To understand the role played by joint-stock companies in the development of trade and the establishment of colonies in the New World.
1 class period
The lesson begins by reading with the class several paragraphs of background information about the rapid growth of capitalism in Europe during the Age of Exploration. This is followed by a short section that asks students to explain, in their own words, the meaning of three terms (capitalism, joint-stock company, and Commercial Revolution) from the reading.
Next, it is time to play the THE TRADING GAME!
Students pretend it is the 1600s and 1700s and that they have invested in joint-stock companies. These companies will send ships to Africa, the Indies, and America. Class members will invest in these trading companies with the hope that their ships sail to distant lands and return to Europe with valuable products that can be sold at a profit for the investors. Some student investors will make money, and some will lose money.
Complete game rules are provided on the lesson pages, along with an investment sheet used to play the game. More information on how to conduct the game is also found in the Teacher Instructions.
Expect exciting moments!
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.