Learning Activities Week 3 and 4

At this point, all students have a fairly good understanding of the mechanics of the game, and we are ready to set off on some juicier learning activities.

Over the next two weeks there are 2 tasks that will take up most of class time:

  1. New blog assignments
  2. Screenvideos using Civ4 to demonstrate real world conflicts

Like last week we have assigned  students 3 different blog tasks. Half the class will be writing in English, the other half will be writing in Norwegian. This time, they will receive summative and formative assessment in either Norwegian AND Social Science or English AND Social Science. Their instructions are as follows:

1. Civics

In Civilization IV, the player can select between ceveral different civics. Read about these in the Civiliopedia and the list of terms we put together before the break. Each of these may benefit, and/or disadvantage your civilization. Consider the games you have been playing: Which civics did you choose for your civilization? Why? How did your choices benefit or disadvantage your civilization? Imagine you were running a real country, would you have made the same choices? Draw parallels between the game and concepts we are studying in Social Science.

Recommended resources (Norwegian)

2. Diplomacy

Which kinds of international agreements can one enter into in Civilization IV? Which factors decide how succesfully you are able to conduct negotiations? Is the way diplomacy is represented in the game an accurate simulation of how diplomacy is conducted in the real world? Why, why not? Draw parallels between the game and concepts we are studying in Social Science.

Recommended resources (Norwegian)

3. Power

Define the term power in international relations (In English this part is essential as ‘power’ in English is an even broader term than ‘makt’ is in Norwegian). How do states in Civilization IV exert power over each other? Relate this to the concepts of Charismatic/Ideological power, economic power and military power. Refer to real-world examples in your text.

Recommended resources (Norwegian)

The Screenvideos are in my opinion the most exciting activities we do related to this game. In this task, students will use the WorldBuilder  function in Civilization 4 to place resources, geographical features, units, cities etc. on the game map. They will then be using a screen recorder to demonstrate and comment on a recent or ongoing international conflict. Their instructions are as follows:


  • Your presentation should discuss causes for this conflict arising as well as suggestions as to how this conflict could be resolved. You are expected to demonstrate understanding of the learning material from NDLA Social Science (Norwegian Site) and to utilize correct terminology in your presentations.

  • Start your presentation by defining how you understand the term “conflict” for the purpose of this assignment.

  • Screenvideo/Screenshots from Civilization IV gameplay should be used as an illustrative tool in your presentation.

  • Duration: 7-10 minutes

  • It will be up to you to decide which digital tools you will use to make your presentation, but if you require technical assistance from your teachers we reccommend using Camstudio, standard record function in Windows and Windows Moviemaker

  • Recommended resources (In Norwegian):You may select an ongoing conflict from this list, or any other ongoing or recent conflict you find interesting (subject to my approval)

I hope to be ready to post some of the texts my students wrote for Blogpost 1 tomorrow. Once again, I urge readers of this blog to check out my student´s text and comment on them. The blogs have had about 1500 hits in the last 2 weeks. I would strongly appreciate if some of you would take the time to also leave a short comment.




About teacheraleks

Teacher, and Games and Learning Specialist at Nordahl Grieg Upper Secondary School in Bergen, Norway.
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