|Available roles to choose from.|
I begin the simulation each year by going through a Keynote with my kids explaining what a simulation is and the basics of the one we are going to do. This is where students are first introduced to the "characters" they can play and the ins and outs. I put them into groups of 4-6 (depending on the number of students I have in my class that year) and their first job is to create a name for their boat and design a flag for that boat. Here is an example from the past:
Once students have created their flag and have decided upon their "role" in the simulation, I hand out hats that I purchased relatively cheap. I have the Navigator wear a bandana instead of a regular sailor cap. This is the person who is the spokesperson for their ship and crew and bandana allows me to easily know who it is. Additionally, I purchase quills and ink sets for the students to take turns writing in their journal (see regarding journals below) at least once using an old fashion quill and ink. They LOVE THIS!! And it was a good investment - I've had the same ones for the past 4 years and they are still going strong.
|One of my favorite journal entries|
Throughout the simulation a lot happens. There are decisions to be made, hardships to overcome, sickness and disease, mutiny of the crew, discovery of new lands and people and some of the group even lose their lives (which the kids always get a kick out of - some even write about pretend funerals that they end up having for their lost crew). Depending on the choices the group makes and a game of chance will determine whether or not they are successful.
Overall, this is a fabulous cumulative project to do. I love how the book has everything I need to successfully roll it out (including a rubric to grade them on) and yet allows me to add in little fun elements of my choosing. I always hear positive comments from my students about it and they always want to know when we are going to do another one. Enter Easy Simulations: American Revolution...... ;-)
Do you do simulations in your class? Which ones?