I have been teaching American History for nine years and I have been using this, adapting this, and perfecting this all along the way! The project is SO loved by my students that I will frequently get asked on the very first day of school about when we will be playing the simulation in class. Years later, students will come up to me and still talk about it!
The skeleton of this project was given to me as I was student-teaching and it has grown every year since. Now that I think I have it basically perfected, I am uploading it for you, saving you the hundreds of hours I spent building and tweaking it!
This is a simulation of an international incident which may lead to a world war, in a setting similar to World War I Europe. Students will develop an understanding of what causes war and have insight into the complex web of alliances that contributed to the world wars.
The object is to have students play an active role in discovering the factors involved in foreign policy decision-making and to demonstrate that self-interest at times makes peace almost impossible. The challenge of the game is to maintain peace and avert war, but students will find this difficult to achieve.
Time: Two 90-minute blocks (plus one if you decide to add a day for flag creation)
This is also friendly to shorter periods. I would think it might take three days in a shorter format, with a fourth for flag creation.
How it works: Students form groups, draft papers in response to a crisis, negotiate with other groups, and ultimately decide upon war or peace. After the final decisions are made, the teacher can load up the included Excel spreadsheet and use drop-down menus to quickly and easily set up the conflict and have the results automatically and conveniently be generated in just minutes!
What you get:
2 PowerPoint files (the WWI Simulation and a Flag Creation guide)
1 Excel-based War Calculator (a handy, foolproof way to figure out who wins and loses by simply clicking drop-down boxes; no knowledge of Excel required!)
A 12-page teacher guide explaining the game and how to work the Excel calculator
A 7-page student guide/workbook for the game
30 pages of handouts (each group will ultimately receive 10 pages)
A robust guide to flag-making and flag symbolism with 10 pages of graphic elements you can copy
All of the extra resources you could want - the graphic files I made for maps, countries, and the documents are all included!
Multiple file formats (.doc, .pdf, .jpg, .png, .ppt, .psd)
Color and black-and-white versions of graphics
Handy "Readme" files in every folder to make each resource clear and usable
This can be played with or without a projector. PDFs will enable you to use this game without having MS Office, but Office is recommended.
If you have Photoshop, my editable maps with on/off layers are also included!