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Understanding By Design Backwards Design Process

Year 10 History
Year Level: 10

Depth Study: History World War 2

Duration (weeks): 7

No. of Periods (50-60 mins): 3-4

Rationale: This constructed unit is for the intention of teaching a classroom of year ten
students. The depth study that is covered within this unit of work shall review World War two,
this is according to the Australian curriculum (Ausvels). This unit shall uses the lenses of power
and the various perspectives of power. Furthermore it looks deeply at how power can take
different forms and shapes. Whilst power is the central theme, students will still look other first
and second ordering thinking. Such first order themes include that of Racism and fear which are
big picture ideas that students can take from the classroom and incorporate this thinkings within
their own lives. Peter Sexias believes that his six historical thinking concepts as a collection lead
to an enriched and deeper understanding of historical events. (Sexias, 2014). To evaluate and
determine the understanding of student learning, assessments both formative and summative
shall be embedded throughout the unit. However each assessment follows on from the previous
assessment so that there is a level of scaffolding towards the summative assessment, thus
allowing for each student to grasp the tools and knowledge in order to succeed. (Marsh, 2010).
This unit of work is a lead in towards a further unit that looks and evaluates the role of Australia
within the war and thus impact the war had on the Australian front. However sustainability shall
be looked within this unit from the perspective of mass production of weaponry and the also the
sustainability of the German nation post World war one. As such unit focuses on power and the
use and misuse of power, this class shall depend strongly on discussion and debate between
students and teacher, this allows for students to formulate their own thinking and understanding
of how they believe the second world war occurred and impacted the world. (Husbands,
1996).By using numerous types of resources in different formats, this unit is taught to cater of
different learning styles and needs. The level of engagement within such a history classroom
setting is dependent upon how engaging the sources are. (Hart, 2015).
Stage 1 Desired Results
AC or AusVELS Standard:

An overview of the causes and course of World War II (ACDSEH024)

An examination of significant events of World War II, including the Holocaust and use of the atomic
bomb (ACDSEH107)

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Understanding By Design Backwards Design Process

The impact of World War II, with a particular emphasis on the Australian home front, including the
changing roles of women and use of wartime government controls (conscription, manpower controls,
rationing and censorship) (ACDSEH109)

Understanding (s) or Big ideas

Students will understand that:

Power can take many forms within our society
and has down throughout history and even
presently. Furthermore students grasp an
understanding of how the role of individuals
within a society are altered when placed

under a authoritarian state and the pressure

this places on the common man.

Essential Question(s):
Do ethics and responsibilities of an
individual change when under
adversity, such as a war.
What key factors and circumstances are
needed for a power shift to occur?
Would you have stood up against what was
occurring? See Appendix 1
How do we as individuals defend ourselves to
the allegations of wrong doings?

Student Outcomes:
Students will be able to:
What key knowledge will students acquire as a result of this unit?
Students after studying this unit will attain the knowledge of key dates and key figures
to within this area of history, however going beyond this students will understand the
importance of the human condition, how the world can drastically change due to
certain circumstances and that above all, and history is written as a majority from the
perspective of the winner.
What key skills will students acquire as a result of this unit?
Key skills that students will have attained will match those of AusVels. These include
the likes of, Use historical terms and concepts (ACHHS183), Identify and locate
relevant sources, using ICT and other methods (ACHHS186), Identify the origin,
purpose and context of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS187), Evaluate the
reliability and usefulness of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS189). These skills
shall be met as the unit allows students to engage with the material and therefore uses
such skills in order to complete such tasks.
What should they eventually be able to do as a result of such knowledge and skill? Students
will be able to incorporate and thus interpret primary and secondary sources and write critically in
response to such sources. This shall be evaluated as a summative assessment twice within the seven
week period, once in the form of a formal essay another a source analysis. Furthermore students will
be able to demonstrate a vast majority of historical second order concepts that are covered within each
week of the unit outline. Lastly students will have a greater understanding of the one man does have
the power to alter the course of history and this will be used to compare and contrast with other uprising

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Understanding By Design Backwards Design Process

and revolutions that have occurred since that of the Nazi regime later on within the year.

Stage 2 Assessment Evidence

Formal Assessment task
Through what formal assessment tasks will
student demonstrate the desired
Short answered questions that
handed in and marked.
A source analysis task looking at
different sources, one looking at a
cartoon, another at a still image.
A formal essay in response to one of
3 questions. See Appendix 2

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Other Evidence (Informal assessment)

- A pass out note that includes:
something the student learnt, was
unsure on and question that they wish
to be answered for the following lesson.
- General engagement with class
members, evaluating discussion and
reading the room on how well the
students are grasping the concepts and
content of the lesson.


Understanding By Design Backwards Design Process

Stage 3 Learning Plan


2: A rise to

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Why do those
with power use
it to intimidate
and strike fear
into others?
Can such
Was Germany
already in a
state of antiSemitism prior
to Hitlers



1st order:
Power, Fear
& classes.
2nd order:

This week as a whole will cover

the situation in which Germany
had been placed into after the
impacts of World War One. This
will cover the classes of the
German people as well as the
treaty of Versailles and the impact
this had on Germany has a nation
See Appendix 3.
Furthermore at the beginning of
the very first class, students will
need to write their own questions
about what they would like to
have learnt by the end of the unit.
See Appendix 4.

Can one rise to

power with
only charisma?

1st order:

This week the content covers

Hitlers rise to power, we look at
Hitler as an individual and the



Link to
Treaty of
Uses of
about the
at the
time as
well as
classes of
Videos of Hitlers

Formative - Short
questions in
relation to
source analysis,
See Appendix

to imagery

Understanding By Design Backwards Design Process

3: A
on of

As people, do
we gravitate
towards certain

2nd order:

Does our today

society include
the ideas Hitler
imbedded prior
in 1945? Eg.
Secret police,
spying on one

1st order:
Power, Fear
2nd order:
and change

Why would one

in power seek
to consolidate

4: Power of What is the

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1st order:

circumstances and factors that

contributed to his rise.
Furthermore we debate and
discuss Goebbels, who was the
Nazis head of propaganda and the
use of propaganda within German
society. Students engage in selfresearch, online by searching for
excerpts from some of Hitlers
speeches and discuss whether or
not the things he was saying
could be said today within
This week we look solely at how
the Nazis used various means of
power in order to consolidate
their position as a dictatorship.
This looks at the idea of a secret
police, Hitler youth and the SS.
Furthermore we link this class to
todays situation, with spying,
drones and WikiLeaks.

The first lesson of this week shall

be the summative task. This week
shall look deeply into the


posters and
images. See
Appendix 17

depiction of the
Nazis using
methods to
consolidate their
position of
See Appendix
A video showing
the number of
Hitler youth
members that
was enrolled.
See Appendix
Numerous clips

of Hitler
nt in task
of selfresearch
on Hitlers
use of

responses to
source analysis,
that is done in
preparation for
next weeks

Reflections from
the Holocaust

Understanding By Design Backwards Design Process

If you were in
the same
position, would
you have done
something to
end the
wrongness that
was occurring?
5: Power of Why did the
war travel
across the
entire World?
What was
Australia doing
during this
period of time?
Was Hitler from
day one
towards a
world war? If
so, why did the
people follow
6: Power of What were the
Allies, the
return to
for the Nazis?
an allied
How far could
the Nazis have
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2nd order:

1st order:
Allies, War

1st order:
2nd order:
Cause and

hardships of the individuals who

suffered from the Nazi regime.
Thus we cover stories and tales
from the Holocaust. See
Appendix 8. Furthermore this
week shall be a trip to the
Holocaust museum in which
students can witness sources
straight from those who endured
the holocaust first hand. See
Appendix 9
This week is a look at Germanys
involvement within the war as
well as a scope of the war as a
whole. We look at the inclusion of
Australia within the war and what
they had been doing throughout
this time period. Furthermore we
look at the rifts that were
occurring within Europe and who
was fighting with whom.

about the

Photos from the

war itself
Website that is
an interactive
look at the war
displaying the
allies and axis.
See Appendix

Short answered
questions about
the war. See
Appendix 13
Level of
from students
about the
content that is
being covered.
See how far we
have come thus

This week we look at the end of

the German power, and the
establishment of two superpowers
(USA, Russia) Furthermore we
review the Nuremberg trial and
repercussion of the peoples

Video on the
trials. See
Appendix 14
A look at

responses, page
long responses
heavily focused
on cause and


museum. See
Appendix 10
Summative Source analysis
responses. See
Appendix 11.

Understanding By Design Backwards Design Process

in realistic
terms gone to
ruling the
What factors
them from
doing so?
7: Review
of unit

How has, over

time power
progressed and
What impact
did the Nazis
regime and
World War 2 on
the whole,
have on the

1st order:
2nd order:
Cause and

overuse and misuse of power. We

take a brief look at Australias war
effort and how the war impacted
the Australian shores. Lastly we
look at how things had changed
within Germany and the world
from the end of World War 1 to
the end of World War 2.

effect. See
victory speech
Appendix 16
Both a YouTube
clip and website.
See Appendix

This week is a review of the unit

itself covering over key points and
events. Furthermore the
questions completed by students
on the first lesson of this unit are
handed back out in which we
review and answer these
questions. Furthermore we
discuss and debate how the
events of this brief moment of
history impacted the world then
and now. Lastly we look at
sustainability and look at
technological advancements such
as weaponry and the use of mass

Statistics of the
number of
people who
fought and died
in the war. The
number of
weaponry used
within the period
of time.

Final essay. See
Appendix 2

Appendix 1: This question is asked purely because it can be directly linked to that of todays current situation within Australia. So
some students within the class may choose to answer that of course, they would have attempted to prevent a killing of Jewish people
within their society, I as a teacher can play devils advocate and ask well why is it that even today refugees are treated so poorly and

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Understanding By Design Backwards Design Process

yet we are all aware of the circumstances which such individuals must endure.
Appendix 2: Whilst the students have a choice of three questions, these questions, whilst worded differently all require students to
answer with a similar theme, drawing on materials and use of the content taught throughout the unit. Essentially these questions
allow the teacher to evaluate the students learning and understanding despite the fact students are able to have choice.

Appendix 3: Essentially this entails students to look closely at the treaty itself and the situation Germany had been put into, we as a
class analyze the statistics of the repercussions of the treaty such as the number of foot soldiers Germany was limited to, as well as
the finical payments that needed to be paid towards the allies. From there as a class we hypothesize the effect that such a threshold
might have, answers should ideally be consensus that such a nation as Germany would have a resentment across the country
towards those who enforced such punishments.
Appendix 4: niche little, simple task that allows me as teacher to grasp an understanding of what students are interested in within this
unit, as well their own prior knowledge to World War 2 as whole. Ideally if everything pans out according to the unit outline, students
will answer these questions they have created in week 7. This demonstrates prior understanding for me as teacher, as well as
demonstrate to the students that they have come full circle.
Appendix 5: Niche website that shows prior background to World War 2 and the outcomes of the treaty itself. See Appendix 3

Appendix 6: These questions are simply to evaluate where the class as whole are at in terms of responding to source materials. At
the beginning of week 4 there will be a summative assessment task on source analysis.
Appendix 7: This video shows the level of insanity that was demonstrated from the charismatic Adolf Hitler.
Appendix 8: This week covers a rather confronting subject. Footage shall be used to demonstrate some of the hardships and brutality
that these individuals faced during this piece of history. Teaching the class I would beforehand explain that the materials we will be
looking at, are quite confronting and that, if any student feels uncomfortable that they, if need be may leave the room. I would explain
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Understanding By Design Backwards Design Process

that yes these are horrific scenes, but sadly this was a reality and we as learners to grasp an understanding of the situation at the
time must face such reality, as grueling as it may be. I would catch up and have a chat to any of those who left the room or felt
uncomfortable after the lessons had been concluded.
Appendix 9: Located in Elstrentwick, the Jewish holocaust Centre is a collection of materials and objects straight from the survivors
of those who endured the holocaust. More importantly, the Centre offers students to hear from live survivors and can hear their tales
and experiences. This is incredible as shortly, these people will soon be no longer and future students will not have such a privilege.
Appendix 10: Students to be given a task prior to the trip to the Jewish Holocaust Centre. They are to go online onto the museums
website and write on what they expect and anticipate shall happen when they make their visit. At the Centre students are to take a
photo of one photo or object that strikes out to them, in which they will then back in class Reflect and analyze. This allows for
students to take the trip seriously and therefore appreciate the experience as they are going in with an already preconceived and
there is a point to the excursion as a whole.
Appendix 11: This assessment will contain a cartoon depiction of the rise of Hitler, and well as a propaganda piece that was used the
Nazis in order to reassure the German population.
Appendix 12: This is a really cool website that allows students to move around the world on a map and see where the war was
occurring at various stages. Students can explore as they like, however Id
make a strong focus on students to look at the Nazi expansion and Jewish refuge areas.
Appendix 13: The idea to answer short answer questions is to scaffold students towards the final summative assessment which is an
essay. By this I can review and evaluate the capabilities of students and gage where they are at.
Appendix 14: short excerpt from the trials.
Appendix 15:
Appendix 16: questions entail cause and effect, for example Did Hitler in fact keep his word about the promises he had made to the
German people when he was put into power.
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Understanding By Design Backwards Design Process

Appendix 17: This images, cartons and other materials would be a collection that I will have put together, depending on the
classroom and the characters within the classroom I would chose the materials based on what I thought was the appropriate.
Obviously I have no concept of the students I would have for this unit and thus cannot decide exactly which materials too use,
however such images would include the likes of, Hitlers stepping stones, Jewish people guilty for the war and Nazi propaganda, These are just a sample.

Ausvels The Humanities: History. Retrieved from:

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Understanding By Design Backwards Design Process

Hart, C. (2015). Get connected: Locating, organizing and sharing digital resources for History teaching.
Husbands, C. (1996) what is history teaching? (1st Ed.). England: open University Press.
Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a Teacher - Knowledge, Skills and Issues. (5th Ed.). Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.
Sexias, P. (2014). The Historical thinking project. Retrieved from

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