Online Games for Kids Teach Social Studies
“iCivics is marking the countdown to Election Day 2012 with its latest exciting game Win the White House. Win the White House allows you to step into the shoes of a presidential candidate, running your own campaign from the primaries through Election Day.
Pick your party, pick your platform, and pick your strategy in your quest to win 270 electoral votes. As the presidential election season heats up, Win the White House is a fun and engaging way to learn about how the United States’ unique electoral system works and why different candidates pick different strategies for engaging the public.
From the primaries to the Electoral College to the role of the media, iCivics’ newest game is an exciting way to understand the ins and outs of presidential politics. You need to make tough choices about what issues to support, where to raise money and how to spend your valuable campaign dollars on polling, personal appearances and advertisements. The game has three different levels available for play: elementary school, middle school, and high school and above.”
I never played educational computer learning games until I was in business school and taking a class called Marketing Strategy. It was fun. We got in groups and used the 4 C’s and 4 P’s of marketing to manipulate a pretend product against the rest of our class. Basically, we’d in a coffee shop and chat about non marketing stuff. Then we’d whip out a strategy of how we were going to gain market share by scheming and plotting what we should do versus what we think our competitors would do. Just like in real life. This info would all go into the computer program and it would magically spit out our market share results for that week. We did this all quarter and the group with the most market share got an A.
Now there are games to solve world peace and fix global warming. I suppose that these games belong in a classroom setting but it would make for a fun after school activity if there are enough like-minded friends of your child. I hope my kids’ teachers incorporate these into their curriculum! This is the kind of stuff that quite possibly can change lives!
PeaceMaker, a simulation of the Middle East peace process.
Nanu Planet, Learn about Korea’s Demilitarized Zone and conflict through an allegorical adventure.
The Cat and the Coup, A documentary game in which you play the cat of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh.
Citizen Science, A time traveling adventure game about fresh water science.
The End, A puzzle game about mortality, belief, and science.
Operation: Climate Control (for teens) addressing carbon emissions.
Climate Challenge (for older players) addressing carbon emissions.
ICED (I Can End Deportation), for teenagers and adults. The students role-play an immigrant teen trying to earn citizenship.
Making History, which lets students play various countries before, during, and after World War II.
I found these games by reading these great Edutopia articles:
Computer Games Explore Social Issues