This game-based simulation in an engaging way to share information about western expansion and settlement. This particular simulation contains four rounds: The Mining Booms, Ranchers and Farmers, Native American Struggles, and Farmers in Protest. In each round, students make decisions as if they were living during this time, and they receive a certain number of points based upon their decisions. Decisions align with course content and have to do with topics such as the Homestead Act, Transcontinental Railroad, Mining Boomtowns, Farmers' Alliances and the National Grange, and more!
Included in this product are 8 pages of handouts that students will use to follow along during the simulation, keep track of their points, write down notes of what actually happens, and reflect upon their decisions. There is also a 53-slide presentation (both for PowerPoint and Google Slides) that will help guide students through the four rounds of the simulation. Outside of making copies, there should be no prep needed for this activity, and the students are much more engaged and excited to participate, since it is set up like a game!
In total, this simulation can cover the entire chapter in many standard US History textbooks and will take between one and two weeks, depending on the length of your classes and the pacing. The sections covered include:
1. The Mining Booms (mining boomtowns, Transcontinental Railroad)
2. Ranchers and Farmers (cattle drive, Long Drive, Homestead Act, sodbusters, dry farming, Oklahoma Land Rush)
3. Native American Struggles (reservations, Dawes Act, Indian Peace Commission)
4. Farmers in Protest (National Grange, Farmers' Alliance, populism, Populist Party)
This guide provides an interactive and comprehensive approach to take students through all of these events in a game-based format...with no prep needed!