Sunday, June 29, 2014

Social Studies Simulations Giveaway

When I was a student in high school, one of my favorite teachers was a history teacher, because he was the first teacher that made history come alive for me. When I decided to become a teacher, I knew that I didn't want my students to have to wait until they were in high school to have social studies come alive.

This past year, I discovered that most of my class (all but one if I am honest) hated social studies through a graphing activity I use in the beginning of the year. I decided I needed to do a little more to liven my curriculum up even more than I have in the past.

Early in the year the students had their first experience with an Underground Railroad simulation that I found on TPT the year before. It was a perfect way to make things come to life in a short time period.

Throughout the year I made three new simulations for my students to enjoy:
Pilgrim Dice Simulation
Oregon Trail Dice Simulation
Gold Rush Dice Simulation
Each of these simulations comes with a list of suggested books, a writing prompt, and the actual simulation. The simulation takes about 15 min, (it may take longer if you have a larger class.) I normally use the rest of the class period having the students work on their writing prompt and debriefing from the activity. I use these simulations as a wrap-up for our unit...however some teachers prefer to use them to kick off a unit. It is totally teacher's choice!
It can get a little crazy with all your students walking around the room at the same time, since they move from station to station at their own pace, so it is really important to lay down some ground rules before you start. I have found that the simulations do leave a lasting impression on the kiddos. They remember their results of the simulation more than other things we do in class.

Since I've had such a great experience using simulations, I want to give you all a chance to use them as well! I'll pick two winners on Friday, they will be able to choose any two of the three simulations for themselves.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One more thing...
Now that I am taking time off to start a family, I'd love to make more simulations. What topics would you love to have a simulation for? If I use the topic you suggested you will receive a free copy of that simulation when it is completed as a thank you!


  1. Hi Bethany, Thank you for a chance to win these awesome social studies activities. I would love a simulation that relates to government somehow. That is my lieast favorite unit to teach.

    Fit to be Fourth

    1. Better late than never, but I just created a simulation on How a Bill becomes a law. Let me know if you are interested in trying it out, and I will e-mail it to you.

  2. I think a simulation of the Salem Witch Trials would be amazing, but it would have to not be scary - my third graders are fascinated by this topic. I LOVE this simulation idea!

  3. I would love to see Rev War or Native Americans.

  4. I would love Explorers or American Revolution!

  5. How about traveling the regions of the US? Something about the Dust Bowl? :)

  6. I would love to have something dealing with government.