I am writing this on Friday morning. We are on a long weekend over the Easter Holiday. We don’t have school today or again on Monday. The days are “make up snow days” but it is nice to have them around the same weekend.
Yesterday we finished playing “The Politics of Appeasement.” I was very happy on how things finished up in most games. I would say yesterday was decision day for a lot of kids. Struggles for Germany to take the Sudetenland were going on, some countries involved themselves immediately, while others tried to stay out of it. The delima that got most kids was: 1. We have a goal to AVOID WAR. but 2. We have a goal to aid the CZECHS and 3. (for example) Our world news ticker keeps telling us we are violating our treaty with the USSR because we have not declared war on Germany.
One of my thoughts about this situation is due to the overwhelming decisions for kids to join a war is they know this war inside the game is not real. So it is fun. But when kids were faced with a question from me of “what kind of leader are you going to be? One that honors his/her word or one that won’t.” Maybe my words were loaded, teamed with the fact that kids know the war is a game but every kid, all of them, not one exception joined the war and they said they had to “back up their friends.” Nice loyalty. Nice discussion on international relations came from it. “What countries almost always have the US’s back?” And why do you think that is.
Well, I have a long weekend to prepare my post test for the control group and the gamers. Neither know it is coming. Tuesday we will debrief with the gamers and finish up some work with the control group. Wednesday should be our test day. Shortly after that I will let the control groups know they will play the game.
Two other quick stories. 1. We finished the scenario in one class with 20 minutes or so left in the period. We saved the game and then I let students start a new game “just for fun.” The excitement in the class was thick with anticipation and utterly destroying their enemies. Everybody jumped on the bandwagon of kill Germany. Which they managed to accomplish in 20 minutes. Makes you wonder what would have happened if France, USSR, Great Britain, Italy and The Czechs would have joined forces early against Hitler. And my last story for the day, when 2nd period was over and the game was done I had a girl come up to me and repeatedly request to play 4th period with one of my other classes. Of course I had to deny her-she had another class but for all those who think the gals don’t like this stuff……..you’re wrong.