Lesson: Experiencing Imperialism: Simulation

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Lesson Objective

Students will reflect on the experience of imperialism and gain an understanding of what that term means

Lesson Plan

  1. Organization Time (20)

·      Copy HW

·      Paste/staple/insert Table of Contents and Outcomes pages for Unit 6

·      Copy Table of Contents pages 1-2

·      Copy Outcome #1

·      **Staff member will come in at this point to “colonize the class”.  They will:

§       Tell you that you are no longer in charge and must stand in the back of the room to observe.

§       Explain to students that there have been new studies that show we can get better test scores next year if we change the way we teach.  The rules have changed to:

·      Write with left hand only

·      Girls on one side of the room, boys on the other

·      Must stand up to speak during class

·      Must call new teacher “ma’am”

·      …Whatever they come up with

o      After about 5 minutes, step up and explain that what they have just experienced is a small taste of imperialism.  Give them a minute to react verbally about what that felt like.

  1. What does imperialism feel like? (10)

·      Pass out “Experiencing Terminology” handout

·      Read aloud the definition of Imperialism from the top of the page

·      Give students 5 minutes to write their responses

·      Debrief together for 5-10 minutes

  1. What Imperialism? (10)

·      Pass out Imperialism Terminology and read directions

  1. Imperialism Terminology (20)

·       With a partner, students work to complete the Imperialism Terminology, using the definitions on the back of their paper

·      Whatever is not finished in 15-20 minutes will be homework 

  1. Motives for Imperialism (30)
  • As a class, brainstorm what things might make a person or group want to take control of others (encourage students to think of examples from their own lives as well).
  • Pass out “Motives for Imperialism” handout

o      Directions: Students will move around the room, finding each of the 5 motives for imperialism.  At each station, students will:

§       Write down the goal behind each motive

§       Summarize the quote

§       Write 2-3 sentences of analysis for each quote

 HW:  Finish Terminology if not done in class
What went well?
The simulation is awesome!  Its perfect to get someone on your staff to do this.  Enriches conversations about imperialism for the rest of the unit.
What would I do differently?
I'd love a better way to do terminology.  
What needs explanation?
The simulation is a little hard to run and takes some practice.  Students can also get really upset, so its important to do a very thorough debrief.  I also prep some especially challenging students ahead of time so they don't freak out too much!

Lesson Resources

CW: Motives for Imperialism  
CW/HW: Imperialism Terminology  
CW: Experiencing Imperialism Debrief  
Notebook Organization Tools   Other


Natalie Miller Posted 3 years ago:

Great lesson idea. I added a political cartoon aspect to the assignment for my honors students. Thanks!

Erin Brandvold Posted 5 years ago:
I'm glad it went well! I'm hoping to do that one again this spring! I also have an AMAZING week long revolution simulation from a colleague of mine that I hope to post soon.
Peter Scholtes Posted 5 years ago:
Thank you, sorry I missed that! I did a version of your class-takeover lesson last week and it went great, thank you so much!
Erin Brandvold Posted 5 years ago:
They are on the "Motives for Imperialism" document. The first page is the handout that students write on and the following pages have the quotes on them. Sorry this was unclear!
Peter Scholtes Posted 5 years ago:
Where are the "quotes" for the "Motives for Imperialism" activity? Is there a missing document?



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