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Synopsis

Despite the growing number of books designed to radically reconsider the educational value of video games as powerful learning tools, there are very few practical guidelines conveniently available for prospective history and social studies teachers who actually want to use these teaching and learning tools in their classes. As the games and learning field continues to grow in importance, Gaming the Past provides social studies teachers and teacher educators help in implementing this unique and engaging new pedagogy. This book focuses on specific examples to help social studies educators effectively use computer simulation games to teach critical thinking and historical analysis. Chapters cover the core parts of conceiving, planning, designing, and implementing simulation based lessons. Additional topics covered include:

  • Talking to colleagues, administrators, parents, and students about the theoretical and practical educational value of using historical simulation games.
  • Selecting simulation games that are aligned to curricular goals
  • Determining hardware and software requirements, purchasing software, and preparing a learning environment incorporating simulations
  • Planning lessons and implementing instructional strategies
  • Identifying and avoiding common pitfalls

  • Developing activities and assessments for use with simulation games that facilitate the interpretation and creation of established and new media

Also included are sample unit and lesson plans and worksheets as well as suggestions for further reading. The book ends with brief profiles of the majority of historical simulation games currently available from commercial vendors and freely on the Internet.

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