Students engage in a simulation to recreate the 1884 Berlin Conference to understand the tension that was created between European nations which paved the way to World War I.
Imperialism & Scramble for Africa Simulation: A Major Cause of World War I (WWI)
This activity is included in the much larger World War I Bundle, located here:
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In this highly-engaging student simulation, students are introduced to the famous Berlin Conference of 1884 as they recreate the Scramble for Africa and "divide up" the African continent. Students learn in a fun, hands-on way of the first cause of World War One.
Students first view a PowerPoint presentation where they are introduced to nationalism, militarism, and imperialism, then learn about the Berlin Conference and the Scramble for Africa.
Then, student groups take on the role of a European power when they receive a "Country Card." Students can take the role of Great Britain, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Belgium, France, or Germany. Groups take turns and "claim" parts of Africa based on the resources available to them and the resources needed to conquer the territory. Eventually, countries will go to "war" over control of parts of Africa!
The Berlin Conference and the ensuing Scramble for Africa is often seen as the first major cause of World War I, since it created (and in some causes heightened) massive competition between European nations. Once the simulation ends, it should be easy for students to see how this event created distrust and disgust among the European powers.
Included are teacher PowerPoint, student/teacher simulation, country instructions, 7 country cards, an Africa "points" game map, and an Africa political map. All you need to supply is one dice!