Living in a Global Age
Grade Level: Elementary School – Community College
A highly motivating way to introduce concepts in international trade and global economics, this simulation engages students in the group task of assembling flashlights. A variety of topics may be explored, such as energy shortages, international crises, relationships between rich and poor nations, foreign diplomacy, interdependence, cross-cultural communication, and global systems.
The activity creates a miniature three-nation world that typifies, and at the same time simplifies, the interaction and conflict which take place among three kinds of nations today:
1) energy rich/low technological level
2) energy poor/high technological level
3) some energy resources/highly industrialized
As with any simulation, the opportunity to learn experientially stimulates student interest. The activity simulates actions and feelings found in the global marketplace, although no existing nation is actually being represented.
Participating in this simulation will help students to:
- understand the need for international trade
- experience the need for cooperation and effective communication skills when trying to solve problems (in this case, negotiating for the parts necessary to assemble a working flashlight)
- describe behaviors from their own perspective and recognize the different perspectives of other individuals and groups
- express how it feels to play the role of the citizen, leader, diplomat, or monitor in the simulated three-nation world
- discuss how group values, goals, and perspectives affect a group's ability to communicate with another group
- discuss how their experience in the simulation parallels the ways nations relate in the real world
It is suggested that the simulation be run over two to three days. This includes time for teacher preparation.
Grade 5 through Adult