These opening activities will be straightforward revision for students with an interest in rugby union, however there are likely to be students in every class with limited or no knowledge of the game or the approaching Rugby World Cup tournament. While students who are rugby fans will find the activities interesting, the exercises are geared towards bringing students who have little knowledge of the game 'up to speed' with the rest before the class embarks on studying the more in-depth strands. The first activity personalizes the event for the students. For New Zealand students the change in their school terms affects them directly. For students from other countries, it is interesting for them to see that an event such as the Rugby World Cup can have far wider effects than just organising some stadiums. The second activity is a comprehension exercise with students being asked to find answers to questions from an article about the Rugby World Cup and its history. On completion of these two activites, students will have sufficient knowledge to move into the rest of the project. .
Time allocated to these introductory exercises is about 2.0 hours of student time, however some classes may opt to take more time in the initial discussion, and time has not been allocated to the setting up of e-portfolios .
- The 'Changing the calendar' activities should take around an hour
- The 'What do you know about the Rugby World Cup' activity may take up to an hour. This activity has been set up as an individual project, which will be shorter, however it was originally designed as a class co-operative learning exercise. Details on running the activity in this way are provided in a link attached to the activity.
Changing the calendar
Why are the New Zealand school holiday dates being changed in 2011?
You mayn’t have been aware of this, but the holidays are being changed!
You need to look at the calendar which compares school holiday dates in 2011 with those in 2010. You should be able to see some changes between 2010’s school holidays and 2011’s. Where do the biggest changes happen?
This is not something that happens normally. The last time school dates were changed this much in New Zealand was when we changed over from a three term school year to a four term school year, back in 1996!
If you are teaching this unit in a New Zealand school, this activity will personalize the Rugby World Cup for the students - they are affected by it, like it or not! If you are teaching outside New Zealand, you can still facilitate questions about fairness and the importance of sport. Should the terms dates be changed?
School terms change to fit Rugby World Cup schedule
New Zealand schools have had their term dates changed for 2011 so that the holidays at the end of term three happen as the same time as the final stages of the Rugby World Cup.
The Ministry of Education has told schools to change the dates of the terms. Terms one and two will be longer, and the fourth term shorter. The third term holidays will occur a fortnight later than normal and will run until Labour weekend near the end of October. Term four, which is when senior high school students sit NCEA exams, will be shorter by two weeks. Easter will be in the term one holidays.
The changes have been made to try to ease pressure on traffic flows and public transport during the final stages of the Rugby World Cup, particularly in Auckland which will host both semi-finals, the game to decide third and fourth place, and the final match. The quarter finals in Wellington and Christchurch will be held in the first weekend of the third term holidays. Having the students on holiday will free up capacity on buses and trains, and will also take cars off the roads as children will not be being driven to and from school.
Some principals and teachers are unhappy about the changes, particularly given that teachers will have less time in term four to get students ready for final examinations.
Others however have said that with all the hype for the end the Rugby World Cup, perhaps it is just as well that children will be off school as they might struggle to concentrate on lessons anyway.
There have been mixed reactions from the general public. While some people have said that they think the changes are ‘no big deal’ and that ‘the kids will hardly notice’, others have been angry, seeing the changes as ‘New Zealand’s obsession with rugby over-riding children’s education.’
All state primary, secondary and area schools in New Zealand will have their dates changed, even in areas which are not hosting any Rugby World Cup matches. Private schools, which set their own term dates, can choose whether to follow the national term calendar or not. The principal of Rangi Ruru School in Christchurch, Julie Moor, has already said that her school will have its term three holidays a week earlier than the state schools.
There are all sorts of possible questions you can throw out to the students as their discussion develops in the reflection activity (below). One is that changing the holidays is supposed to cut down congestion, yet all the remaining matches to be played from the beginning of the quarter-finals until the end of the tournament will be played at the weekend, the semi-finals and finals being played at 9pm local time (to fit with TV schedules overseas) The idea that the change in the holidays will reduce congestion on the roads with people going to the game, hardly stacks up when the games will be played at night on weekends. Perhaps the main reason - and a possibly justifiable one - is to try to create a holiday atmosphere around the end of the tournament. That doesn't seem to be mentioned in the media. Trying to get your students to find deeper reasons and justifications for the change could be a very interesting exercise.
You will need to ensure that the students have their e-portfolio, or whatever reflective journal approach you are choosing to use, set up prior to this part of the activity.
What do you know about the Rugby World Cup?
As noted at the head of the page, this activity was originally designed as a Team Game Tournament (TGT) rather than an individual exercise. Running it as a TGT requires a small amount of setting up, but will undoubtedly result in a richer learning experience (and one which avoids the problem of some students finishing the questions after 15-20 minutes while others are still trying to read the resource article.)
If you do opt to run this activity as a TGT you do NOT want the students to continue on this page as the revision questions and answers provided at the end of the page will in fact form their tournament questions. The following link will take you to full instructions on running this activity as a Team Game Tournament.
A few things worth knowing about the Rugby World CupIt’s now less than twelve months until the next Rugby World Cup. This article looks at the history of this event with some information about how the Cup got started and why it’ll be the biggest sporting event in the world in 2011, and the biggest event New Zealand has ever hosted when it kicks off on 9th September 2011.
Did you know that the trophy for the tournament is called the Webb Ellis Cup? It’s named after a school boy William Webb Ellis who – according to the story – was the first to run forward with the ball in his hands during a football match at Rugby school in 1823. How true the story is is difficult to find out, but he’s the one who gets the credit for starting the game of Rugby Union as we know it today. When the first Rugby World Cup was organized in 1987 the cup was made in London by Garrard’s the jewelers and Webb Ellis’s name was chosen for the trophy. The cup actually isn’t solid gold, it’s silver with a thin coating of gold over the top. It might be interesting to think about why the trophy isn’t made out of solid gold (there are several reasons!)
One hundred years ago rugby was played at the Summer Olympic Games, but it was dropped from the Olympic programme in 1924. From that time on although different countries toured and played tests against each other, for over sixty years there was no formal competition to determine which was the best team in the world. In the 1980s Australia and New Zealand both tried to get a Rugby World Cup under way, and eventually when South Africa and France joined the call, the International Rugby Football Board (now the International Rugby Board, or ‘IRB’) approved the cup going ahead. The first Rugby World Cup was hosted by Australia and New Zealand, with the final played in Auckland. New Zealand’s All Blacks beat France to win the first Rugby World Cup, and New Zealand has not won the trophy again since then. The Rugby World Cup competition is held every four years. Australia and South Africa have both won the trophy twice, while England, like New Zealand, has won it only once. No other countries have won the Rugby World Cup.
At a Rugby World Cup twenty teams play in the opening group round of the championship. The twelve teams who did best in the previous Rugby World Cup automatically get to play in the current one. The other eight teams get there after qualifying by winning matches against other nations in their parts of the world. In the group round the teams are divided into four groups or ‘pools’ of five teams. The five teams in each pool all play each other, and the top two teams from each pool go through to the quarter finals. There are four quarter finals as these top team from each pool plays the runner up from another pool. The winners of these matches play in the semi-finals. The two teams that win their semi-finals play for the Rugby World Cup in the final, while the losing teams play off for third and fourth place. There are 48 matches played overall in the competition.
The Rugby World Cup is the biggest international competition in world rugby. Most rugby playing countries have domestic competitions between regional teams, but there are only two other major rugby championships between national teams: the Six Nations Championship between England, Ireland, Scotland Wales, Italy and France; and the Tri-Nations between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. The Super Fifteen championship is another international championship, but it is not played by the countries’ national teams (like the All Blacks and Springboks). The Rugby World Cup is one of the biggest international sporting events in the world, behind the FIFA (soccer) World Cup, the Summer Olympics and the Tour de France cycling race.
While preparing to host a Rugby World Cup is very expensive, when the event begins all the teams’ supporters bring a lot of money into the country: they not only go to the games, but they stay in motels and hotels, eat out and enjoy themselves in bars and restaurants, and visit tourist attractions around the country. Millions of dollars in extra spending is generated by a successful hosting of an event the size of the Rugby World Cup, which greatly benefits the economy of the host country. As well as this, the leaders of the host country will try to make sure that visitors go home having enjoyed themselves, as they might come back again, or tell friends back home what a wonderful place they have visited. For this reason there is a lot of competition between countries to try to gain the rights to stage a Rugby World Cup. The decision is made at least six years in advance of the event happening: while New Zealand will host the 2011 championship, it has already been decided that the Rugby World Cup will be held in England in 2015 and in Japan in 2019.
Twenty four years have passed since the All Blacks won the first Rugby World Cup. For the first time since then New Zealand will also host the competition in 2011. At the last event in 2007 the All Blacks didn’t even make the semi-finals, the only time that they haven’t done that. The All Blacks are very keen to wipe out the bad memories of 2007, and there is a sense that maybe playing this World Cup at home, New Zealand might at last be able to lift the Webb Ellis trophy again at Eden Park.
Sourced from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugby_World_Cup
If you are running the Team Game tournament, it is these self-assessment revision activities below that you do NOT want the children to see at all costs. See the notes attached to the link to the TGT instructions for further information.
Rugby World Cup quick revision test
Rugby World Cup quick revision test answers