All posts by David

World War 2 Simulation Journal: Poland & The Netherlands

Poland 1 1938

I know that Germany will try to invade us so we need to do everything we can to stop them. I know that Germany want to Danzig port and thats why they want to  I will need to form an alliance with France and Britain for when the time comes and hope that they will protect me.

Netherlands 1 1938

We are not a very strong military force and there has been nothing done to us. We will remain neutral as long as we can so we can keep the peace in our country. If Germany attacks, we will have to surrender. At the moment it is in our favor to stay neutral. 

Poland 1 1939

We got invaded by Germany and we knew that we would not win. France and Great Britain said that they would defend us and secure our borders. There wasn’t a lot they could do about us getting invaded. We did all we could to keep my country but we couldn’t beat the Nazis. 

Netherlands 1 1939

Right from the beginning Germany invaded us and we couldn’t move our troops to Great Britain. We knew that Germany would destroy us if we fought them so we surrendered to them. In the Dutch East Indies we joined the Allies. Shortly after we joined the Allies we got invaded by Japan. France and Great Britain did what they could to help us but Japan took over the Dutch East Indies. 

Poland 1 1940

We have lost all of our land but we will not give up. I believe that they allies will get the upper hand soon and take back Poland for us. The allies are still continuing to fight without me and they are staying strong. 

Netherlands 1 1940

Belgium has joined the axis powers but Great Britain and France still have troops there. They will have to conquer it. Their plan is to win back the Netherlands and I believe that will happen very soon. In the Dutch East Indies and Asia, Japan has conquered almost all of it and it doesn’t look like they are stopping anytime soon. 

Poland 1 1941

The USSR had taken over the 2nd part of our country back in 1939. Today the Soviet Union and Germany fought over it and Germany was victorious so now we are completely part of the axis powers. 

Netherlands 1 1941

Germany and the USSR broke their treaty. The USSR joined the allies and they are now going to help us take back lost territory in Asia. Japan bomb the Americans in Hawaii. The USA joined the allies also and they will be a major help to us in the war. 

Poland 1 1942

Germany invaded Norway but the Soviet Union sent in troop and the allies were victorious. Norway and Sweden ended up joining the allies. The Axis powers are gaining land but they are using up their troops. 

Netherlands 1 1942

Japan has almost taken over all of Asia and Australia. France, Great Britain, and the US are trying to take Belgium. If they take over Belgium, then they can easily get my country back for me. We’re waiting for help from the US in Asia, they are our only hope in getting back the Dutch East Indies. 

Poland 1 1943

Germany keeps attack the Soviet Union and they are now running very low and troops, but Germany just keeps attacking. We’re hoping that the USSR can start winning some battles so that they can help get our lost land back from Germany. Germany is quick using up all of their forces and we’re hoping that with the help of the US we can start winning the war.

Netherlands 1 1943

Japan has taken over the Philippines and took it from the US and Siberia from the USSR. Japan now controls over all of Asia and has started moving into the other side of the Soviet Union. Great Britain has moved troops to France and are waiting for a battle against the Axis powers. The Axis powers have been very victorious lately but they are running out of forces quickly.

Poland 1 1944

Germany has now successfully taken over all of the USSR. They have run low on troops but Italy hasn’t used a lot of their troops. Most of the countries from southern Europe has put their troops into Italy and we know that they plan on attacking very soon.

Netherlands 1 1944

The US has declared war on Japan and they will hopefully start taking over all of Asia and we will get our lost territory back from the Japanese there. Germany has moved in all of their troops from Germany to Belgium and we know they will soon attack. They are now surrounding France in Belgium and Italy. 

Poland 1 1945

We fought the nazi ships and beat the north sea so now they are not able to move troops to Great Britain. Great Britain ran out of troops helping France fight against the axis powers. 

Netherlands 1 1945

The Allies sent in most of their troops to Belgium to try and take it over. We lost the battle and I have lost hope that we will get our territory back from the Axis Powers. The US lost the territory they gain in 1944 in Asia. 

World War II Simulation Journal: France

France 1, 1938

The year is 1938 and Germany has been gaining much land. I can see the leader taking over more land. My belief is that he’ll go strait for Poland. I know that He’ll also attack me later on. Learning from the last war, the person in charge will waist his allies supplies and army. Throughout the whole thing my plan is to try and convince them to not help a lot so that they have less people against us. 

The most important thing for is for me to help Poland. I’m going to send quite a bit of troops so that we can defeat Germany at Poland. My hope is to stop the Nazi’s as soon as possible, for I am scared of what they are able to do. Possibly the worst part is knowing he won’t stop at nothing—but that’s just the thing…Because he doesn’t know how to stop…I will preserve my army and defeat Germany at it’s weakest point.  

America, will most likely stay out of war for a long time, for they are frightful, but I hope they are willing to help us like the last time. The USSR is questionable—I hope that they help us to defeat Germany. 

France 1, 1939

The year is 1939 and Germany is unnecessarily taking over smaller countries. The USSR and Germany are unofficially allied with each other, and my allies and I are trying to get The USSR to ally with Great Britain and I, but it is not easy. Japan surprisingly has a strong army and I am afraid of what they are capable of. 

My plan has not changed: I still want to convince the allies or people close to Germany to not help Germany out as much. The German leader is a prideful one, and will take over everything—regardless if they are enemy or friend. I’ll have to protect Belgium as best as I can, because there is no doubt in my mind that Germany will attack there.

There is no doubt in my mind the leader of Germany will take over Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Belgium, I know for sure he will try to get. 

I am sorry to Poland, for I was not able to protect you—how could I? With all those Fascists? Are you as scared as I? I’m trying my best to put up a brave front, for I do not intend to loose my land t-to—GERMANY!

France 1, 1940

Everything seems to go by quickly. There is very little my Allies and I can do. We can’t attack and waist our troops, and we are not able to defeat Germany with our rating and numbers. War is frustrating us, but we will rest assured that we will stop them!

Belgium had declared allegiance with Germany! How dare they!? They were allied with US! I put my soldiers in to protect them, but they just sit there and abide to Germany!? What will I do with my soldiers!? Do I take them out??? Do I just let them stay there in hiding—let them die??? How could Belgium do this? I feel so betrayed. I feel as if the only way to protect them is to protect them from themselves—take the country over—so they do not come to me under Germany’s rule.

This is just my luck, Journal! I couldn’t protect Yugoslavia, even if I tried! Japan has taken over French Indio-China. Italy failed at taking French Into Africa, but I’m worried they will go their again and kill off my soldiers there…how am I supposed to maintain my land, if I have little army? In addition—how do I take land back with my little army??? I wish to have prepared more! I must stop at nothing to  get the USSR to join us. I hope that is very soon—no, I know it will be!

France 1, 1941

The year is 1941, and Germany’s army has dropped a bit. We are waiting until they lose a couple thousand more. As soon as they lose enough, we shall attack with the help of Great Britain.

The USSR joined the Allied Powers. Pearl Harbor attack from Japan into America had caused America to join the Allied Powers. We are very excited to have more people allied with us. I know we can’t defend for long. I hope to plunge into war soon with Germany’s army depleted by our forces. However, I am scared I will be attacked by Italy and that my army will too be depleted. My plan is to convince Italy to not attack me—I have a feeling Germany will convince them to. 

However, I’m also scared for the smaller countries, my countries that I have influence over, and us Allied Forces. I’ve noticed that they’ve been taking smaller countries, and it scares me that they are getting a higher army rating. I don’t know what to do, or if I can do much, for my forces are not able to go all the way to these other countries. 

France 1, 1942

The year is 1942, and Noway is pissed off at Germany. Germany had betrayed them by attacking them. Norway had made a huge scene and is so angry that they decided to side with us, the allies. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself—Noway said that I was right. Of course I was! I told Norway that if they ally with Germany they have to be carful because Germany is bound to attack them so they can use them. After she yelled that I had made an announcement for people to steer clear of Germany or they too meet the same fate.

Today we went into war, and I’m actually glad we did, even though we lost some people. I feel as if we’re not taking much chances, and that Great Britain is not doing much to help me or others either. I go into war with them because I am loyal, but sometimes I want to yell at them to blaze up Germany. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself—maybe they’re to slow, I don’t know. I just think if Germany takes another shot at Sweden, then it might just be enough to waist most of his soldier, then he’ll be using Italy. By this time this is when they Allies and I will go full force!

France 1, 1943

The year is 1943, I was mostly sick. I heard from allies what was going on. Germany has taken it to far! Most of my ally, USSR has fallen under Germany.  Why have they’ve taken up so much of the USSR?! The whole country is has just fallen do to Germany! The USRR, though they had week forces, were a great help. I’m shocked even find it out with them borrowing resources from the United States too! Luckily, Germany have taken down most of their own troops. However, I fear for my soldiers’ lives, for the lives’ of my country, and for my country itself. 

I hope to talk to America and borrow some resources for I can defend my own country. It is hard fighting a war at bedside. Hopefully, Germany won’t be as cruel as they’ve been, but if patterns show me anything—they will be. 

May I take a sec to be bitter. My countries that I’ve been controlling over has gotten me to be very angry. My resources have practically been taken, yet I could not do a thing—as suspected earlier! Why is Germany was so hardened!?

France 1, 1944

The year is 1944, and I’m feeling well, but also angry. At the time of being sick, I couldn’t fathom the USSR actually about wiped out, yet their is obvious proof that it has been. I wish to out of this war! 

I have to get resources from the United States. When I spoke to the United States, I got word that most of his resources have been going into depletion. A big navy war had broken out in the West Pacific. This has been our victory among many losses. By the end of this year, I hope to make a secret alliance with Italy so they don’t attack me, or at least convince them. I will put out propaganda. How are the other ways can I insure my country is safe without dishonoring my alliance with Great Britain. 

Lesson of the day: You can’t win war through ignorance and defending. 

The realization that most of the world has fallen under the Fascists, had really made me pissed—bitter. I am beyond angry, what can I do with my troops?! How can I save my country! How can the Allies defeat Germany and the Axis powers with the little pathetic armies of ours. Our lack of war has gotten us in trouble. Great Britain is of little help to defeat Germany, but I understand why. If I saw that the Axis Powers were coming close, I too would want to keep my troops to defeat Germany. 

France 1, 1945

The year is 1945, and I talked to Italy. I was told that he’s been pushing off attacking France. Germany has been wanting to attack all week! I am afraid, and have now accepted my fate—France is being taken over. However, I will not go down without a fight!

Germany and Italy have been attacking smaller countries, however the Axis powers are getting ready to attack. They have taken over most of my land, and I am not happy. I gave warning to Great Britain to attack Germany’s army so that they wouldn’t go into it. I was clever in doing so, because they wanted to attack them, but they didn’t have the forces to defend their country—do to me. Anyways, I am very grateful for Great Britain and America for helping me, when I had troubles defending my own country. 

The only regret I have is not fighting sooner—not attacking the Navy sooner, so that we could’ve delayed the attack on Sweden and Norway. I wish to have crushed their forces, to ask more of America—so that we may be able to have had a fighting chance. 

WW2 Journal Report: Germany


Orientation Day 1

Today we talked about the strength of our troops, why this simulation is different from the WW1 Simulation. Now we need more resources oil, rubber, and iron, so we got to attack places that have natural materials. That’s our first strategy is to get raw materials for the war. If we don’t have have the right number of materials, our rating will dive down. for our troops, will stay weak, the more material the stronger we are. My thought process right now is  for people I’m acquired with to get resources for our team so we have better chance of winning. The one mistake we made last simulation was that we didn’t put Germany ships around the U.S.A so France and Britain were bringing in troops and destroying us, Germany and A.H.  

Germany 2 1939 

Were starting to plan an attack on Poland. Japan is now starting to attack the Indies because of the resources. We exchanged resources so we can more advance. So far we won both wars for Nazi and Japan and we got a lot of rubber. We signed an alliance with the soviet union so we can keep peace with each other. My thoughts about the whole resource thing is pretty good, especially sharing and getting the best we can for war.  I don’t think signing alliances is all to good, unless its a bigger army, but in this case we are the strongest country but we are stuck in the middle of 3 big countries. I just hope France, Great Britain, and Soviet Union don’t attack all at once even though Germany would have the way stronger army we could suffer major losses. I just hope countries are scared to try to take over the Germany

Germany 3 1940 

Japan just took out SC China and it is like a cake wake going threw china. Japan troops have a rank of a good 9. They are basically unstoppable  At this point were taking the map and basically painting it yellow. Japan just got defeated by Serbian troops helping China. Italy tried attacking French North Africa but we didn’t put enough troops in there to overcome the troops they put in. So 2 defeats so far.  We also attacked NC China and Japan was victories. The USSR tried attacking Finland but Finland manage to somehow win surprising. People are basically really annoyed with us and people are getting erupted with their group. Someone actually left there group and came over by us. ‘Sweden’. I think Spencer is really getting in there head about how powerful we are but we really haven’t attacked anyone. 

Germany 4 1941 

We started an attack on Finland and Russia put 2500 and we put in 250. Holy cow did kill but in the long run they won us. We took them all the way down to 891 so that is really good on our side. I feel like everyone is getting irritated with our good troops and our annoying mouths. Now were attacking Poland and the other side seems to be giving up slowly. Now were going for Lithuania and everything is going out like a hot knife going threw butter. Now Japan is going threw Buma-GB and we just won. Everything is going with ease and now I want to go for U.S.A because overall they take us all in the long run. If we take them now they can’t help. Plus they got so much materials. Germany is now attacking Belgium for transportation for France. We won Belgium. We won again. We lost a thousand troops but we took out a lot of France and Great Britain Troops. The Eastern USSR attacked Japan – Manchukuo and Japan won. But they took major losses.

Germany 5 1942

So today we really made Norway mad because they allied with us and we had to attack Norway. The person who had Norway freaked out on us but oh well. She was able to get Russia to help her out but were gonna kill them one way or another. So at this point Japan took out China cause Japan troops are so strong. The U.S is gonna be big play later in this simulation because they are gonna kill Japan easily

Germany 6 1943 

Today Japan took Serbia to begin with. Now Germany and a few other allied troops with us are taking Ukraine. We took Ukraine and now were trying to move threw the USSR. Japan just now attacked the Philippines and we overtook them. The weird thing is that they are starting to get hard and our troops seem to be weaker. At this point we taking over Russia because they have zero troops so were just sweeping.

Germany 7 1944 

Today a lot of stuff went down. A lot. The allied sides are going crazy. It started out with the US taking a part of Japan then bam. Germany and Italy is making them suffer because of it. Russia really sucks, I feel bad for the guy operating it because all he did was lose, lose, lose. We are pushing, so get out of the way. Tomorrow is a big day. Like a really a big day. We takin France I think. The people from France are begging Italy not to take them because they need their objectives done. But I hope Italy gets threw that so we can take them. I wanna push straight threw them. The USA can’t really do anything because most of their U boats are sunk cause of Japan so they are really suppressed. Tomorrow sh!t is going down.

Germany 8 1945 

So today is the last day and wow. We were about to attack France but then they attacked Belgium so we had the defending bonus. Big upset but Germany still pulled threw for the victory and now we’re attack France. Today was the finish. Our map wasn’t supposed to look like the way it looks now. The whole map should be red but its yellow. If they had more time they could possibly send more of US troops and eventually take over but they couldn’t. We stalled near the end so they couldn’t take back any of France. We moped threw people and it was so easy. I’m so glad Italy stood by our side for the finish because they’re the role changer in the game. If it weren’t for them we would of lost. But we mopped floors today. We mopped floors.

Are File Cabinets Obsolete?

     Two weeks ago I would have said they are not necessary anymore.  Today, I would not say the same thing!  About two weeks ago, our server that has our Moodle system on started acting strange and working very s-l-o-w-l-y.  It was a rickety old computer that it was housed in and we needed to update.  To give you a little background about our school: We are a MacBook air, one to one school.  Teachers have MacBook pros.  The upgrade was a disaster, the program, in the best way I can describe it- imploded, costing me all my materials, test questions and my entire classroom platform.  We are talking two days before my last chapter test and one week before my cumulative final and I have no testing platform!  The Moodle front had collapsed and I was in panic mode.  The only thing I could lean on was that file cabinet with some old tests in it.  I paper tested the French Revolution, by the way I hate checking tests manually- never liked it.  I also hate reading hand written essays!  The lesson to be learned here is that keeping paper copies of assignments and tests is not such a bad idea.  Hopefully you never have to use them, but you never know!  Now I’m off to find a new learning platform for 2nd semester.  Wish me luck, or send me some suggestions:)  Mr. Harms

American Revolution Lesson Plan

     I am excited to announce the release of a new simulation over the American Revolution. When I asked my customers what I should create next, for simulations, the majority wanted an American Revolution Lesson Plan.

     I’m always concentrating on why certain events happened in history and that’s why I started with the European Enlightenment.  The influence of Locke and Rousseau on

American Revolution Lesson Plan
Mr. Harms American Revolution Simulation

the founding fathers of our country, I felt had to be the place to start. So the first piece of the puzzle was creating a powerpoint over the enlightenment. I felt that teachers would be able to customize this presentation or use it in pieces to help students understand where these ideas came from.

    The second piece was a presentation over the American Revolution itself.  Again, I thought the teacher could use this presentation in pieces- customizing it to work best for their students.  This presentation concentrates more on the revolution and the outcome rather than a big montage on battles. A few key battles are mentioned but most of the content is on how the war got started.

    The Revolutionary War, as far as the military side of it is concerned, is a difficult task to try and simulate.  Some of the key concepts are: The Continental Army and the Militias could not consistently face the British Regulars and win battles.  Both had to be very mobile and use innovative tactics to keep the British from destroying whole armies- that is why The Continental Army, Militias and the Royalists have two zone movements compared to one zone for the British and even French armies when they enter the war.  The ratings are not in favor of the Americans-which also creates difficulty. The wilderness areas are off limits to battles so that the Continental Armies have a way to escape and out maneuver the British. There are no Naval battles, because the students would just destroy the continental Navy in our gaming scenario.  I also added the ability for armies to ambush each other. In this scenario, armies can exact a significant blow and retreat out of there quickly.

    Between the end of August and December, 9 teachers will be using the simulation in their classroom.  This simulation will not have an online component, at this time. The Simulation consists of Word and Excel documents that require Office 2016 or newer to function correctly.  Visit our website and check it out:

Civil War Highlights: The Battle of Fredericksburg

On November 6th, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States. Although no shots were fired, this was a strong, yet silent start to the American Civil War. In the simulation, as students vote for the candidate that matches their state’s political beliefs, they will begin the see the divide the elected creates. As the states began splitting into distinct sides, our country began battles, just as your students will be able to.

Many battles will take place as the simulation goes on, but a major battle of the American Civil War is the Battle of Fredericksburg. This battle became significant to the Civil War, as it had the largest concentration of soldiers out of any other battle with 200,000 men fighting. The Battle of Fredericksburg took place from the early hours of the morning on December 11th to the cold night of December 15th, 1862. Before the battle began, Ambrose Burnside replaced Major General McClellan, with reluctance, as the commander of the Army of the Potomac. The army was equipped with 120,000 men under the direction of Burnside. On the other side of the battlefield was Robert E. Lee and his Army of North Virginia.

As Robert E. Lee had his army stationed in Fredericksburg, the Union army experienced many delays. By November 19th, 1862, Burnside was in Falmouth, but the pontoons they wanted were late and heavy snowfall prevented any military action for a week. While the Union was delayed, Robert E. Lee and his soldiers had ample time to find advantageous defensive positions, establish supply lines, and even bring a 30-pound artillery piece to the field. Students in the simulation will be able to experience advantages like this with the Northern Industry and Railroad.

On December 11th, in the early hours of the morning, Ambrose ordered his troops to assemble their pontoon bridges and cross the Rappahannock River. Burnside believed the speed and surprise would bring success for the Union. Although his plan was hopeful, it backfired as Brigadier General William Barksdale’s Mississippians shot at the Union soldiers that were trying to assemble their pontoons. Burnside retaliated against the Mississippians, and by mid-afternoon, several Union soldiers had finally managed to drive Barksdale’s troops out of town. The Union soldiers were finally able to build their pontoons.

Finally, on December 12th, Union soldiers crossed the Rappahannock River. Lee’s soldiers were defending themselves in a seven-mile long curving line with Longstreet’s corps on the left along Marye’s Heights, and Stonewall Jackson’s corps near Prospect Hill. Once Burnside’s soldiers cross the Rappahannock, they began a two-pronged attack and hit Longstreet and Jackson’s flanks. Along with Burnside, Major General Franklin attacked Longstreet’s men while Major General Sumner hit Jackson’s. In a critical misstep, Burnside gave ambiguous orders to Franklin and Sumner on the morning of the 13th, instead of after their meeting on the 12th. Major General Franklin was unaware of how forceful her was supposed to attack the south of the sent, and only sent the 1st corps to work past the southern Confederate line. The Confederates delayed the Union advance as they had miscalculated.

The Union did not succeed anymore, and this became a major turning point for the Confederates, as they were outnumbered. The Union soldiers were able to slowly advance on Jackson’s position, but weren’t coordinated enough to finish the attack, and ended up retreating. Divisions of Union soldiers attempted to make it to Marye’s Heights, but were devastated with artillery fire time and time again. After Union soldiers retreated into the night, the Confederates stood victorious. Their morale soared after the battle while the Union soldiers, for they were outnumbered but still prevailed. The Union soldiers, who were already less than confident after Burnside was replaced with McClellan, left feeling low and unsuccessful.

Is learning history through simulation games online enough?

What if I told you there were seven different ways of learning? Although that may seem like a very large number, it is true. There are seven different ways of learning, each one different from the next. The seven different ways include visual learning (through pictures and imagines), auditory (through sound and music), verbal (through words, both in writing and speech), kinesthetic (through body, hands, and sense of touch), logical (through logic and reasoning), social (through learning in groups or with other people), and solitary (through working along and using self-study). Like I said before, each of these learning types are different from the next and each bring forth a different way of learning things.

Everyone knows what type of learning style is best for them. Whether that be through flashcards, reading over text or listening to something being read aloud, we all know what works for us. But I believe is it imperative to know and be able to learn through different methods. By being able to learn in different ways, that may better help a student understand and have the ability to better adapt to the different teaching styles that each of their teachers may present. Mr. Harms does just this through the History Simulation Games.

The History Simulator that Mr. Harms has designed presents students with a creative and whole new way of learning history. Anyone can read about a war in a textbook, take some notes, and understand the basic concepts enough to get a passing grade. But the History Simulation Games takes that student who does just enough to get by and puts them in a situation where they have to think, interact, and strategize to win a war. The History Simulator that Mr. Harms designed challenges students to learned in not just one of the seven ways but in all of the seven ways. Now I can imagine what you are thinking, how is it possible to have one game but seven different ways of learning? Through the History Simulation Games, it is possible. Students use the visual way of learning to look at the interactive war maps, seeing the change that happens in each country as the war progresses. Students use the auditory way of learning when Mr. Harms stands up at the beginning of class and gives an announcement. For example, during WWII, Mr. Harms took time at the beginning of class to read the Zimmermann note. Students had to listen to what was said and then think how that might affect their country or their strategy to win the war. Verbal learning is also done through the simulations because students are required to write a summary of what their country did each day, challenging them to know how to effectively communicate their thoughts. There is one simulation, the Imperialism Simulation, that students use the kinesthetic way of learning. Students take turns rolling dice for their country in order to obtain their objectives. Logical learning is a very large part of the History Simulation Games because students have to know how their moves will affect what happens in the future, not only with their country but all the other countries involved in the war. The social and solitary types of learning are done through the simulations by having to direct what a country does by yourself but then having to communicate with the other countries who are fighting on the same side as you. For example Germany has to be able to communicate the Axis Powers during WWII.

Now although the History Simulations many not replace the textbook and note taking type of learning, the Simulations provide students with the ability to use the seven different types of learning. With the History Simulation Games, students get the opportunity to learn about world history in a new way and without realizing it, the students are learning how to communicate and challenge themselves to learn in a new way each and every day.

For Teachers: Tips On How You Can Make World War 1 Lessons Fun

Are you getting ready to dust off your old World War 1 Lesson Plans for another round of teaching the Great War? How many years have you used this lesson? Are you going to be excited to come to school to teach it? Are your students going to be excited to come to your class to learn about World War I? The answers are probably no to both. If you’re not excited it’s fairly easy to predict that students won’t be excited either.

History Simulation Gaming

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for students to experience the First World War instead of just listening to you talk about it? has created some very hands on lesson plan activities that are designed to increase student engagement and create student interest in World War 1. Students are assigned the roles of leaders of countries involved in the 1st World War. Each country has a standing army and a schedule of reserves that are activated by mobilization. Some countries even have navies that can do battle with other navies and can transport troops from one region to another. Now you might ask: how does this not just turn into a quest for world domination or a game of Risk? Each country has a set of objectives that were the objectives of those countries in World War 1. The objectives are part of the student’s grades! Students are constantly negotiating and conducting diplomacy with other countries based on their strategy to achieve those objectives. With’s online platforms, a lot of these tasks are automated like mobilizing troops, calculation of sea and land battles. Troops and navies are represented by numbers and the country’s flags on the map. The teacher can move troops into a zone and double click on the zone- activating the battle.

When the simulation ends, student interest is a lot higher as to what actually happened in the war. The discussion is better and more engaged. also has a complete set of Keynote and PowerPoint presentations that get students engaged in learning. I don’t think you can underestimate the impact that getting students interested in a subject has. In February of 2018, using periods 1-5 of my World History sections at IFAHS i can show you the comparison of scores and the factors related to them. In the previous unit, we studied 2 sections of Ch. 24 “Nationalist Revolutions Sweep The West”. We followed that up with the World War 1 Simulation. When the simulation was over, we studied what really happened in the war, going over 4 sections of Chapter 29 “The Great War”. So we are talking about covering twice as much material on the test! You can see the results in the chart and decide for yourself if participating in a simulation increased learning:

Why and how to teach kids about World War 1

World War I or otherwise known as the War to End All Wars, started in July, 1914 and ended in November, 1918. But it would not end just there. This was just the beginning to a long journey of reform and recovery. World War I started when a Serbian terrorist, Gavrilo Princip, shot an Austro-Hungarian archduke, Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo, Bosnia. How could one single loss of life, have such a global impact? This is what kids need to know.

Many were shocked when the start of the war broke out. It seemed to just come “out of the blue.” But was that really the case? Some believe that the seed of war was planted long before that. So what is an effective way to educate kids on the timeline of events and the war itself? This is where the World War I lesson plans come into play. Rather than having kids funneled into a classroom listening to lectures, taking notes off a screen, and reading chapter after chapter in a dull textbook, why not create small scale reenactment? Fortunately enough, that has already been done.

The World War I simulation is similar to that of a game. It includes events, stories, and challenges that were faced within the timeline, similar to the real life event. The main focus of the simulation is the interactive map that is projected for the whole class, in which the teacher controls. The map allows the students to see their country, plus others as well. The map is color coordinated to show who is allied with each other and who is neutral, also showing each countries number of troops.

Throughout the simulation the students are informed to the very last day of the war what they are supposed to accomplish. Students, usually in pairs, are assigned to a specific country. The kids are then given a binder with a set of rules, guides for their army, information specific to their given country, and a list of goals to complete before the last round of the simulation. Kids are not only expected to be active in the simulation in class, by participating in the rounds, but they are also expected to do a bit of their own research outside of class.

The students should be doing their own research outside of class to have knowledge of the real life event. When the kids do this it gives them the upper hand in the simulation and by having background knowledge you know what you should be trying to do and avoid, similar to that of the real life event. Rather than just going in blind and being completely lost. Kids are also required to keep a daily journal of their information/findings, what happened within the simulation that day, and their own thoughts and feelings regarding the simulation.

History Simulation Gaming

The World War I lesson plan is meant to be an interesting and interactive time in the classroom. It allows for students to have a healthy amount of competition and fun, while still learning the importance of the topic. When simulation time rolls around the corner, not only does it get the class excited about the upcoming unit, but the whole school is on the edge of their seats to hear about the events taking place. Simulation time is fun for all students and something everyone looks forward to.

Learning about the key events of World War 1 online

How often to students sit at their desks, reading out of a textbook, jotting down key ideas and phrases? This form of education may work well for some topics but how can you get students more involved when teaching them World History? Each topic the students are learning about took place in the past and there are not many ways for students to become actively involved in the study of history when it seems so distant. Thanks to online games and simulations, students are able to take a virtual walk into the world of history and the past.

One major war many students touch base on is World War I. This global conflict began in July 1914. This particular war lasted nearly four years, ending in November of 1918. The start of the war was because Serbia no longer wanted to be a part of the Austrian Empire; they would rather be free. Because of this, a Serbian acted rebelliously, assassinating the Austrian Archduke; this was the first shot of World War I. After the death of their king, Austria wanted revenge on Serbia and threatened war. In order to protect Serbia, Russia stepped in and threatened war on Austria; Russia was acting as the ‘big brother’ to Serbia. Since the war between Austria and Russia was possible, this got Germany involved because of their previous alliance with the Austrians. Russia also had a treaty with France, and this treaty is what brought Germany into war with France and later England. The entire continent of Europe was soon caught up in a terribly violent war, with nearly every country eventually getting sucked into it. Once the war began, the entire world eventually became involved; it was a domino effect. Trench Warfare came to be the main type of warfare during World War I; it was extremely bloody and ended up in a complete and utter stalemate on the border between France and Germany.

Participating in an online simulation may help students, as well as professors and teachers, gain a better understanding of complex events such as World War I. Not only do they become more involved, but the relationships between events become more real if you can act it out or somehow become more engaged. Since this war happened so long ago, it is easier for the students to act as a country themselves, as in a game simulation. In doing this, the students get a chance to see what each nation was individually responsible for–who did what and why did they take this action as opposed to doing something else. World War I was a very complex historical event with lots of ins and outs, and lots of blame assigned to different countries after it was all over. A classroom game simulation can make it easier for students to grasp the smaller topics as well. Reading out of a textbook can give one a broad overview, but it may not be as beneficial to learning the little details the make the event more important and allow students to relate to it better. In the end, online or in-class games allow everyone to get more involved which in turn helps them learn and remember the material much easier.