A Contemporary Global Issues Simulation

photo (76)This unit simulates a global community and the issues that can arise within.  It is based on contemporary world issues and models closely what actually happens in the world today, culminating in a “global council” meeting which is modeled after the United Nations.  Students “became” citizens of their own countries.  The photo here is the map of the imaginary world that they created surrounded by the national flags of each country within our simulated world.  We created a wiki which housed all of the information regarding each of the countries including the history, customs, type of government, economic information, national resources, and future goals.  Students worked in pairs to write the history and create the customs of their unique nationality.  Economic and natural resource factors were determined randomly.  Once each country had an established background, students learned about each of the countries and set national goals based on the following:

1.  Type of government

2.  Country history

3.  Natural resources and economic development

4.  Geographical factors related to security and economic development

5.  Consideration of possible alliances to benefit economic development

Each country had to prepare two proposals for a “global council” meeting which was run debate style.  Students dressed in a national costume of their design on the day of the council meeting.  They formally presented each of their proposals and then defended both by responding to questions from other countries and by offering further clarification for their proposals.  In order for a proposal to pass, it had to be accepted by a 2/3 majority of the global council.  The culminating activity, and part of the summative assessment itself, was this council meeting.

This student-centered integrated unit yielded high learning and allowed students to immerse themselves in the concept of global issues through simulation.  They also stretched their thinking in developing proposals that could possibly meet the approval of the global council.  Not only did students solve problems, but they practiced math skills and developed their creative writing capabilities.  Students were encouraged to think and rethink, and there was plenty of collaboration throughout the unit.

Thanks to my colleague, TL, for developing this concept and for sharing it with me.

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About Jamie

I am currently a middle school Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at The American School in Japan.
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