Key Stage 4 Smart Task: Scoop! What on earth was going on in Abyssinia in 1935?

This task is run along the lines of a newsroom simulation. Students take on the role of an editorial team whose job it is to make sense of a complex situation, in a little known part of the world, and to assess it likely impact on international relations. The activity culminates in groups making a ‘to video camera’ presentation as if they were the BBC’s foreign correspondent in that area looking back from the standpoint of March 1936.  By giving students different aspects and different sources to work on, in different roles, you significantly help differentiation. This task was based on an idea from the ever-imaginative Anne Richardson of Toynbee school, Chandlers Ford.

Learning objectives

  • Students learn to work cooperatively to synthesise and then prioritise pieces of information
  • They are able to explain the origins of the crisis going back to 1896
  • They are able to predict the likely impact on international relations by applying their contextual knowledge
  • To articulate their understanding in the form of a concise but informative piece to camer

Step 1

As the students come into the room, they find the classroom differently arranged, with groups of tables placed together. On each table is a sign

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