ISBN 10: 0983426740 / ISBN 13: 9780983426745
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Riassunto: This book is an exciting collection of role-playing simulations for Social Studies classrooms. Although most of the simulations are written for World History, some of them would work equally as well in other social studies classes. All of these simulations will work in classes ranging from Junior High to High School and at ability levels ranging from sheltered classes to honors. What is a role-playing simulation? Role-playing simulations attempt to put the student in the position of a person in a particular time and place. Most of the simulations involve group or individual problem solving and conflict resolution. The students are often given a character sheet which describes the groups needs and desires, a brief description of the historical problem and a copy of the rules of the game. Familiarity with fantasy role-playing games is a plus, but certainly not required. The individual assumes the role they choose and makes decisions as the character would make during that particular time period. No pre-set limits are placed on a particular person's choices as long as they are within the realm of what was historically possible. Because of the freedom to choose in these games, the outcome is very unpredictable. No two classes finish the simulation in the exact same way, which leads to some very interesting classroom discussions about why things turned out the way they did, what could have happened differently, and how the simulation compares to what actually occurred in history. How are these activities different from other simulations? Unlike many simulations that are commercially available, these games can usually be played in one or two class periods. Their open-ended nature allows for playing up to one week in some games, if time permits, but after a couple of days you will find that most of the possibilities have been exhausted and continued play will have only limited instructional value. Another key advantage to this system is the cost. This book features several good simulations for the price that many publishers charge for one. Everything you need to play these simulations can be reproduced out of this book. There are no tiresome charts to deal with. The minimal set up and cleanup time allow for maximum role-playing time. As much as possible, pieces have been kept to a minimum to make cleanup and storage easier and to keep costs down for teachers on a budget. The emphasis is on role-playing so that the student can get as much as possible out of their personal learning experience and not get tied up in the mechanics of a complicated rules system. How are the simulations used? The best way to use many of these simulations is at the beginning of a unit when students have little prior knowledge of the historical outcome of a particular conflict. This allows a clean slate for actions instead of a predictable imitation of history just because ''That's the way it had to be''. When the teacher does begin the regular instructional part of the unit, the students will automatically make comments like, ''Wow! That is just like what happened in the game'' or ''Now I understand why they did what they did''. We all know that students remember better things they do than things they heard or read about, so these simulations allow for an unforgettable experience, which will bring history alive for them. Other simulations are best used as a culminating activity. Check the Teacher s Guide for recommendations for each simulation. After the simulation is completed the teacher can lead a very interesting discussion of why things happened the way they did and how they might have turned out differently in the game or actually did turn out differently in other countries. This debriefing period is the most valuable portion of the activity. Students will be eager to participate in the debriefing.

Dal risvolto interno: What is a role-playing simulation? Role-playing simulations attempt to put the student in the position of a person in a particular time and place. Most of the simulations involve group or individual problem solving and conflict resolution. The students are often given a character sheet which describes the groups needs and desires, a brief description of the historical problem and a copy of the rules of the game. Familiarity with fantasy role-playing games is a plus, but certainly not required. The individual assumes the role they choose and makes decisions as the character would make during that particular time period. No pre-set limits are placed on a particular person?s choices as long as they are within the realm of what was historically possible. Because of the freedom to choose in these games, the outcome is very unpredictable. No two classes finish the simulation in the exact same way, which leads to some very interesting classroom discussions about why things turned out the way they did, what could have happened differently, and how the simulation compares to what actually occurred in history.

How are these activities different from other simulations? Unlike many simulations that are commercially available, these games can usually be played in one or two class periods. Their open-ended nature allows for playing up to one week in some games, if time permits, but after a couple of days you will find that most of the possibilities have been exhausted and continued play will have only limited instructional value. Another key advantage to this system is the cost. This book features several good simulations for the price that many publishers charge for one. Everything you need to play these simulations can be reproduced out of this book. There are no tiresome charts to deal with. The minimal set up and cleanup time allow for maximum role-playing time. As much as possible, pieces have been kept to a minimum to make cleanup and storage easier and to keep costs down for teachers on a budget. The emphasis is on role-playing so that the student can get as much as possible out of their personal learning experience and not get! tied up in the mechanics of a complicated rules system.

How are the simulations used? The best way to use many of these simulations is at the beginning of a unit when students have little prior knowledge of the historical outcome of a particular conflict. This allows a clean slate for actions instead of a predictable imitation of history just because "That's the way it had to be". When the teacher does begin the regular instructional part of the unit, the students will automatically make comments like, "Wow! That is just like what happened in the game" or "Now I understand why they did what they did". We all know that students remember better things they do than things they heard or read about, so these simulations allow for an unforgettable experience, which will bring history alive for them. Other simulations are best used as a culminating activity. Check the Teacher?s Guide for recommendations for each simulation. After the simulation is completed the teacher can lead a very interesting discussion of why things happened the way they did and how they might have turned out differently in the game or actually did turn out differently in other countries. This debriefing period is the most valuable portion of the activity. Students will be eager to participate because they were active stakeholders in the decisions made instead of passive listeners hearing about other people's problems from long ago. The activities build historical understanding, empathy for the viewpoints of others and group decision-making skills. Follow up activities might include an essay comparing the game to what actually occurred in history or a visit to the internet newsgroup on alternative history where the students' questions can be bounced off a group of history professors, students and aficionados across the world. This can be a very valuable form of feedback. The simulations can also be used at the end of a unit for a form of alternative assessment to see how well they can apply the skills they have learned to an actual historical problem.

What do students have to say about these simulations? Invariably students rate these activities among their favorite activities of the year. Returning students have stated that they are the things they best remember about the class years later. Under-motivated students will often flourish in these activities because they have found a place were their abilities can shine. Gifted students enjoy the challenge of adding as much realism and detail to the activity as possible and often enjoy taking a leadership role in the bargaining.

Many students have commented to me that "This is the first time I have ever been interested in a history class" or "This makes me feel like I was really there because it was so exciting". Often discussion over what has occurred will pour over into other classes, lunchtime or after school. Students will compare what happened to their friends' classes and eagerly return the next day to see if the outcome is as they expected.

How did this book come to be? The author has played role-playing games since he was a teenager himself. The fun and unpredictability of the outcome of a given situation got him thinking about how history might have been different. As a lover of history and a player of every kind of game from checkers to fantasy role-playing and historical miniature battles it was a natural step from tinkering with rules to developing his own games. He has experimented with these games from his first year of teaching, improving upon them every year based upon feedback from students. As he began to share these simulations with colleagues, they unanimously urged him to publish them to make them available for other teachers.

The author?s prior works Short Role-playing Simulations for World History Classrooms and Short Role-playing Simulations for US History Classrooms have been popular for years among high school teachers, but at professional conferences teachers would often ask, "When are you going to come out with a Middle School edition? There are so few good resources for us to use." So, by popular demand, here it is! The author has drawn from his specialization in Ancient and Medieval History in college and his Middle School teaching experience to produce a work that he hopes will be useful and fun for teachers at that level.

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