Web Resources | » Games and Simulations
Thomas Jefferson Foundation
The Monticello Classroom offers extensive information about Thomas Jefferson, Virginia history, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and other important aspects surrounding the founding of the United States. The website also allows visitors to log in and create projects, design lesson plans, or do homework. It also features fun information, such as why Thomas Jefferson is on the nickel, and how to make ice cream the colonial way.
Political Cartoonists Index,
Daryl Cagle and ClassBrain
This website offers five lesson plans and associated political cartoons every day. Such frequent updates ensure that each lesson plan covers the latest issues. By necessity, each lesson plan is fairly brief. It offers a brief overview of background on the political cartoon, a list of discussion questions, the state where the cartoon was published, and links to articles about the issue. The main page also offers a comprehensive index of political cartoonists, which includes the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Fredericksburg Freelance-Star, that visitors may want to use for research purposes or simply a quick laugh.
Budget Hero Game,
American Public Media
Budget Hero gives players an opportunity to try to manage the Federal budget by making budget decisions without breaking the bank. Players can choose up to three major issues to focus on, such as national defense, health and wellness, energy independence, and efficient government. The game provides details about individual issues (such as funding for mass transit and other infrastructure), which can inform players about some of the major policy issues being dicussed right now. The game is aimed at the Federal budget, but some of the policy decisions affect state and local governments.
Capitol Classroom: Games,
Virginia General Assembly
Capitol Classroom’s Games is a series of printable classroom games and classroom activities for students in grades K-12. Many games for younger students can be adapted for an older audience. A particularly relevant activity for older students is the Civics I.Q. test, which quizzes users on their participation in different levels of their civic involvement. This game shows that civic involvement is more than just voting in an election.
The ReDistricting Game,
USC Annenburg Foundation
The ReDistricting Game teaches students about the challenges and potential of redistricting, as well as the problem of gerrymandering. The website features five different games: Fundamentals, Partisan Gerrymander, Bipartisan Gerrymander, Voting Rights Act, and Reform. Each game has both a basic and advanced level, as well as links to further information. The game can serve as the foundation for a classroom discussion on gerrymandering in Virginia, or a fun independent learning session for anyone who wants to know more about the difficulties of gerrymandering.