each select one of the players, and over the next couple of classes they will research that player and create a profile. This has several purposes:

to continue developing the students in historical research

to have them put themselves in someone else’s shoes

to create fully fleshed out characters that all the students can use in their video games.

The research can be based on the work done on World War II prior to this unit, and also the statistical research at the beginning of the unit. Some students may need to support to locate additional information for their character.

To facilitate the research the class can brainstorm a list of questions to answer. Many of the students will love gaming and will have a lot to contribute. The kinds of questions that could be asked are:

What has been happening to my character?

What does my character want to happen now?

What are my character’s strengths?

What are my character’s weaknesses?

How much power/resources/money does my character have? (The class may want to rank the characters all together.)

The students could also create a brief biography of their character and some images.









3

5–6

Working on the Video Game

Once these are complete they can be put up around the classroom and shared with all students electronically. In pairs they will now create a short video game using these characters (see Resources for the software).

Given that we are exploring Australia’s international relationships, Australia should be one of the main characters and the game shouldn’t include gratuitous violence.

The software is designed for beginners and doesn’t require any coding. It allows students to create characters and backgrounds, and to tell their characters what to do and how to respond to different circumstances. Students should pick at least four characters to work with, and begin by creating a plot for their game.

Where and when is the game set?

What is going on?

What is the goal of the game?

How do the characters win?

They can then create an appropriate background(s) for the game, and define how each of their characters can move and what obstacles are in their way.

The level of complexity required of the students will depend on their familiarity with programming software, and there are many excellent introductory tutorials that can be played for the class (see Resources). It is also a really good opportunity to have students teach the class, as there are likely to be students with a better knowledge of gaming than their teacher.








4

7

Working on the Video Game










8

Conclusion

In the final class the students will have an opportunity to play each other’s games, and discuss what they’ve learned. The teacher can then tell the students about some of the major impacts of World War II on Australia’s international relationships, and discuss whether any of these elements emerged in the games and why/why not, and what this can tell us about learning history.








Resources List


Week

Lesson

Resources

1

1

Websites

Examples of Websites for Statistics Research

Australia.gov.au – Australian History – Australia at War

http://australia.gov.au/topics/culture-history-and-sport/australian-history/australia-at-war

Australian Bureau of Statistics – Australian services during World War II

www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/featurearticlesbytitle/F19B5A51A60904F3CA2569DE0020331F?OpenDocument

The National World War II Museum (New Orleans) – World War II by the Numbers

www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/education/for-students/ww2-history/ww2-by-the-numbers

Gapminder

www.gapminder.org


2




2

3




4




3

5

Websites

Software to Create Video Games (there are many others available, search YouTube and the developer websites)

EduStar have a an app called Game Maker, the following is a link to a tutorial:

https://fuse.education.vic.gov.au/pages/View.aspx?id=2761d2fd-f389-467d-a7f5-5b8c7f1491dd&Source=%252fpages%252fView.aspx%253fpin%253dTCP5TP

MIT have also created software called Scratch which is available for free on the internet:

http://scratch.mit.edu

Introductory Tutorials

How to Make a Game on Scratch

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4nnP4Ns3qM

Scratch Tutorial – How to Make a Game

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CqfogYyhaw

Lesson 1 – Scratch Basics

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pxaFzRtx7k


6




4

7




8





Australian Curriculum: History and AusVELS Chart


All relevant sections are included. The major points are highlighted in yellow.


Subject

Content

Skills/Standards

History

World War II (1939–45)

An overview of the causes and course of World War II (ACDSEH024)

An examination of significant events of World War II, including the Holocaust and use of the atomic bomb (ACDSEH107)

The experiences of Australians during World War II (such as Prisoners of War (POWs), the Battle of Britain, Kokoda, the Fall of Singapore) (ACDSEH108)

The impact of World War II, with a particular emphasis on the Australian home front, including the changing roles of women and use of wartime government controls (conscription, manpower controls, rationing and censorship) (ACDSEH109)

The significance of World War II to Australia’s international relationships in the twentieth century, with particular reference to the United Nations, Britain, the USA and Asia (ACDSEH110)
The unit task focuses on World War II, and leads into:

The Globalising World

Students investigate one major global influence that has shaped Australian society in depth, including the development of the global influence during the twentieth century. Students study one of these electives:

Popular culture

the environment movement

Migration experiences.


Chronology, Terms and Concepts

Use historical terms and concepts (ACHHS183)


Historical Questions and Research

Identify and select different kinds of questions about the past to inform historical inquiry (ACHHS184)

Evaluate and enhance these questions (ACHHS185)

Identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods (ACHHS186)


Analysis and Use of Sources

Process and synthesise information from a range of sources for use as evidence in an historical argument (ACHHS188)

Identify and analyse different historical interpretations (including their own) (ACHHS191)

Explanation and Communication

Select and use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies (ACHHS193)






Subject

Content

Skills/Standards

Economics

Learning Focus

As students work towards the achievement of Level 10 standards in Economics, they develop their understanding of how the Australian economy is managed, particularly within the international economic context. They analyse how macroeconomic and microeconomic policies and programs advanced by governments and other institutions affect them and their fellow citizens. They examine the role of exchange, trade and globalisation in influencing Australia’s standard of living.


Standards

Economic Knowledge and Understanding

At Level 10, students describe how markets, government policies, enterprise and innovation affect the economy, society and environment in terms of employment, economic growth, the use of resources, exports and imports, and ecological sustainability.

Students analyse the role that governments and other institutions such as banks, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) play in the economy, and evaluate their performance in achieving appropriate economic outcomes for individuals and for society.

Students predict the economic consequences of proposed government policies and make informed choices among alternative public policy proposals. Students explain the impact of macroeconomic and microeconomic policies on themselves and others, including businesses.



Economic Reasoning and Interpretation

At Level 10, students use economic reasoning, including cost-benefit analysis, to research and propose solutions to economic issues and problems of global significance, and to clarify and justify values and attitudes. They plan and conduct investigations in order to research an economic problem and/or argue the validity or otherwise of their own hypotheses. They use relevant economic concepts and relationships to evaluate economic propositions, proposals and policies, and debate the costs and benefits of contentious economics-related issues of local, national or international concern.

Students interpret reports about current economic conditions, both national and global, and explain how these conditions can influence decisions made by consumers, producers and government policymakers. Students demonstrate an awareness of the impact of values and beliefs on economic issues, and how differences may be identified, negotiated, explained and possibly resolved.





Subject

Content

Skills/Standards

Civics and Citizenship

Students investigate the nature and history of the concept of human rights. They become aware of national and international legislation designed to protect those rights. They explore human rights issues at the national and international level, including an investigation of the human rights of ATSI communities and other groups within Australia.

Students explore Australia’s multicultural society. They learn about the past and present policies of government in relation to ATSI people and immigration, and the values and beliefs that support a harmonious multicultural society. They explore the concept of Australian identity and the contributions of various cultural groups. They consider the development of Australian citizenship over time and reasons why people choose to become Australian citizens. They link their understanding of multiculturalism to contemporary issues, such as the global refugee problem and population growth.



Students evaluate the role of the Australian Government in the global community including Australia’s role in the United Nations, through contexts such as government responses to environmental concerns such as global warming or other issues of environmental sustainability, natural disasters, peacekeeping operations, world poverty and national and global security issues.

Standards

Civic Knowledge and Understanding

They take a global perspective when analysing an issue, and describe the role of global organisations in responding to international issues.



Community Engagement

At Level 10, students draw on a range of resources, including the mass media to articulate and defend their own opinions about political, social and environmental issues in national and global contexts. They contest, where appropriate, the opinions of others. They develop an action plan that demonstrates their knowledge of a social or environmental issue and suggest strategies to raise community awareness of it. They participate in a range of citizenship activities including those with a national or global perspective, at school and in the local community.






Subject

Content

Skills/Standards

Mathematics

Money and Financial Mathematics

Connect the compound interest formula to repeated applications of simple interest using appropriate digital technologies (ACMNA229)


Linear and Non-Linear Relationships

Solve problems involving linear equations, including those derived from formulas (ACMNA235)

Solve linear inequalities and graph their solutions on a number line (ACMNA236) 


Solve linear simultaneous equations, using algebraic and graphical techniques including using digital technology (ACMNA237)


Data Representation and Interpretation

Determine quartiles and interquartile range (ACMSP248)

Construct and interpret box plots and use them to compare data sets (ACMSP249)

Compare shapes of box plots to corresponding histograms and dot plots (ACMSP250)

Use scatter plots to investigate and comment on relationships between two numerical variables (ACMSP251)

Investigate and describe bivariate numerical data where the independent variable is time (ACMSP252)



Evaluate statistical reports in the media and other places by linking claims to displays, statistics and representative data (ACMSP253)

The proficiency strands Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning.


Assessment Rubric





4

3

2

1

Character Research

Really thorough, clear and easy to understand, answers all questions.

Is clear and easy to understand and answers most of the questions.

Has answered some of the questions.

Didn’t try at all or only a little bit.

Has used six or more sources.

Has used at least four sources.

Has used more than one source.

Video Game

Has made a highly creative game and worked really well with their partner.

Has made a creative game and worked well with their partner.

Has made at least part of a game and worked at least some of the time with their partner.

Didn’t try at all or only a little bit.

The idea behind the game is realistic and shows a deep understanding of the subject matter.

Shows a good understanding of the subject matter.

Shows at least some understanding of the subject matter.


Detailed Lesson Plan Example


Lesson 1 Outline

Teacher:

Date: / /

Lesson Topic: The end of World War II

Class: 10

Subject: History

Links to Australian Curriculum: History or AusVELS

The impact of World War II, with a particular emphasis on the Australian home front, including the changing roles of women and use of wartime government controls (conscription, manpower controls, rationing and censorship) (ACDSEH109)

The significance of World War II to Australia’s international relationships in the twentieth century, with particular reference to the United Nations, Britain, the USA and Asia (ACDSEH110)

Identify and select different kinds of questions about the past to inform historical inquiry (ACHHS184)

Identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods (ACHHS186)

Process and synthesise information from a range of sources for use as evidence in an historical argument (ACHHS188)


Prior Knowledge of Students

Background Information About the Class

This lesson comes at the end of a unit on World War II history and a mathematics unit on the statistical impact of the war.




Learning Objectives

On completing this lesson, each student will be able to:

describe some aspects of post-World War II world and identify some of the important questions facing people at the time

understand that different countries and people have different histories, needs, wants and perspectives

begin researching their character.



Resources

Contingency Plan



Not needed, the class is not ICT based.


Assessment of Student Learning





Lesson 1 Procedure

Teaching Points/Key Instructions/Questions (including start, middle and end)

Time

Activities

Summary of Work Done in Mathematics:

Class discusses the work they have done on the statistical impact of the war and begin to build up a picture of what the post-war world looks like.



10 minutes




Ask the Questions and Introduce the Task:

The task begins once students have learnt about World War II with the questions that confronted the world at the time – What now? How do we rebuild a pretty shattered world? What kind of economy should we have? Who should be in charge?


After a brief discussion the teacher introduces the task: in pairs (it could also be small groups, but pairs or individually would work best for this class) they will be designing a video game that illustrates some aspect of the decision-making process in 1945. This is a way of exploring the impact of the war on Australia’s international relationships.

10 minutes




The Characters:

Class brainstorms the major characters involved, and the questions they will need to answer to create their video game characters. The characters can be assigned to students randomly or according to interest.



30 minutes


In any available time the class can begin researching this, and the teacher can move around between students to support them and facilitate discussion.







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