This is a simulation designed to teach a few things. First, it allows students to experience the cutthroat nature of early capitalism. Second, it teaches historical content about the Industrial Revolution such as why it occurred in Great Britain first. Finally, it forces students to cooperate to run a successful business.
In this simulation (designed for a World History class, but could be modified for any class in economics or applied mathematics), students are asked to take control of businesses that would have been common at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution such as textiles, steel manufacturing, coal mining, etc. They then must sell their wares to their classmates in an open market. There are very few rules, and students soon take advantage of that fact to form trusts and monopolies in order to raise prices. The end of the simulation asks students to run the classroom economy as Communism. This allows students a much more in depth knowledge of the differences between Capitalism and Communism than traditional pedagogy.
This lesson is designed to take about five non-block class periods.