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16 October 2014
Scottish Wars of Independence

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Scotland Education
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How to play the game

The aim of the site is to encourage pupils to use their judgement when examining and evaluating historical sources and anecdotal information. We do this in the form of a game.

The player is asked to select six items to form a 'Wars of Independence' tour. Playing the enhanced game, the child uses a spinner to move around the board; in the ordinary version they explore the properties in the order they wish.

When they land on an item they have the choice of adding it to their tour. To help them decide we give some background historical information plus two expert opinions.

Once six properties have been chosen, the tour is rated for historical accuracy and for popularity. You'll see that one does not necessarily lead to the other!

In the classroom

The site's design lends itself to use on an interactive whiteboard and can function effectively as a whole class exercise, encouraging debate amongst the pupils as to the importance and relevance of the items they choose.

It's also suitable for use by pupils individually, with some guidance. Why not challenge the pupils to create different types of tour?

How about...

...a tour focussing on William Wallace?

...a tour focussing on Robert Bruce?

...the most historically accurate tour?

...the most popular tour?

Pupils could also play the game in groups, print out their final tour summary and take turns to present their tour to the rest of the class, explaining their choices.

Are there relevant sites in your area? Pupils could research the history of local items or places and collect expert opinions to help them judge their historical integrity and popularity. How do they measure up to the items in the game?

Please be aware that the game deliberately does not tell a child that they have "won". Instead it feeds back very clear comment on the type of tour they have selected. If you'd like your class to be motivated by a more heightened sense of "winning", then you will need to be the arbiter of that contest!

Of course "winning" will depend on the different challenges you have set. It could also be that the "winning tour" could be decided through class discussion and a vote.

We hope your students have fun whatever emphasis you choose to exploit!

Other interesting sites:

BBC History's multi-media exploration of the Wars of Independence:

Could you survive the Wars of Independence? Find out in this BBC Education site:

The National Archives of Scotland Education Department looks at some of the key documents:

The National Library of Scotland and Scran put together a Pathfinder pack on the period:

Learning and Teaching Scotland resources:

Historic Scotland classroom activities and places to visit:


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