7th Grade Diplomats Are Solving the World’s ProblemsPosted by Vincent O'Hara
The 7th-grade humanities class has studied how the geography and history of a country influence the way it interacts with other nations. As a culmination of our unit covering the foreign policy spectrum, the class is playing “Nations: A Simulation Game in International Politics.”
Similar to Model U.N., students represented one of the seven countries on the fictional continent of Lostralia. Provided with a unique history, social structure, religious beliefs, intelligence secrets, and objectives, students had to improve the previously set factor totals reflecting the strengths or weaknesses of each country (e.g., food stability, infrastructure, military power, etc.). Each nation is represented by two or three students who fulfill the roles of a minister of the press, a diplomat, and head of state. Their goal is to use diplomacy to improve the lives of their citizens while avoiding catastrophe: unnecessary war.
The students have thrown themselves into this activity with tireless enthusiasm. They have created flags and maps and have written and performed national anthems. Each country has been creating news reports that employ persuasion techniques, including propaganda; diplomats schedule meetings to negotiate trade and military defense treaties.
How do teachers know when their lessons are a success? They know when their students jabber about the class in the halls, bounce into the classroom, and plead to start the lesson. The 7th graders are demonstrating their knowledge in the best way possible: by having fun- and all while solving the problems of the world!
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