Playing The Museum Game develops these core capabilities among students:
- literacy – the game is all about 'reading' objects, and in every move players create an image, title it and describe a resemblance
- information and communication technology capability – players explore a physical environment to create a digital assemblage; the game encourages players to move beyond our traditional perspective of the world as static and linear, and to see and think in terms of dynamic networks
- critical and creative thinking – players are challenged to collaborate in their teams to create analogies between disparate objects; each team's work is then evaluated by every other team
The Game can serve two of the three cross-curriculum priorities very well because the Museum collects material on Indigenous cultures and histories and on the ecology and sustainability of Australia. We can seed a gameboard with anything on display in our Landmarks gallery.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culturesLandmarks includes a wealth of material related to Indigenous people, places and cultures, and their interaction with colonists.
Spearhead removed from Governor Arthur Phillip's shoulder after he was speared in 1790
Portraits of Aboriginal men published in South Australia Illustrated, 1847
Breastplate inscribed 'Barney / Cobarro / Cobbiberry / Narkool / Dalleburra'
Boomerang made by Neville Bonner, Jagera man and the first Indigenous federal member of parliament
Proclamation issued by Tasmanian Governor Arthur to explain the reciprocal relations between Indigenous and settler peoples.
The cross-curriculum priority of sustainability is also well-served by the Landmarks gallery and therefore The Museum Game.
Large block of intertwined mallee roots
Taxidermy specimen of a quokka, native to Rottnest Island off Western Australia
Taxidermy specimens of wild dogs killed by pastoralists to protect their livestock
Glass bottle from old Adaminaby, which was flooded as part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme
Simplex windmill from Kenya station in Queensland
The shield and bulldozer motif of the Soil Conservation Service of New South Wales
Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia
The Landmarks gallery includes a few items relating to Chinese on the goldfields – for example, the processional hat below. Once the Game becomes playable in our Australian Journeys gallery, there will be more opportunity to meet this curriculum priority.
Chinese hat, circa 1880, used on parade in Bendigo
The historical content knowledge that the game generates depends partly on the seed content, but also on where the players' interests and imaginations take them. Aside from the ideas above, we can seed a board with content related to convicts, exploration, bushrangers, technology, postwar migration, and so on.
Radiolette mantel radio, circa 1950
Pistol belonging to Peter Lalor, Eureka Stockade leader
Prototype no. 1 Holden sedan – built in 1946 in Detroit, road-tested in Australia
Silk dress owned by Mary Deane, who set up a school in Sydney
Typewriter used by Mary Gilmore, socialist poet
Convict leg irons
As well as a means to gain historical content knowledge, the Museum Game is a wonderful way to practise literacy and strengthen skills essential to the English curriculum.
One approach is to seed a game with objects that include text, such as those below. Another is to regard each object on display at the Museum as a text to 'read' visually, comprehend, consider and respond to. And of course, students create a text every time they photograph and title an object, and craft its resemblance to another.
Poster promoting the Trans-Australian Railway across the Nullarbor
Poster for a grand ball celebrating the first anniversary of the Snowy Mountains Authority, 1950
During the game
Players can practise a range of skills essential to English literacy from years 4 through 10.
They use comprehension strategies to
- build literal and inferred meaning to expand content knowledge, integrating and linking ideas and analysing and evaluating texts (Year 4 – ACELY1692)
- analyse information, integrating and linking ideas from a variety of print and digital sources (Year 5 – ACELY1703)
- interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts (Year 6 – ACELY1713)
- interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (Year 7 – ACELY1723)
- interpret and evaluate texts by reflecting on the validity of content and the credibility of sources (Year 8 – ACELY1734)
- containing key information and supporting details for a widening range of audiences, demonstrating increasing control over text structures and language features (Year 4 – ACELY1694)
- choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (Year 5 – ACELY1704)
- choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (Year 6 – ACELY1714)
- selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (Year 7 – ACELY1725)
- that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (Year 8 – ACELY1736)
- that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (Year 9 – ACELY1746)
Players use software,
- learning new functions as required to create texts (Year 6 – ACELY1717)
- to confidently create, edit and publish written and multimodal texts (Year 7 – ACELY1728)
- to create, edit and publish texts imaginatively (Year 8 – ACELY1738)
- flexibly and imaginatively to publish texts (Year 9 – ACELY1748)
- confidently, flexibly and imaginatively to create, edit and publish texts, considering the identified purpose and the characteristics of the user (Year 10 – ACELY1776)
For each move, players plan and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements,
After the game
Back in the classroom, you can re-examine your game content to develop other skills:
- Analyse how point of view is generated in visual texts by means of choices, for example gaze, angle and social distance (Year 7 – ACELA1764)
- Recognise that vocabulary choices contribute to the specificity, abstraction and style of texts (Year 8 – ACELA1547)
- Identify how vocabulary choices contribute to specificity, abstraction and stylistic effectiveness (Year 9 – ACELA1561)
- Explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts (Year 9 – ACELT1635)
- Review and edit students’ own and others’ texts to improve clarity and control over content, organisation, paragraphing, sentence structure, vocabulary and audio/visual features (Year 9 – ACELY1747)
- Review, edit and refine students’ own and others’ texts for control of content, organisation, sentence structure, vocabulary, and/or visual features to achieve particular purposes and effects (Year 10 – ACELY1757)