Using simulation games effectively in the classroom poses challenges. The power of such games to offer compelling and unique learning opportunities is very real, however, and well worth the effort. I invite readers to use the guidelines in this series to harness the power of simulation games. I encourage teachers to engage in their own play, experimenting with simulations thoughtfully, taking calculated risks in the classroom, wading into the chaos, and guiding students towards a more meaningful and relevant study of the past.
Important objectives of Government and US History courses include helping students analyze issues, evaluate actions and decisions, connect classroom knowledge to real-world situations, and develop problem-solving skills. Role-playing and simulations can be effective ways to achieve these goals. costumes or scripts.
My core principles for this type of engagement is as follows:
- Student Engagement – find ways to engage as many students as possible
- Objectives Are Clear – the purpose of the simulation is directly measured through definable outcomes and student reflection
- Duration – length and intensity are suitable to the short high school time frame
- Roles – responsibility and dependence on certain roles are minimized
- Reacting to the Past Simulations
- Understanding Deliberation Through Simulation
- Government Type/Budget Simulation
- Simulations Waiting to be Evaluated
- Red Scare Simulation
- Vietnam Day Simulation (in Process)
- Moot Supreme Court Trial
- Speakeasy Simulation
- Great Lakes History Conference, Grand Valley State, Oct 13, 2018 (download)