Now that I have spent enough time to learn The Sims and get familiar with exactly what I want to apply to Sociology I thought I best get this posted before my school year begins on August 14.
First, let me say that I enjoy The Sims. It is not quite at the level of enjoyment for me that Civ IV is but it is a game that is without question worth some of my time. Next, let me address how I think using The Sims in my class will work.
Facts to know: My Sociology class is 25 students in number. Ranging from very good students to identified students. My schedule is traditional with 50 minute periods. Our Sociology curriculum is heavy on scientist and theory. Which in my opinion is not going to be a great situation for the demographics in my class. Also, Sociology is a one semester course so I will have students approximately 90 class periods.
Points of interest in The Sims that I plan on getting across in my lesson plans:
Life is not easy and that lesson can be seen in The Sims. Importance of relationships is vitally important to the happiness of ones life. Work is important to bring in the necessary resources that CAN bring more happiness to ones life. More education provides better jobs and promotions that in turn bring more resources to ones individual situation. Entertainment is an important part of any persons life not matter what social level they have acheived. The spending on ones resources is sometimes a difficult thing to do. Choices have to be made when money is limited. Household task like cleaning up the dishes are necessary….nobody likes it…..but it can bring a higher level of happiness inside a home. Music, television, and reading are things that bring a level of happiness with them.
Those are most of the points I want to get across while using The Sims. My initial plan is to use a talking points format. Cover the matierial in the book in the traditional manner. Then compliment it with our adopted Sims family and have students blog about how the Sims family is dealing with each aspect of their life. Also, I will ask student to draw some comparisons between the talking points and their own life. My desire is to use the game as a meaningful avenue to reach higher level discussions with a large class and a class that does not have the higest achieving students. This project, like all new things teachers do may be a bust but it is certainly worth a try.