If we want our students to understand why certain groups of people from around the world chose to leave their home and end up in Adelaide (my students' home town) , then an overall sense of modern world history is needed to gain that understanding. This becomes a classic example of how skills and knowledge are intertwined. Content without skills is mindless but skills without meaningful content is just as hollow.
So here's what I'm trying to find in the fire hydrant that is the web. I'm hoping that someone has created a multimedia piece that covers the important events from a world perspective of the last century (there's plenty with an overly American bias which is not useful for this inquiry). I've hunted through YouTube and the best I can find is this creation below:
I still think that this is too complex and requires far too much prior knowledge for twelve year olds although we have one student who is a history buff who could probably take on the role of narrator for both classes. After all, not every child can excitedly talk about having stood on the exact spot in Sarajevo where the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked the Great War. But unless, I find something better, this might be the best way to give the kids the sense of events that pushed people, sometimes their own families, to seek out a better, safer place to call home.