What kind of schedule do you work on at your school and would Block scheduling work for this?
I teach in 40 minute daily periods. I think these simulations could work in block scheduling. You could teach half the period with the simulation and the other half discuss what really happened up to that point. You could also have your block represent two years.
Does this take a lot of time to set up? The first time you do it, it will take some time. If you laminate a lot of the items like flags and newspaper articles they can be used year after year. After the first year there isn't a lot of prep work to do.
Do you have to do the World War One Simulation before you do the World War Two Simulation? You don't have to do the World War One Simulation first, but it does make it a lot easier on the students. The World War Two Simulation is very similar in design but is more complicated with the addition of natural resources injected into it and two theaters of war in Europe and Asia.
How do students initially react to their first interaction with a simulation?
Some students jump right in and others seem overwhelmed at first. These simulations may seem more complicated at first glance then they really are. Giving students the documents in advance and thoroughly explaining everything the first day clears up a lot of anxiety- but not all of it. It's also a great idea to give the students the link to the Student Orientation Videos:mrharmssimulation's You Tube Channel
How do you know who wins the battles?
After you have plugged into the spreadsheet: the number of troops, ratings and defense bonus, the spreadsheet will calculate the winner and number of troops left will be highlighted automatically. You then take off the maps- the troops of the losing side and change the winners to what was calculated as (left).
How many turns should countries typically have in one class day? It depends. Sometimes it's to their advantage to stall. If you think this is happening, you need to set a time limit on turns. You also need to stress to students that they shouldn't wait until it's their turn to start deciding what to do. Good leaders come to class with a plan and anticipate possible scenarios and outcomes.
When one country wins a battle, do all of the countries resources, naval forces, etc. need to be transferred to the victor? (World War Two Simulation)
I'm going to answer this in parts. Some of it is the same for both the World War One Simulation and the World War Two Simulation.
Navy: The navy is always under the control of the leader of that country-even if they are wiped out on land. (WWI & WWII)
Resources: The natural resources of that country or zone now belongs to the winner of the battle and should be transferred to them. (WWII)
How do students learn about what really happened in the World Wars? The first part of World War One- the causes of the conflict, are taught within the simulation. I then teach a unit on World War One itself. Students are ten times more interested and ask questions during this unit more than any other unit I teach up to this point. The simulation is the "hook" that peaks their interest. Students are constantly comparing the simulation and the real war. It's not hard to tell when they are interested in a topic.
How can you justify spending this much time on one unit?
The first thing an American History or World History Teacher has to come to realize, is that you can't cover everything. The world wars have more of an impact on our society today than say the Mongols, Roman Empire or the Aztecs. Understanding concepts is better for higher order thinking than memorizing dates and facts. Why did these events occur? What circumstances or self interests caused countries to make these decisions? I believe what you teach should be based on the importance of the concepts contained within those lessons. Going deeper for better understanding takes more time. What will students remember about your class 5-10 years from now? A worksheet on Puritan England? They will remember the simulations and that's what sets them apart from other lesson plans.
Why are some countries out of place when I open my map word document? Also why do other countries seem to move when I move one country?
You may be using a different version of Microsoft Word. The reason some countries may move when you move a particular country is because your snap to grid is set to on or sometimes called snap to object needs to be turned off. Here is a link to explain it better:
WWI: Is there a map for Asia? If not what is the best way to involve Japan?
There is no map for Asia. Japan will announce they have taken over the German colonies in China. The Japanese Navy is really the only aspect that they were involved in in World War One. Their Navy can move troops, fight naval battles. Their role is limited because that's how it was.
WWI: Can German U-boat's be used in Naval Battles?
No, The U-boats exact their damage on allied navies after the class period. You could modify the rules if you want to do that-but if it gets too complicated you make the simulation last too long.
WWI & WWII: When you reach 1918 or 1945, how will you know who won?
By the time you reach the end of those days/years it should be very obvious who is going to win the war. If its not obvious, you can extend it or you can make the call yourself. The students know the time frame, so they have to achieve their objectives in that amount of time.
WWI & WWII: If a country doesn't mobilize the year that they can, what happens to those troops?
If they don't mobilize the first year that they can, they will always be a year behind in mobilization, which in some cases means they will not receive troops during the simulation.