Game On: A Journey Back in Time

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Looking back in time and across cultures has helped Room 2 explore how games and people have influenced each other. Let me take you back in time to the start of Room 2’s journey.

First, students looked at a book called ‘Heroes to Zeroes’ and learnt about Olympism. Olympism is about trying to make the world a better place through sport. In the book, people who demonstrated Olympism were considered heroes. This led us to brainstorm  how we could show Olympism through sports.  Students then voted on the choices to see what Room 2 valued the most. Trying your best got the most votes, followed by being supportive, having fun, getting healthier and then winning.

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After this, Room 2 discussed who were heroes in their lives and why. Then we looked at different situations and athletes  in sport to classify whether Olympism was being shown. This is what some students had to say  about heroes.

My dad is a hero because he supports me during motocross - Mackenzie

My mum is my hero because she stays with me when I need her to like if I’m scared - Faith

I don’t think Usain Bolt is a hero just because he has won so many gold medals - Louie

He could be a hero if he has made a difference in someone’s life - Dorian

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This led some students to wonder where sports came from, so we journeyed back in time to find out. Room 2 visited Roman gladiatorial contests, the first Olympic Games, and watched battles from afar. This is what some students had to share about their learning.

People played games for fun and entertainment - Katie

Some sports came from trying to keep fit - Sadie

Some sports came from trying to survive, like bow and arrows were used in battle and later in archery - Jaxon 

From here, Room 2 fast forwarded in time to arrive at the present day. Along the way, they learnt how sports have changed over time and continue to do so. Students shared their learning on timelines and other graphic organisers.

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This is what some students had to share about their learning.

A long time ago people doing sports used to hurt each other. They don’t hurt each other as much now - Harrison

In the first Olympics people won an olive leaf crown but now people win medals - Gnapika

The amount of sports people play at the Olympics has changed. They used to play one and now they play about 31 - Dorian

Back then, people wore warm and thick clothing that wasn’t suitable because it was too hot. Those clothes weren’t really made for sports. Sports clothes now are less thicker and cooler - Andy

Room 2 realised that as technology improved, so did sportswear, which also led to some great discussions. 

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Some students noticed that the beach volleyball sportswear for women was quite revealing. Some children had differing opinions about whether this was a good thing. These are some thoughts that rose from discussion.

Why do the men get to wear shorts and t-shirts when the women don’t?  - Skye

I think it’s okay because it’s hot on the beach. I’d get too hot with more clothes on - Seraphina

Some people don’t feel comfortable wearing that - Gnapika

Room 2 also researched which countries sport originated from and which were the best at different sports. Louie questioned why China was so good at table tennis, which led us to explore this further. To do so, students made comparisons between New Zealand and Chinese cultures.

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This is what some students had to share about their learning.

Children in China practise a lot - Kauri

They learn from an early age - Tiarni

At school in China, children work on their own a lot, so they are better at individual sports. Children in NZ schools can work better in teams, so can be good at individual sports or team sports. Chinese children aren’t very good at sports like rugby because they don’t have much outside spaces to play in, and they are smaller than us - Dorian

A next step for Room 2 is to take what they have learnt and work in teams to design a game to teach others. As game designers and teachers, students will have to demonstrate Olympism and encourage Olympism in others. Leading up to this, teams are designing their own country, a flag and mascots to represent it, and a motto to promote Olympism for their game. Here are some examples of work so far.

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The next time you play a game or sport, Room 2 encourages you to show Olympism by making the world a better place through sport.

Keywords: Game On, sports, games, history, heroes, Olympism, culture, NZ, China, discussion

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