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Course content overview

The overall theme of the unit is the 'impact of hosting a global sporting fixture'. This course is designed to engage students in a unit of work that looks at the impact of a major sporting event on their own country, or the impact of a similar event within a different hosting country. In order to provide material and resources for teachers, this unit has been written using exemplars specific to the Rugby World Cup that is to be held in 2011 in New Zealand. Students undertaking this unit of work are encouraged to examine and understand the impact of hosting an international sporting event on the country's environment, culture and communities. This unit also provides an opportunity to investigate the history and development of this particular sport and it's influence on the culture of a nation.

Learning area

This unit of work was initially developed and scaffolded from the New Zealand Curriculum - Social Studies - Level 3. However, the learning strands have been modified and teachers from other countries opting to use this resource should have little difficulty adapting the learning objectives to their own curriculum needs.

Intended audience

This course is designed for students aged 8-13, (or Years 5-8 in a New Zealand school.) Students of this age group are still dependent workers who are developing independent skills. When students enter this age group they should be able to work cooperatively in a group, be reading for pleasure, can follow sequential steps in project work, be able to use a map and recognise countries, write in complete sentences and have mastery of reading and mathematical skills for their age. Our activities have been designed to reinforce these skills and then give students the opportunities to build on them.


This unit of work is project based and endeavours to be meaningful to the students by focussing on an authentic context. The learning activities are designed for students to work collaboratively in groups.

A Project Based Learning (PBL) approach which is “the use of in-depth and rigorous classroom projects to facilitate learning and assess student competence. Students use technology and inquiry to respond to a complex issue, problem or challenge. PBL focuses on student-centred inquiry and group learning with the teacher acting as a facilitator” (Wikipedia,September 2010[1]).

Student learning is more effective where activities are authentic and mirror real world problems and are meaningful to their lives. Learning resources should build on students’ prior knowledge and where appropriate embrace a constructivist and situative pedagogical approach as espoused by theorists such as Vygotsky and Lave.

In focusing on these approaches we wanted the design to provide opportunities for both self-directed learning and learning from interaction with others in a real world context.

Learning outcomes

Students who sucessfully complete this unit of work should be able to:

  • Discuss the history and organisation of the Rugby World Cup event as an example of a major international sports tournament.
  • Identify the positive and negative environmental impacts on their community where an international sporting event is being held
  • Demonstrate empathy towards different opinions people may hold about an international sporting event and how it might affect them and their communities.
  • Outline responsibilities of nations hosting a major international sports fixture, and discuss ways in which local people can make visitors feel both welcome and valued.
  • Demonstrate how the history of this event and the game itself underpins the current style of play and performance of the sporting teams today
  • Identify the impact 'the sport' has had on moulding aspects of their own culture
  • Reflect on the learning experiences they undertake during the course of this unit.

Process and skill learning outcomes

While not directly assessed, in completing this unit of work students will undertake a variety of critical thinking activities and applied co-operative learning skills. These skills link strongly to lifelong learning habits and the key competencies identified in the New Zealand Curriculum. Students who complete these activities will:

  • Participate in varied discussion activities in small and larger groups, exploring different ideas and opinions
  • Undertake research and process information, reworking their findings into new forms for different applications
  • Collaborate within a group to demonstrate the ability to relate to others and contribute to completing set work
  • Reflect on the learning activities they engage in, responding to challenges to their own ideas and evaluating their own thought and feelings surrounding issues.


Students will set up a portfolio at the beginning of this unit. This will document their reflections and outcomes. The portfolio will be developed individually but will likely also include work that has risen from group and class activities during the course of the unit. Portfolio activities are clearly explained in the strands and Teacher notes. It is anticipated that teachers will support and guide students through these activities. While the portfolio activities are linked, teachers using this unit of work are free to guide students to omit particular activities (for example for reasons of time constraints) or to add in extra activities linked to new learning that has emerged during class. Teachers who do create new activities relating to this unit are most cordially invited to add them to this WikiEducator resource.

Students also have opportunities for self and peer assessment relating to different learning activities through this unit. It is our intent that the process of inquiry learning and co-constructing meaning are the key goals of this unit, and for this reason no obvious summative activities have been provided (although clearly the portfolios will be a record of the students' learning.) Teachers and classes may choose to add pieces of work from this unit to students' school portfolios, or to suggest that students nominate a particular piece of work as their 'best' piece, or 'the activity they learned most from', in terms of a summative assessment.

Learning environment and resourcing

All the teaching and learning material for this unit is available on WikiEducator. We anticipate that students will be in a classroom whilst they are covering this unit. To acknowledge the difficulties still to be overcome with electronic learning, we have set the course up as follows:

There are two options built into our course design. The first is where every student has access to the internet and can use this as a learning, research and outcome driven tool. The second is where the access to the internet is limited and the teaching style will be more classroom based with access to physical resources.

Both methods of teaching and learning are built into the resourcing of this unit.

Course structure overview

The course is built into four parts.

  • An introductory activity to engage the students in the content.
  • A strand that is built around the students' journey to a nominated venue where they get the opportunity to examine the environmental impact of the stadium.
  • A second strand in which the students explore how different people in a community have different opinions (and reasons for these) about the event occurring in their country or city. This strand also had the students have a look at the cultural identity of a visiting team with a view to producing a resource to help the local people make the visitors feel welcome.
  • A third strand where students will take some time to look at the history of the game being played and how technology has impacted on the game's development over time.

Teachers and classes using this resource can opt to use all three strands, or just develop one or two, and the strands can be used in any order to best suits the learning needs of the students. (In order to facilitate effective group discussions however, it is anticipated that all class members would be working on the same strand at the same time.)

Time allowance

It is anticipated that students will spend between 20-25 hours completing this unit of work, assuming that the introductory activities and all three stradns are worked through. Details in the Teacher notes section give the time breakdown for individual teaching and learning activities.

Teacher notes

Teacher notes are linked to directly from each student activity by clicking on this icon. Exquisite-kwrite.png Look for it down the right hand side of each student page.

Authors and Disclaimer

This unit was created by students of a Massey University Postgraduate Course in Instructional Design for eLearning.

Safety Disclaimer Please keep in mind that the material on this website can be edited by ANYONE. Please bear in mind that the safety of the teaching ideas thus cannot be guaranteed as the creators have no control over the evolution of this unit.