Man, I wish every class went like my last one did.

We’re studying Africa in my 6th grade world history class and a few weeks ago I came up with the idea to do a simulation game to help them understand how the conflict between the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda got started.  With some help from my dad, I came up with a life-size game of Life where one team would pick from one set of cards and the other 5 teams would pick from another.

One deck of cards, colored green, included occupations such as rock star, professional athlete, and doctor, mansions to live in, Porsches and Escalades to drive, and a cruise or a trip to Europe for fun.  The other deck, colored red, had things like farmer, ditch digger, cardboard box, wooden shack, old bicycle, bus pass, and for fun, a card that read “You’re too busy working – no free time.”

Yesterday, with some help from a friend, I taped butcher paper game spaces onto the floor of my classroom, turning it into a huge board game.  I had a die for them to roll with and all the rules ready to go.

For once, everything went exactly as planned.  The game went perfectly – the kids figured out very quickly that they wanted to be picking from the green deck and were pretty mad that only one team actually got to.  Everytime I would hold out red cards, they would moan and groan and ask why Team #1 got all the good cards.  Since we read about the Hutus and the Tutsis yesterday, a couple of the kids actually figured out what the point was halfway through, which I was hoping they would.  We even finished with plenty of time to discuss, have them write a paragraph about what they learned, and clean up the room!

If only every class could go that smoothly…

Leave a comment


  1. Dad

     /  March 10, 2009

    Good job!

  2. Molly

     /  March 15, 2009

    can you be my 6th grade teacher???
    or my college teacher???


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