If you are studying WW1 with middle or high school students I cannot recommend this World War 1 simulation game highly enough. The kids LOVED it!! Imagine turning World War 1 into a big online game of Risk! That is what you will be doing.
A word of explanation: I teach at a homeschool co-op and my classroom is a church sanctuary, so don’t be surprised when you see pews in my photos!
The game is played over 6 days. We did it one day a week over 6 weeks. The students are divided into countries. There were 30 students in my class and we had a President and Vice-President for each country and also a Secretary of State for some. The first lesson is the introduction where you explain what will happen.
Each country has different objectives which only they know about. The objectives could include invading a specific country or making an alliance with another one. At the end of the simulation, each country is evaluated on how close they came to reaching all their objectives. We had one final lesson where we talked about what happened and compared it to the actual war.
Each day the game is played is one year of the war, starting in 1914. The different countries get the chance to ally with each other (either secretly or openly) and to plan where they will attack. The Allies and the Central Powers take turns to decide where they will move their armies and how many they will move.
The students submit their moves on paper and the teacher keys them into the website … and hits Enter! You cannot believe how excited the students get!
Each year of the war brought different twists. There were news bulletins with the main news (eg sinking of the Lusitania) and changes in what countries could do (eg some got access to poison gas after a few years).
The simulation game comes with everyone you need to print off for the students and clear instructions (including a very useful video). You do need to spend a few hours doing prep before the first class. I uploaded everything to Office Depot’s print service and just collected when it was done. But then you need to put the binders together (1 per country). Each binder has information specific to that country.
Initially, you need to buy the Simulation Activity and the one-year Online Subscription but if you re-use it you just need to get the online subscription. There is also a homeschool version available
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