Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Online Simulations in History


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • Special member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,779 posts

Posted 10 September 2003 - 06:31 AM

I am going to divide the seminar into two sections. First I want to look at what a simulation is and why history teachers should use them in the classroom.

Secondly, I intend to look at some of the historical simulations that are currently available on the Internet.

In their book Simulation in the Classroom (Penguin, 1972), John Taylor and Rex Walford argued that an educational simulation has three main components:

(1) Students take roles which are representative of the real world and involve them making decisions in response to their assessment of the situation that they have been placed in.

(2) Students experience simulated consequences which relate to their decisions and their general performance in the simulation.

(3) Students monitor the results of their actions and are encouraged to reflect upon the relationship between their own decisions and the resulting consequences of their actions.

An essential part of a simulation involves the student playing a role of a character in the past. One of the major objectives of the creator of the simulation is to help the student understand the situation of that person. In other words, helping the student develop a sense of empathy.

In his book, The Process of Education (1960), Jerome Bruner argues that simulations encourage active learning. However, Bruner prefers some simulations to others. He argues that the “value of any piece of learning over and above the enjoyment it gives is that it should be relevant to us in the future”. That is something I always take seriously when I am constructing a simulation.

Other arguments in favour of simulations include:

(i) They are usually problem-based and are therefore helpful in the development of long-term learning.

(ii) The normally involve the use of social skills which are directly relevant to the world outside the classroom.

(iii) Simulations deal with situations that change and therefore demand flexibility in thinking.

I now want to take a look at some of the simulations available on the internet. One of the best sources is the BBC history website.

Hunt the Ancestor

The student plays the role of a an archaeologists. In the simulation the student has to save a prehistoric burial site from destruction by quarrying. When the burial site is found the archaeologist has to find the remains and to work out about the lives of these people. The archaeologist is given a budget of £72,000 and this is used to take aerial photographs, visiting the local records office, etc.

Another good source of simulations is Russel Tarr’s Active History website. Russel teaches history at Wolverhampton Grammar School and runs one of the best history websites on the net.

Life in the Trenches

In this simulation students play the role of a British soldier who joins the army in 1914 to fight the Germans. The simulation takes the student through the process of joining the army. They are constant links to a First World War encyclopaedia that provides the student with the opportunity of carrying out further research into the situation. The student is also asked factual questions that they have to answer before continuing with the simulation.

The simulation involves the students making difficult decisions. For example, “You turn your head up towards the sky to get some fresh air, and you spot a large kite flying in the distance which clearly has writing on it. Do you:

“Stand up on the fire-step and read the message on the kite?”

“Ignore the kite and carry on working?”

In this way the student discovers that the kite with a message was a tactic used by the Germans to get the Allied soldier to lift their head above the parapet. The students survival in the simulation depends on them learning what it was like to live in the trenches during the First World War.

Adolf Hitler


Russel has also produced a controversial simulation on Hitler. This involves the student interviewing Hitler. When I publicized this simulation in my weekly newsletter, Teaching History Online, I got some abusive email. Russel has also suffered from this claiming that this simulation somehow encourages fascism. As Russel points out at the beginning of the simulation:

“Several people have suggested that by tackling this controversial topic in an accessible way I am guilty of promoting Neo-Nazism.

My reply is this: dismissing Hitler as "pure evil" ignores the fact that millions of ordinary, supposedly 'decent' people supported him. Sweeping this fact under the carpet is much more irresponsible and dangerous than tackling it head on.

Empathising with the German people who supported Hitler does not mean sympathising with them, but it does prevent us complacently dismissing the evils of Nazism as a "German problem" and thereby leaves us much better equipped to tackle similar tragic situations if and when they arise again.”


Finally I want to look at some simulations on my own website. I have been involved in creating history simulations since I first started teaching in 1977. When we established Tressell Publications in 1979 we were committed to producing commercial simulations. In fact, the second book we published, included a simulation on the First World War that I had created during my PGCE course. We then went onto publishing computer simulations such as Into the Unknown, Attack on the Somme and Wagons West. When I started Spartacus in 1987 I also published computer simulations such as Wall Street, Russian Revolution and Presidential Elections. When I get the time I plan to pace these computer simulations on the web.

However, I have been able to create several historical simulations over the last couple of years that are freely available on the web. One involves the issue of child labour at the beginning of the 19th century.

Child Labour

Each student is given the name of an individual that was involved in the debate that was taking place at this time. This included factory owners, factory reformers, child workers, parents, journalists, religious leaders and doctors. The student is then given an instruction sheet with details of the Textile Industry Encyclopaedia Website and what they needed to do. This includes writing an account of their character and a speech on the subject of child labour.

Each character had an entry in the Spartacus Encyclopaedia. This provided them with biography and sources that enables the student to discover his or her views on the issue. The website also includes information under headings such as factory pollution, parish apprentices, factory food, punishments, working hours, accidents and physical deformities. There are also entries in the encyclopaedia on the machines the children used and the type of work they did in the factory.

It is interesting the way they react when they discover who their character is. Initially, they are much happier about playing the role of a factory owner. They quickly develop the idea that they are in some way responsible for the wealth that the character has obtained. Those who are given the role of a child worker are less happy at first but the more they investigate their situation, the more involved they become in the need to find ways of overcoming the problems that they faced.

The exercise helps to explain the complexity of child labour in the 19th century. The students discover that some factory owners, such as John Fielden and John Wood, were actually leaders of the pressure group trying to bring an end to child labour. At the same time, social reforming journalists like Edward Baines were totally opposed to any attempt by Parliament to regulate the use of labour. Even doctors did not agree that it would damage a child's health to be standing for twelve hours a day in a factory where windows were kept closed and the air was thick with the dust from the cotton. What the children discover from their in-depth studies is why the individuals felt the way that they did. In the debate that follows, this is revealed to the rest of the class.

A second example concerns the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The simulation comes at the end of a detailed study of the relationship between Cuba and the United States in the 20th century. This involves a study of the three main characters in these events, John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis Kennedy established the Executive Committee of the National Security Council to advise him what to do. The students have to imagine they are members of this committee. They are given six possible strategies for dealing with the crisis. They have to work out the possible consequences of these strategies before advising Kennedy what to do.

A third example concerns Russia in 1914.

The students are given information about the character they are playing. This includes their beliefs and objectives. The students are then placed in four discussion groups: Group A (supporters of Nicholas II and the autocracy); Group B (liberals and moderate socialists); Group C (Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries) and Group D (Bolsheviks). Each group has to decide how to respond to different events that took place between 1914 and 1917. The students are warned that there could be spies in their groups. During the simulation they have the freedom to move to another group. In fact, if they keep to their beliefs and objectives some will actually do this. For example, Trotsky is likely to move from Group C to Group D during the simulation. If they do not go of their own accord the teacher plays God and tells certain characters to move. Playing the simulation students should get an idea of why the Bolsheviks gained power in 1917.

At the end of the simulation the students go to the Russian Revolution encyclopaedia on the website and discover what happened to their character during 1917. They then write a brief summary of what happened, comparing their decisions with those of their character.

The final task is for the students to write about what happened to their character after the Russian Revolution. A session could then be organized where the students tell the rest of the class about their fate.

I am currently working on a simulation on life in a medieval village that will last for six months in real time.

The activity begins with a look at Richard FitzGilbert, a Norman knight who took part in the Battle of Hastings. After the battle he became the Earl of Clare and one of England’s largest landowners. For the next few weeks the students follow the history of the Clare family between 1066 and 1330. This involves looking at issues such as castle building, feudalism, Domesday Book, religion, Thomas Becket, the Magna Carta, Origins of Parliament, the Clares in Ireland, the Clares in Wales and the Battle of Bannockburn, where the last of the Clare male line is killed. The Clare Estates (only the king owned more land than the Clares) are then divided up between Gilbert, 10th Earl of Clare’s three sisters.

The simulation looks at just one village under the control of the Clare family. The village is Yalding in Kent. I chose Yalding because a lot of its manor records have survived. It also has the same church and stone bridge that existed in the 14th century. It is still farmed and its common land still exists and they still hold the village fair there today as they did in the 14th century. The land is fertile but the village still suffers from the flooding that plagued the medieval residents of Yalding.

The simulation starts in 1336. Each student is given a character who lived in Yalding at that time. They are all given a house in the village and details of their family, animals, land, farming equipment, etc. Some are serfs and some are free. Each student is a head of a family with children. In 1375 they will become the son or daughter of the present character.

Every week the students will receive via the website an update of their changing circumstances. For example, increasing revenues means they can buy more animals or if they are serfs, their freedom. During the simulation the students experience events such as harvesting, meetings of the Manor Court, a Village Fair, the Hundred Years War, the Black Death, Statute of Labourers Act, the Poll Tax, a visit from John Ball, and finally the events of 1381.

I have used the simulation for many years in the classroom. This was a paper version and I hope and expect it will be improved when it goes online.
All the material in the simulation is differentiated. So also are the characters. Therefore it is possible for the teacher to allocate the students roles that are applicable to the abilities of the individual.

Schools who use the simulation are recommended to arrange a visit to Yalding. Several features are the same as in the 14th century. The students get a particular thrill when they visit the churchyard and they see the names of the relatives they have been playing on the tombstones. Unusual names like Singyard and Brickenden have survived in the village for over 700 years.

The simulation has detailed teacher notes and a commentary on the answers of the tasks set. I will be putting these on line over the next couple of weeks.

#2 Carole Faithorn

Carole Faithorn

    Carole

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,279 posts

Posted 10 September 2003 - 11:19 PM

It is unfortunate that "empathy" became a dirty word in the vocabulary of the rightists of the educational world since simulations of the the quality John refers to in his opening article to this Seminar both engage pupils of all abilities and develop a real understanding of the past in a way that other activities do not.

I can vouch for several of John's references having used Russel Tarr's excellent simulations last year and John's own 'Into the Unknown' and 'Attack on the Somme' in the distant past.

Another successful simulation I used a couple of years ago was The Treaty of Versailles Online Event. The 'event' was a couple of years ago, but the materials are still accessible I see from the Learn.co.uk link above.

I'm sure others will be able to suggest simulations they have used too.

#3 Andrew Field

Andrew Field

    Andrew

  • Admin
  • 6,949 posts

Posted 10 September 2003 - 11:38 PM

The Luddites simulation by Rob Fleetwood at: http://www.schoolshi..... Luddites.htm

The World War I simulation also by the same man at:
http://www.schoolshi.....Front Sim.htm
is the best example of a Quandry based activity that I've come across.

A few years ago I created one on Henry II and Becket, which still proves popular today. http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/becket

The key factor in these simulations is that the students feel part of the activity, they have an impact on its outcome.

This may thus suggest possible problems or issues with simulations, which will be interesting to discuss. We can certainly encourage students to appreciate and experience historical events in this way, but we do run risk of allowing students to change history and perhaps complete units of work with inaccurate information about events in the past.

With careful preparation and structure this does not happen but I believe it's an important factor to consider.

The other issue is class time. It would be wonderful to spend an entire term or longer on such simulations. Yet in reality with the curriculum pressures and required topic coverage most simulations need to last not much longer than a lesson. John's new simulation about the Medieval Village may offer a solution as it can be linked to topics taught to Year 7s.


Generate your own versions of my games, quizzes and eLearning activities: ContentGenerator.net

#4 Dan Lyndon

Dan Lyndon

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,403 posts

Posted 11 September 2003 - 08:40 PM

I have not really had much experience with simulations, although when I was on my PGCE I wrote a trench warfare activity which I think was similar - basically students had a variety of situations, with various options that they could take and they had to justify the choices that they made. It must have been pretty good because I used it for about 8 years. I am sure that, as John points out, there are many advantages to having online simulations and having received a paper copy of the Medieval Village simulation I am looking forward eagerly to the ICT version. The only difficulty I can perceive for my school, apart from the time factor that Andrew mentioned, is the limited access that I have to the ICT rooms. This is despite having the borough CLC next door (a victim of its own success - too popular and always booked out - when I was using John's WW2 Home Front activity I had to wait 3 weeks to finish it off!).
I am a big supporter of empathetic history, and I find it really stimulating to be part of the action too. The students often recall the lessons that has involved some kind of active participation, and for many years I had to re enact the Munich Putsch as I nearly took the top of my scalp off when I stood on the desk in full Hitler mode the first time that I did it. In John's first seminar he quoted research from the United States National Learning Lab which stated that students average retention rate was 75% if they were engaged in activities that are related to what the teacher wants them to learn. Using simulations seems like an excellent method to facilitate this.

Edited by Dan Lyndon, 11 September 2003 - 08:42 PM.

Until the lion has a historian of his own, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.
comptonhistory.com
blackhistory4schools.com

#5 Dan Moorhouse

Dan Moorhouse

    Six Star General

  • Admin
  • 3,547 posts

Posted 11 September 2003 - 09:58 PM

If you've got limited access to ICT it is possible to mix the paper and electronic forms of the simulations. If you take any of the simulations based on the Spartacus site, for example, you can convert these into handouts for use in a traditional classroom setting. If there's say one or two computers available some students can be given the role of reporters, providing 'live' news feeds of the events as they unfold - a useful way of recording the success of the simulation. Use of limited ICT is also one way of altering the situation for students. For example I have newsflashes in many of my simulations to make the students react to situations as they happen, handy if you want students to realise that circumstances sometimes change rapidly. If there is access to a projector this can be done very quickly and effectively - powerpoint can be set up to do this at whatever time of the activity you want.

#6 Richard Jones-Nerzic

Richard Jones-Nerzic

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 510 posts

Posted 13 September 2003 - 05:01 PM

It is unfortunate that "empathy" became a dirty word in the vocabulary of the rightists of the educational world since simulations of the the quality John refers to in his opening article to this Seminar both engage pupils of all abilities and develop a real understanding of the past in a way that other activities do not.

Beautifully put.

On leaving the UK four years ago and in setting up a new history department from scratch, the first thing I did was rewrite the National Curriculum, literally putting the word 'empathy' back into the centre of things. Looking back on it, it is interesting that I felt the need to explain to parents 'why empathy is the central historical skill', with quotations from Raphael Samuel and (another hero of mine) Audrey Hepburn. http://www.intst.net...kills/index.htm

I think that roleplay and simulation is a pedagogic culture that needs nurturing if students are to take it seriously and if parents are to be supportive. I try to do one major role-play a term with each class from Year 7 to 13. I expect students to dress up, learn their parts and rehearse. I often base the assessment of a 2 week unit of work just on the roleplay. As a consequence, I have little difficulty in persuading 15 year olds to pretend to be someone else for an hour. I am their only history teacher and they know no better!

I have used and continue to use pretty much all the online simulation materials listed above and as Dan suggests, I have adapted the materials to suit my classroom needs. Despite having a rich ICT environment the best online simulations often conclude with no computers in sight.

The ICT in online simulations is used in different ways. Sometimes the ICT is just a means of communicating and sharing a traditional classroom activity without the expense of textbooks and photocopying. The Versailles Experience works in this way, with well produced resources available for students to prepare their roles. I have adapted it over the last three years, creating rules and procedures to make it work as a traditional classroom activity. http://www.intst.net...illes/index.htm

I have also adapted John's Child Labour activity slightly and turned it into an anachronistic TV talkshow rather than a parliamentary debate. http://www.intst.net...ebate/index.htm

At the other extreme, with the use of Quandary and Flash, the ICT actually makes the simulation and the teachers' role can be minimal, but essential nonetheless. The BBC Hunt the Ancestor game gave me a wonderful opportunity to bring some simulation into my Year 8 archaeology course. The temptation for students is to treat it like any other 'sim' game; rushing through, guessing, trial and error and repeat. (see the recent discussion about Russel's latest Vietnam simulation. for a discussion of this issue http://www.schoolhis...?showtopic=1821)

In order to get around the problem, I wrote a series of instructions and detailed questions which changed the focus of the original activity As well as undertaking a virtual excavation, the (deliberately) paired students now had to keep a record of all their decision making and an Excel spreadsheet of their accounts. A 15 minute simulation was turned into series of lessons which taught the importance of considered decision making, precise record keeping and the golden rule that all archaeology is essentially destructive. http://www.intst.net...he_ancestor.htm

What about the future? It is interesting that the Versailles Experience was intended to be much more than a traditional role-play; students were expected to use a collaborative learning platform to interview experts and communicate their planning with other students around the world. This was a bold experiment that didn't really work. Partly this was a software problem but also the reality of limited time in a pre-booked ICT lab was never really understood. Three years later with fairly ubiquitous student Internet access, greater teacher confidence and much more flexible and user friendly software, I think that simulations which extend beyond the classroom are a real possibility. I'd like to think that we might be able to use the collaborative learning section of the student forum to this end. http://www.schoolhis...m/index.php?c=3

There is one further simulation I'd like to add to the list: The Reichstag Fire trial produced by John D Clare. It is available in print and online version.http://www.intst.net...eplay/index.htm
I used it as part of my GCSE coursework preparation last year with great effect. And it also highlighted the potential problem that Andrew identified:

'We can certainly encourage students to appreciate and experience historical events in this way, but we do run risk of allowing students to change history and perhaps complete units of work with inaccurate information about events in the past'.

Having learnt historical roles loosely based on real people for one lesson, the students were then expected to analyse the 'real' sources in the next. http://www.intst.net...k/questions.htm

In the roleplay the jury of students concluded that the Nazis were innocent but in the coursework (which was handed in yesterday), every student has pinned it on the Nazis. Looks like students can tell the difference between fact and fiction after all!
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke


European School Brussels III
International School History

#7 Andrew Field

Andrew Field

    Andrew

  • Admin
  • 6,949 posts

Posted 13 September 2003 - 05:33 PM

This is really interesting. For me the most significant point to draw out of Richard's post here is that despite his ICT-rich environment, he still feels the best simulations are those which conclude without computers in sight.

This certainly would allow the best of both worlds where students are able to make the most of an interactive online simulation and then use their learning for a debate, presentation or simliar exercise the following lesson.

This is what I've always felt about ICT - it isn't the replacement, it is an addition. It's just that the materials that are available today make it such an excellent addition.


Generate your own versions of my games, quizzes and eLearning activities: ContentGenerator.net

#8 Carole Faithorn

Carole Faithorn

    Carole

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,279 posts

Posted 14 September 2003 - 12:03 PM

On leaving the UK four years ago and in setting up a new history department from scratch, the first thing I did was rewrite the National Curriculum, literally putting the word 'empathy' back into the centre of things. Looking back on it, it is interesting that I felt the need to explain to parents 'why empathy is the central historical skill', with quotations from Raphael Samuel and (another hero of mine) Audrey Hepburn. http://www.intst.net...kills/index.htm

What an excellent contribution to this Seminar. Thank you, Richard. :teacher:

You have been fortunate to be able to rewrite the National Curriculum. You are absolutely right too to put empathy back at the centre of things. Being able to 'get inside the head' of people who lived in very different circumstances to ourselves is crucial to a real understanding of the past and the notion that this emphasis was the the province of 'dangerously trendy-lefties' always mystified me. Even as far back as 40 odd years ago in a very traditional girls' grammar school my A level teacher had us role-playing Elizabeth I's Privy Council discussing what to do about Mary Queen of Scots.

Audrey Hepburn knew what she was talking about :)

#9 UlrikeSchuhFricke

UlrikeSchuhFricke

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts

Posted 14 September 2003 - 08:18 PM

Hello,
I am a teacher at a German grammar school with what is called a "bilingual" branch i.e. in two of our four classes the subjects history, geography, physical education and later on politics are taught in English. Last term I tried out a simulation in my year nine (age group 15-16). The topic was World War I and the experiences in the trenches (something like the "kite example"). But I did not give my pupils individual roles but they all had to sit in the trenches; we used the chairs and desks to trun them into the walls of the trenches; the pupils had to sit behind them, their heads lower than the desks; I gave them some infomation via tales, letters, excerpts from diaries etc, written by soldiers and found after the war. Furthermore they had to lsiten to round about 15 minutes of all kind of battle noises (from a cd) which supported the attempt to create some authenticity. The pupils had to write a diary entry and a letter home to their loved ones.
What astonished me was that especailly the boys who normally want to appear "cool" and not interested in history were deeply moved by this experiment and their diary entries and letters showed a deep understanding of what might have been felt by the young soldiers suffering and dying in the trenches.
Besides this experiment I have made some experiences with a simulation covering the Munich Conference; understandably the pupils don't want to play Hitler and/or Mussolini, but once they have accepted their role they do live up to it and this again offers a great opportunity to talk about how easily having power can corrupt people.
As I now have a year seven who will talk about Medieval history our next term (which begins in February 2004) I am very intersting in the simulation covering the life in a medieval village. I am looking forward to trying that out, that is if my pupils, who then have been learning English for nearly three years, can manage the language.

#10 countrydreamer

countrydreamer

    New member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 15 September 2003 - 04:27 AM

I have stumbled onto this because I am a student in the US--trying to get certified to teach Social Sciences--so I feel like I'm in an environment above my head. However, I was struck by the comments about Hitler, especially since I have a German surname and the problems it has caused, even though I was born after WWII. Since I have delved into the history books (my degree was more social sicence orientated) I am very aware of how the "German" problem was a world-wide problem and anti-semiticism is an historical fact. My grandfather was a Scot and was anti-semitic as well as anti-Continental.

I recently read a book about the processof Ethnic riots, and how "the other" can so easily be anyone--humans seem to make the smallest difference a bone of contention. In the Mideast it may be religion, in the US, it is "race".

I think it would be fascinating if the similations could be taped and studied as to the differences between countries, continents, even ethnic groups.

thanks for all the ideas and reflective comments.

#11 JohnDClare

JohnDClare

    Six Star General

  • Admin
  • 3,191 posts

Posted 11 October 2003 - 11:12 AM

Simulations can substantially add to the pupils' understanding of why and how people acted, and I use them extensively.

For me, the key is to devise the simulation so that:
1. if the pupils do what the original historical charcters did, the result turns out as the historical event did.
2. it is very hard to deviate from the line of what actually happened, and there are clear penalties for doing so - I think pupils need to see that it was really 'not so easy' for the people at the time.

But, in exploring possibilities, the pupils:
a. rehearse what actually happened in an active way
b. better understand the actions of the characters

The other thing about simulations, of course, it that they merge imperceptibly into drama, so they’re kinaesthetic learning at its best.

Simulations I have used include:
1. The 1066 computer game - sadly no longer available or viable. It was a team v team game and it was SO exciting. Miss it terribly.
2. The Feudal System ordering game (Options in History Teachers’ Book The Middle Ages, pp. 50-57. Give pupils cards with ‘I am’ statements on and get them to sort themselves into an order. Then sit king on a chair on a desk, barons on the table, knights on chairs and peasants on the floor.
3. Making Domesday Book (Hodder History, Conflict people and Power, foundation edition page 11). Pupils have statements about ‘their’ lives, and the Domesday inspectors come and take the survey. Each ‘villager’ has to contribute their bits) of information.
4. The Pilgrimage Game (Options in History Teachers’ Book The Middle Ages, pp. 77-78, to go with the ‘board’ in the pupils’ book ppp38-39. More fiddly, and messy with a wriggly class, but really hits the button with a well-behaved class.
5. The Smartie game (Options in History Teachers’ Book The Middle Ages, pp. 86-91. A bit convoluted, but REALLY helps the pupils understand why the barons got fed up with John. They start off with a pile of Smarties. You tell them that any they are left with after the game they can eat. Then the king systematically takes more and more from them!
6. Dirty Old Town? One of my ‘trial by jury’ simulations (Options in History Teachers’ Book The Middle Ages, pp. 122-137) This – am I allowed to say this??? – goes well with an able Yr 7, but is BRILLIANT for Medicine through time GCSE students. It really challenges their preconceptions about whether medieval towns really WERE as dirty as they are made out to be.
7. The Break with Rome. I always use a simulation to explain Henry VII, the Pope, etc. Choose wisely your players for Arthur, Katherine, Henry and Anne, and you can have MUCH hilarity about who loves who. Henry keeps sending Wolsey to ask the Pope for a divorce. Get a child (Charles V) stood behind the Pope pushing a ‘knife’ (ruler) in his back and every child in the class will understand why the Pope said no. then get Cranmer and Cromwell to suggest Henry’s solution.
8. Dissolution of the Monasteries. Get the pupils to study what the monasteries did, then extracts from the Black Books, then go in as Dr Layton going in to conduct a Visitation. Get the monks to argue for their lives.
9. Tudor Gender. There are two amusing questionnaires on Tudor wives and husbands in the Options through History teachers’ book, A United Kingdom, pp39-40.
10. Using the spread on Tudor superstitions on pages 34-35 of the Options in History A United Kingdom pupils’ book, get the children to devise a scene where they are an INCREDIBLY superstitious family. They have to devise a two-minute drama which has as many superstitions in as possible – play with most superstitions wins. Great fun and frenetic!
11. The Armada Game (Options in History Teachers’ book pp63-65, ‘board in the pupils’ book page 49 – and I recommend the description of life on board on page 48 to ANYONE!
12. Take out a class to show them how a Civil war battle was fought and they will immediately understand why Cromwell won. Line up the two sides, infantry in the middle, cavalry on the two wings. Infantry move forward, meet, and stalemate. Royalist right wing (Prince Rupert’s cavalry) advances, defeats Parliamentary cavalry, then chases them all over the playground for fun. Parliamentary right wing (Cromwell’s cavalry) advances, defeats Royalist cavalry, then swings round behind the Royalist infantry to trap them.
13 Metropoly (Options in History Teachers’ Book The Age of Expansion, pages 78-83, using a board on the pupils book pages 40-41. Brilliant at getting across conditions in towns, the class gap AND the idea of the poverty line.
14. Furlong. Take out a class to show them the length of a 6-oxen plough team, and how impossible it was to turn the team, to explain why the pre-enclosure strip was 220 yards by 22. All you could do was walk the oxen until they were knackered, then turn the plough round while they had a rest. How long was that furrow they ploughed until they were knackered - 200 yards - a furrow-long (= 'furlong'). Select a suitable child, then order them to pace out the 220 yards, walking away from you, counting loudly, so everyone can see how long a furlong is. Insist that THEY MUST NOT LOOK BACK. Then, while they are doing this, silently sneal the rest of the class away back to the classroom, leaving them pacing out across the playing fields alone - good laight with the right pupil.
15. The Enclosure Game (Options in History Teachers’ Book The Age of Expansion, pages 89-94, Really gets the point across AND rowdy fun.
16. The Human Cost of Enclosure. The little drama in the Hodder History New World for Old foundation book page 7 – where a displaced farm labourer confronts the landowner and farmer who benefited from enclosure - works well with less able pupils.
17. The Irish Famine drama (Options in History Teachers’ Book The Age of Expansion, pages 96-97, to complement the description in the pupils’ book page 50, I recommend ABSOLUTELY.,
18. Get the pupils to study conditions in factories/mines, and then hold your own Royal Commission.
19. The little acting-out exercise in Options in History Teachers’ Book The Twentieth Century, page 7 really explains the four long-term causes of the First World War very well, and if you get confident pupils, can be great fun.
20. The Causes of the First World War game (Options in History Teachers’ Book The Twentieth Century, pages 19- 29) remains the best thing I have ever written.
21. The speeches game in the Hodder History Challenge and Change book, pages 14-15, is a lot of fun.
22 The Versailles Game is quite effective at making pupils aware of the difficulties of formulating a satisfactory peace.
23. The Hitler Game (Options in History Teachers’ Book The Twentieth Century, pages 97-101) helps to explain the change to the Nazis in Weimar Germany, and it is interesting to see the pupils’ reactions as they change to become a Nazi.
24. You can find my Reichstag Fire Game for GCSE MW pupils on Richard N-J’s site:
25. The Twenty Questions questionnaire in Options in History Teachers’ Book The Twentieth Century, page 107, done first for their own opinions now, and then as a Nazi youth (using the pupils’ book pages 54-56) emphasises the difference between attitudes in Nazi Germany and today.

That’s all I can think of for now.

#12 Dafydd Humphreys

Dafydd Humphreys

    Thinking outside the box...

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,308 posts

Posted 12 October 2003 - 08:57 AM

John - the books you mentioned above sound great - any chance of a link to where they can be purchased?
My Youtube Channels: <a href="http://www.youtube.c...m/Learnhistory" target="_blank">LearnHistory</a> (RIP) :( and <a href="http://www.youtube.c.../Learnhistory2" target="_blank">LearnHistory2</a> and now <a href="http://www.youtube.c.../Learnhistory3" target="_blank">LearnHistory3</a>

#13 Richard Jones-Nerzic

Richard Jones-Nerzic

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 510 posts

Posted 12 October 2003 - 01:10 PM

I posted the following comment yesterday, elsewhere on the forum. John S has asked me to add it to this seminar

In 2000, the Guardian Learn.co site launched an interactive project at http://www.learn.co....illes/index.htm And I have done my own project every year since http://www.intst.net...illes/index.htm

The materials on the Guardian site are excellent but there are two problems.

Firstly, the interactive learning platform provided by Pioneer doesn't work very well in the classroom http://versailles.pi...d.com/login.asp Students are expected to collaborate online in preparation for a real roleplay activity in the classroom, but it seems that nobody administers the collaborative platform. This means that postings, member list and emails are very out of date. Consequently, it is impossible to know who is really active. The second problem is that there are no practical guidelines about how to conduct the roleplay conference in the classroom.

In previous years I have run the project as an internal IST Y10/Y12 project with the collaboration via email occuring within the vertical grouping of our school. I have also established rules and guidelines about how the roleplay itself is managed in a classroom situation. http://www.intst.net.../2003/rules.htm

This year I would like to introduce an element of genuine international collaboration by working with other schools through the collaborative work section of the student forum. http://www.schoolhis...m/index.php?c=3 There are lots of possibilities for how this might be done.
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke


European School Brussels III
International School History

#14 Richard Jones-Nerzic

Richard Jones-Nerzic

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 510 posts

Posted 12 October 2003 - 01:32 PM

For me, the key is to devise the simulation so that:
1. if the pupils do what the original historical charcters did, the result turns out as the historical event did.
2. it is very hard to deviate from the line of what actually happened, and there are clear penalties for doing so - I think pupils need to see that it was really 'not so easy' for the people at the time.

In my classroom you will often hear me quoting from the introduction of EP Thompson's Making of the English Working Class about how it is so important to 'avoid the enormous condescension of posterity'. Role play is brilliant at making this concrete.

With the Versailles simulation I 'improve' on the real thing by making each motion subject to a democratic vote in which, for example, Serbia's vote counts as much as Britain's. Despite this we always end up with a treaty that punishes Germany more severly (usually reducing her to pre-1870 status) and ignores all of Wilson's idealism. Each country is out to get as much as it can and to hell with the consequences. Each year I have the students write a comparison between their treaty and the original, which leads to a much greater understanding of the difficulties faced by the leaders in 1919.

On the second of JDC's points, in the Versailles simulation I actually have penalties for unhistorical deviation:

4  Historical Penalties
A motion may be nullified and a country will 'miss a turn' if any of the following historical errors are committed:
Anachronistic Error: the Motion or Amendment assumes knowledge unavailable to the original participants of the Paris Peace Conference. 
Empathetic Error: the Motion or Amendment assumes an attitude of mind inconsistent with that of the original participants of the Paris Peace Conference.
Rulings will be made by the Chairman and are subject to challenge, however the Chairman's decision is final.


Of course, I am the chairman...
http://www.intst.net.../2003/rules.htm
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke


European School Brussels III
International School History

#15 Dan Moorhouse

Dan Moorhouse

    Six Star General

  • Admin
  • 3,547 posts

Posted 12 October 2003 - 01:41 PM

The Collaborative Learning project has a range of role-plays and simulations that can be freely downloaded. I've used several of these in the past and have found them to be very effective.

A selection of their downloadable games and simulations:

http://www.collabora...armthruyear.pdf

http://www.collabora...andcircuses.pdf

http://www.collabora...eofthemanor.pdf

http://www.collabora...ngtheempire.pdf

http://www.collabora.../manorcourt.pdf

I developed a classroom based simulation last year on medieval Medicine that worked well. The resources for this simulation can be downloaded from: http://www.schoolshi...dievalmedicine/

Other simulations include Ian Dawson's 'Role of the hair dryer' simulation of the Norman Invasion, Je Suis le Roi is another one that I'd use (if anyone in school spoke any French).
____________________________
Edited to add a Link to the Forum thread about 'Je suis le roi'. One of the messages includes a link to a page from which the material can be downloaded.

Edited by Carole Faithorn, 12 October 2003 - 05:23 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users