This is an American History simulation I enjoyed doing with my fifth graders. History becomes more facinating if one could only relive it. The idea is to put the student in the middle of a situation relevant to a famous episode in history. Students do get involved! I used them sometimes as an anticipatory set for an upcoming lesson or some to bring closure to a lesson already covered. Many of them stress critical thinking skills and/or cognitive review of text based material.

I would begin by announcing to the class,...Due to a United States Supreme Court, certain changes will begin at school with respect to the girls. Since the court determined that women are too fragile and tender for most physical work outside the home, the female students will have to begin a regimen of limited physical activity:

Recess will be limited to nothing more strenuous than a brisk walk and the swings. Rowdy games and running about will not be tolerated. Moreover, it has been observed that females are not as adept in certain academic areas. Hence, girls will adhere to straight drill work dealing with basic facts in mathematics for the balance of the year. The presenation of other concepts would be viewd as a waste of time.

The anticipatory set here is to prepare students for what stimualted the womens' sufferage movement of the late 19th and early 20th Century. In the next math lesson provide repetitious drill work for the female students. Coordination with the PE teacher may have an even greater impact. Make sure the students are clear on the new order (watch for the mood of the students particularly the girls). If there is a strong negative reation use the opportunity to elicit specifc reasons. Have them counter the rationale of the Court's ruling with their own. Cooperative discussion teams to share feelings with other classmates would be ideal, as well as a short written essay.

At any rate, when opposition toward the new code is voiced, allow for a structured response from the class, especially the girls. When they have finished responding explain to the students that indeed such a Supreme Court ruling was factual; however, it occurred in 1872!. Allow for discussions of the women's contemporary movement, encourage them to name occupations which were previously male dominated. This allows students to see in what ways the role of women in today's society has moved forward, what areas they think it's behind the male role society and specific male/female roles in society.

A word of caution do not allow emotions created by this simulation to outlive the school day.

This particular simulation summary comes from the book

American History Simulations written by Max W. Fischer, 1993, Teacher Created Materials.

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