I got the chance over the last few days to spend time with tons of social studies gurus and learn tons of new stuff at the National Council for History Education conference in Washington DC. Thanks to Dr. Richard Satchwell and Judy Bee at Illinois State University and all the folks at the @TeachingLC Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources project for making the trip possible.
Part of our TPS time together was spent with developers of the five Library of Congress interactive civic education apps they’ve created. Very cool stuff that you can find at the LOC. All five are super handy for helping kids make sense of primary sources and for training students to engage as informed citizens. It was great sitting with the developers and learning more about how to use the apps with kids.
We’re releasing a new iCivics game tomorrow called Race to Ratify.
She couldn’t really share a ton about it but we got the chance to get a quick taste of the game. And when she said “tomorrow,” she meant last Friday. So it’s been officially out in the wild for a few days. I’ve played with it a bit since then and it’s pretty much like all iCivics content.
Basically your students pick a character from 1787 and spend their time trying to get the Constitution ratified by the different states. The iCivics people created the following overview:
The ink is still drying on the new Constitution.
Will it become the law of the land or will it fall into the dustbin of history? The fate of our young nation is in your hands! Dive deep into the heated national debate over the future of a radical new plan for American government. Travel across the 13 states to hear from a diverse and opinionated cast of characters and use what you have learned to influence others through the social media of the time . . . pamphlets.
Can you be a ratification #influencer?
Kids can jump right in. Race to Ratify is designed for students to discover the big ideas at the core of the ratification debate while learning about the role of pamphleteering in the 1780s.
Though I may have convinced my wife who teaches 5th grade to give it a try, the game is probably more for middle and high school kids. The game is also device agnostic – giving you the ability to play on laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, and phones.
Like most of the games that iCivics create, you also get a very handy teacher’s guide and something they call an Extension Pack with additional tools and resources. But, unfortunately, like some of the things that iCivics creates, it can be difficult finding all of these things in the same place. (Seriously, iCivics web site people. Is it so hard to create a single page with links to all of this stuff in a bulleted list? Just asking. For a friend.)
So . . . here are some direct links to the Race to Ratify things. Just remember, you’ll need the free teacher account to download the extra goodies and assign the game to the iCivics LMS – though your kids can always play without logging in.
cross posted at glennwiebe.org
Glenn Wiebe is an education and technology consultant with 15 years' experience teaching history and social studies. He is a curriculum consultant forESSDACK, an educational service center in Hutchinson, Kansas, blogs frequently at History Tech and maintains Social Studies Central, a repository of resources targeted at K-12 educators. Visit glennwiebe.org to learn more about his speaking and presentation on education technology, innovative instruction and social studies