I’m free to do what I want

Are we really free to choose?

In May to July of 2017, C21 engaged in this expedition.

The learning targets were :

  • I can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of living under Nazi rule
  • I can explain and analyse historical events and periods studied using second-order historical concepts such as: continuity and change, cause and effect, chronology, empathic understanding and the use of evidence
  • I can analyse, evaluate and use sources to make substantiated judgements about people living under Nazi rule
  • I can analyse, evaluate and make substantiated judgements about interpretations (including how and why interpretations may differ) in the context of Nazi Germany
  • I can read Animal Farm critically, considering how it links to the guiding question and wider contextual factors, considering language structure and form
  • I can write accurately, as appropriate for audience and purpose
  • I evaluate texts critically, identifying and interpreting explicit and implicit information and ideas

Our immersion activity involved taking students on fieldwork to The National Holocaust Museum where students learnt about the treatment of Jewish people before, during and after the rise to power of the Nazis in Germany.

Afterwards students started the expedition by studying the rise to power of Hitler as part of the World Depth Study for GCSE.

Key areas for study were:

  • Dictatorship – How did the Nazis take total control of Germany so quickly?
  • Control and Opposition, 1933– 1939 – How did the Nazis tighten their grip on the German people?
  • Changing Lives, 1933–1939 – How can we summarise the changing lives of the German people, 1933 – 1939?

Alongside their historical studies, students critically appreciated and analysed Animal Farm by George Orwell, considering the way in which the writer through an allegorical structure explores the idea of totalitarianism. In addition, students analysed and discussed a wide range of non-fiction texts to provoke thinking about how we are susceptible to manipulation by the media and how this can determine our thinking. Students explored the use of propaganda in Nazi Germany as a basis for exploring other forms of propaganda, political bias in newspaper articles and the more recent concept of ‘fake news’ in social media.

As a result of their studies, students answered GCSE History questions to show the depth of their understanding and the skills they had developed with regard to interpreting different sources and differing historical perspectives. Alongside their analysis of Animal Farm as a GCSE study text; considering writer’s language, structure and the historical context.

Finally, students culminated the expedition by producing a pop art image and a narrative based on their thoughts regarding the guiding question. Their final artwork and commentaries were displayed at Doncaster Art Gallery providing an authentic public audience for their work. Critique from the gallery curator provided authentic expert critique to ensure work was of high quality.

All resources relating to this expedition can be found below:

Expedition Posts

Final product – Pop art and narrative 

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