“My students loved this!!”
Even before the Constitution had been ratified and the new nation created, the question had already been raised: how would new territories be included in the budding nation? It was Thomas Jefferson who provided the answer in the waning days of the Continental Congress: the Northwest Ordinance. This law provided the framework for the governance of new territories and the legal addition of new states to the Union for years to come.
This highly engaging game is designed to entertain and teach students the geography of the Old Northwest and how territories attracted settlers and eventually gained statehood, taking their place as equals in our federal system with the older, more established states. Players compete for settlers as they try to be the first to gain statehood for all five states in the Old Northwest.
Students play against each other in small groups of 4-5 students. The game is simple to set up, instruct and play, and students immediately become engaged in competing with each other to become the first to reach statehood for all five territories. Including instructional time to make sure that students understand how to play, the game should take about 60 minutes to play. Be prepared for noise!
* 3 pages of informative text (the chapter "The Northwest Ordinance" from my textbook “We Take Nothing by Conquest”
* instructions for the teacher and students;
* map game boards for students (where students keep track of their settlers in each territory;
* a PowerPoint demonstrating the map game board for instruction;
* 24 play cards.
Materials are provided as word documents and PDFs in one zip file.
You will need to provide a die for each group playing the game, and there is a little setup time in preparing the map game boards and the play cards for each group. I’ve played this game in my 8th grade class for years, and it never fails to be a big hit.
This activity is part of a complete and comprehensive unit
on the Westward continental expansion of the United States from 1783 to 1848.
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