I used this activity with my advanced class of 7th graders but it could easily be used with 8th-10th graders. This simulation allows kids to assume roles of Confucian scholars, Civil Servants, Military Generals, and Merchants to debate whether or not China should open up trade with foreigners via the Silk Road. Students will analyze multiple documents and create an argument with their group in the form of a speech to present to the emperor at the Council Meeting. Students will debate and try to give the emperor the best advice for what to do about trade. This activity hits a lot of Common Core standards. Included is everything you need to do this activity including exit tickets for reflection.