...Students will gain a deeper understanding of the 21st Century Leadership Skills: Communication, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Collaboration, and their applications in life.
...Students will gain a deeper understanding of the causes of the French revolution specifically, and the themes of revolution in general.
...Students will make connections between their interactions in this game, and the physics concepts they are learning in Science (such as causes & effect).
Duration: 120+ minutes
Assessments: Student reflections/journals, Student discussions, Group work, Other (enter below)
Additional Assessment Type: Role Playing Game / Simulation
Materials: 4 different kinds of stickers to show 4 social classes Divide (tape) the room into 4 sections A cart or area for the store Something desirable to buy at the store (we had candy jewelry) An area for the jail with about 4 chairs Nation X newspapers Rumor cards Clipboard for teacher ("Universe") notes 4 envelopes each labeled with a different group's rules (A,B,C,D)
This is a five day role playing simulation of Old Regime France.
The website for this game, including a short documentary:
Students begin in an unbalanced class system, with a fixed income, restricted mobility, a store, a jail, and a social hierarchy already in place. It is their job to create a fair and functional society by the end of Day Five.
Each "day" lasts about an hour: roughly 45 minutes of daytime, and 15 minutes of night time. First, groups get their envelopes with rules and newspapers and review instructions/rules. Then, it is "game on" and the teacher becomes "The Universe", or the narrator, telling students the results of their actions, but remaining as much as possible a neutral entity.
(e.g. rubrics, examplars, websites, etc.)
REFLECTIONS & COMMENTS
Newspapers can be really good for introducing new plots & situations for Nation X to deal with, such as having a disease spread with limited cures, and leave it to the upper class to distribute them. However, some classes really embraced this game and created their own politics very quickly, so I used the newspapers less with them. Kids who sat around with no idea what to do were prime candidates for the newspapers driving the plot.
It seems like the key parts of doing this right are keeping materials organized (not fun to lose the money), making the rules very clear and revisiting them every time (students who miss days can be tricky), being a stable facilitator (allowing freedom but being clear why certain actions don't work out the way they want them to), and putting great emphasis on the final reflection. Making the final reflection an essay and telling them about it ahead of time are things to do next time.
See manual for additional teacher notes.