Gupta Game - simulating society in ancient India
I developed this game out of frustration with the usual static textbook view of ancient kingdoms. It involves students directly in conflict and the formation of factions, bringing the kingdom to life. I have directed this game with ninth-graders in social studies classes, older high school students, undergrads, grad students, and history teachers. It is structured so that no group can "win". Each group must figure out what it has to offer, what it wants, and with whom to ally. . "Speed negotiations" are fast, furious, and devious, and alliances shift quickly. The instructions allow you to run the game on your own. I have done the game in just over an hour, but an hour and half is better. The worksheet is the key to keeping the chaos of speed negotiation and group discussion moving and under control. Moving the chairs to create the king's "audience hall" and forcing each group to stand with its chosen faction forces groups to go one way or the other creates the atmosphere. Forcing each group to produce only one set of proposals and only one representative to make their case also makes factions negotiate quickly. I do a brief post-game discussion, and the points I want to get across usually come right out - that history does not stop (that a decision today brings consequences tomorrow) and the people in ancient kingdoms led complicated lives. Good luck, enjoy, and email me how it goes.
Follow this link to the GoogleSite with all the materials and instructions. https://sites.google.com/site/guptasimulation/
Follow this link to my TED talk about this game and simulations as a teaching tool.