History Simulations: Critical Thinking and Multiple Perspectives from Other Cultures

Students say that the history simulations and role-playing are the most meaningful learning activities in our course. Taking the role of another country or group and engaging in highly-energized negotiations with two other groups leads to: meaningful active learning, understanding different perspectives of countries and groups, and negotiation skills they use in personal and future professional life. Located below are the lesson plans and needed learning materials to use these simulations. Feedback is welcome. Please send to arendale@umn.edu

Yalta Conference: Great Britain, Soviet Union, and United States: Face-to-face simulation

Students assume the roles of Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin as they negotiate for positions of priority for their country at the end of World War Two and the start of the Cold War. This is an in-class activity of approximately two hours.

Screenwriting History Online: Yalta Conference

Individual students work online to write the conversation world leaders might have with each other on controversial issues. This is an alternative activity to the Yalta F-2-F Conference in-class activity described above. This is a creative writing activity.

India Conference: Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims: Face-to-face simulation

Students assume the roles of leaders for one of the three religious groups as they negotiate for the interests of their groups. The time-frame is in the 1940s before the breakup of India and internal strife as a result. Only three groups were selected.

Screenwriting History Online: India Conference

Individual students work online to write the conversation among two leaders might have with each other on controversial issues in the mid-1940s before the destructive partition of India and a losss of nearly one million lives. This is an alternative to the India F-2-F Conference in-class activity described above. This is a creative writing activity.

Middle East Conference: Jews, PALESTINIAN Arabs, and United Nations: face-to-face simulation

Students assume roles as leaders of one of the groups as they negotiate in the mid 1940s before the creation of Israel and the conflict that erupted following that event. The UN is included since they have their own agenda.

Screenwriting history online: Middle East Conference

Individual students work online to write the conversation world leaders might have with each other on controversial issues. This is an alternative activity to the Middle East Conference in-class activity described above.This is a creative writing activity.

Gandhi Principles for Contemporary Protest Event: ONLINE simulation

Students work in teams on a protest issue of importance to them using the principles that Gandhi and his followers used to protest the British occupation of India.

Rwanda U.N. Commission for Reconstruction: online simulation

Students work in teams to plan for reconstruction of Rwanda after the genocide. This follows a unit on contemporary Africa and special attention to Rwanda and causes of the genocide. Students have several readings on government actions to rebuild country.

Genocide Investigative Report: online simulation

Students assume the role of a field investigator for the International Criminal Court. Students have a choice among seven contemporary genocides to study materials and complete a small group investigative report.

Poland Protest Against the Government for Free Trade Unions (early draft activity)

Students work in small groups and learn how Gandhi's protest principles were used by the Polish workers to advocate for free trade unions and eventually free elections. This simulation needs much more work, but here is the draft version.

Compare and Contrast Protests in India, Poland, and China (early draft activity)

This is an optional follow-up activity if protest activities in India and Poland are explored in class. This is not a simulation but rather a way to compare and contrast them with each other.


Key words: Postsecondary, College, Tertiary, High School, History Simultations, Screenwriting History, Role-playing, Lesson Plans, Global History, World History, WWII, India Conflict, Middle East Conflict, Gandhi Nonviolent Protest, Reconstructing Rwanda, Genocide Field Investigator, Social Studies, Gaming, Free History Curriculum, Social Studies, Home School Curriculum, Advanced Placement