Back to Ancient Rome as the Games Begin
For the past few weeks Year 7 students studying Humanities have been learning about the Ancient Roman Empire – how it evolved and its deep impact on Western civilisation. Students had the opportunity to explore every aspect of the unit through reading, research and a Project-Based Learning (PBL) activity where they were tasked with designing a board game to be presented on Wednesday, January 20.
How Project-Based Learning Works
The designing of a board game by groups is part of an overall interdisciplinary unit that according to the outline, "covers content and context across different curricular disciplines."
Vicki Small, our Humanities teacher, explained that PBL promotes student-centred learning. "It allows the students to interact with content in different ways, rather than learning through more traditional methods, such as worksheets and teacher-led presentations," she said.
Student-centred learning was evident last Wednesday when groups convened at various locations in the learning communities. Some groups were engaged with their board game designs and layout, while others focused on completing trivia questions related to the theme.
To promote useful collaboration, groups consisting of students with different skills were selected by teachers. Groups were arranged based on "language abilities, maturity, perspective, and more," said Ms Small.
All Aboard for Rome
Anthony Kydd, affectionately known by our students as Mr T, explained that this task was not only an opportunity for students to "reflect on the challenge of society adapting to changing times and preserving its culture and tradition," but also a chance for them to apply persuasive communication skills, identify meaningful connections between English and Humanities and take a break from social media in addition to many other objectives.
Milkii, Evangeline, and Yujing created a board game inspired by various popular games. "We didn't want to create a game that already exists," said Eva. So, they combined elements from Monopoly, Trivia and Geography to create their very own board game.
The player's goal is to move from a lower social class (Peasant) to upper class (Emperor) while dealing with and overcoming various obstacles. Players are handed an equal amount of tokens to aid their journey as they move between ranks until they reach the final stage by answering trivia questions related to Ancient Rome.
For Milkii, this activity was a great way to learn about Ancient Rome. He believes players will learn a great deal about history in the process of playing.
Putting together this board game was a fun but challenging activity for the students due to time constraints, but they smartly allocated different tasks for each member. It was a useful collaboration. Combining individual strengths they completed their team mission on time.
Students will also create an instruction manual, and a print and visual advertisement for their board game before presenting it to peers.
The goal of Project-based Learning is for students to undergo a full learning experience without the restriction of conventional methods. Mr T and his team did just that. On to the coliseum and let the Games begin.