To draw attention to the monopolistic business practices used by various "Captains of Industry" during the 1800s.
1 class period
In THE BIG BUSINESS GAME, the class is divided into groups of 3 or 4 students. Each group has a gameboard, play money, and a set of 24 PROFIT/LOSS cards. All of these are provided.
The money is placed alongside the gameboard. This is the BANK. Before play begins, each group member receives $50 million from the BANK.
Eight different industries are represented on the gameboard –– TOBACCO, CHEMICALS, BANKS, PAPER, MEAT-PACKING, RAILROADS, OIL, and STEEL. These are the businesses which John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, James J. Hill, and other “Captains of Industry” took control of during the period of American industrial expansion. Like these business leaders, each team's objective is to establish a monopoly in one or more of the eight industries. In this game, as in the business world of the 1800s, huge profits are made by taking complete control of an industry.
Full Game Rules can be found on the lesson pages.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.