Games in Social Studies

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Games in Social Studies

Games and simulations used in all realms of social studies classes.

Members: 68
Latest Activity: Mar 26

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Civilization Game: How good do you have to be? 2 Replies

I'm wondering about using Sid Meier's Civilization - or maybe Freeciv - with my 6th grade World History students, but I am concerned about my own skill level at the game.  I get the big picture and I…Continue

Started by Carrie Shanahan. Last reply by Brian Markwald Aug 14, 2012.

Preview, Follow-up and Debrief

I love using games, and I see how they connect to the curriculum but I am not always great at helping kids see the connections and take their learning beyond the specific activity. How do others…Continue

Started by Molly Smith Jul 1, 2011.

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Comment by Amanda Ballard on April 2, 2012 at 9:52pm

http://www.mission-us.org/  Mission US has two on-line simulation games.  Mission 1 is From Crown to Colony (Pre-Revolution) and Mission 2 Flight to Freedom (Pre-Civil War).  You can register as a teacher and set up classes.  My students love Mission 1....Mission 2 was just launched and I can't wait.

Comment by John Padula on January 28, 2012 at 9:13pm

Nice discussion of game-based learning in Civics here:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/game-based-learning-civics-andrew-miller

Comment by Brian Markwald on October 4, 2011 at 4:23pm

Message to John Marr

I'd like to know more about the Iroquois simulation that you do. What more can you share with me.

Comment by Nate Everett on August 13, 2011 at 9:39am
I've also tried to play around with the game Monopoly when covering the Great Depression with mixed results. I would love feedback on this project to help improve it if you have ideas. Thanks. Here's the link: http://nbleadership.com/blog1/2010/11/03/the-great-depression/
Comment by Nate Everett on August 13, 2011 at 9:38am

I've also used computer simulations from A Force More Powerful (non-violent problem solving) and although they were really intensive for students to prep and follow (we did it after school) they liked it. I don't think the original game is available unless you buy 10 or more. They are cheap (around $8-10) but the new game is called 'People Power: A Game of Civil Resistance'. I haven't tried this one yet, but look forward to. Here's the link: http://www.aforcemorepowerful.org/game/

I also am a fan of Sid Meier's Civilization series and think it is great for world history classes. It's fairly simplistic in design but complex in posing problems for students to solve and priorities for students to balance. It also exposes students to an immense amount of historical content, and could be good for that fact alone. I bring it in for students to play after school. I'm not sure if I can do that anymore because the current version runs on Steam, an online gaming platform, but I will try it out.

Games for thought...

Comment by Jeff Kohls on August 4, 2011 at 10:41pm
Sorry for the bum post in Dungeons and Dragons used to teach lesson on citizenship.  Here's the correct URL.  http://tinyurl.com/44memlu
Comment by Kim Counihan on August 3, 2011 at 10:54am
When I teach Ancient Cultures, I have a game called grapes and pretzels to demonstrate how lives changed with agriculture. I break the students into 5 groups. In the backyard, there are 4 bags full of grapes and prestzels. Each group gets an identification (1 for farmers and 4 for hunter/gatherers). As I explain what will happen, I give the farming group a bag of food that "they produced themselves". The other groups need to look for their snack. Each member must hold hands to demonstrate cooperation when hunting and gathering. When they find a bag of food, they may stop and enjoy the snack. The students love the game. It also demonstrates how lives changed because they were able to experience it firsthand.
Comment by John Marr on July 17, 2011 at 11:34pm
I do a number of simulation activities each year with my students. We start the year with an Iroquois Confederation simulation where each of my classes is a tribe of the Iroquois. I play the nation elder, and I have my English teacher dress as a Frenchman and (usually) my student teacher dress as a British colonist. Using the democratic procedure set up by the Iroquois, they need to decide which group to create an alliance with. It takes one class period (usually at the end of the day). I also do a Longhouse simulation, colony simulation, slave ship simulation, and mustering simulation. I also run a colonial day activity for the entire seventh grade.
Comment by John Marr on July 17, 2011 at 11:30pm
I have used risk on the interactive whiteboard to have students understand strategy, logistics, geography and alliances. I usually use it with my "flex" group or in extra help with a small number of students. I have a mac, so I use Lux, which has US History maps. If we are looking at the American Revolution, I use an appropriate map to help reinforce curriculum.
Comment by Jeff Kohls on July 2, 2011 at 11:39pm
NCSS Book I picked up this book from the NCSS conference last year in Denver, and it's got some good simulations and activities for all grade levels.  I'm thinking it was free from the NCSS conference.....so if you're attending this year you might keep your eyes open for it.
 

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