In this simulation, students will play the role of Plantation owner and will try to grow their sugarcane empire through buying and selling fields, paying workers' wages and government taxes, and reaping the profit after each harvest. However, it also demonstrates the law of supply and demand and teaches a lesson about diversifying your economy as the price of sugarcane fluctuates on the world market from harvest to harvest. Students wait in breathless anticipation as each harvest price is revealed and then enter a state of euphoria as they count their profits... or regret their decisions if they go bankrupt. Throughout the activity, students must keep track of personal finances, use critical thinking to make decisions, respond to constantly changing events, and reflect through writing.
I use this during a 7th grade Geography unit on the Caribbean but it can be adapted and edited to fit your needs.