Thursday, July 7, 2016

Colonial Village Simulation

I. Love. Character Simulations!!! 
I remember falling in love with the idea of simulations when I visited the Holocaust Museum and the Titanic Museum. At each, visitors are given a card with a real characters name and a mini biography about their life. They are written in the second person sharing what "Your" life was like. According to the Holocaust site, these are meant to "help personalize the historical events of the time" which I truly believe they do! While the content of each museum was humbling and heart breaking, the character simulation enhanced the experience so much that I knew, as a teacher, I would incorporate them as much as possible in my classroom!

So, during my colonial unit, I created character cards, similar to my Renaissance character cards that I share in THIS post. I decided to change things up a bit, however, and have them be more interactive. I created them so different characters "pair up". This does makes passing the cards out a bit trickier, since you have to make sure you have the right number of characters and that those characters all match up to someone else in the classroom - but it is a LOT of fun! If you don't have an even group of kiddos, join in the fun yourself! 


Once students receive their card and read their brief bio - they are to act out the final underlined action. Some of the actions require people to find someone performing an occupation, others require the student to simply stay put and act out their occupation. I always tell the kids that props are optional to help aid their character but that they have 10 seconds to "get into position".
For example: 
"... you are in need of some shoes for your youngest son, Timothy. Find the Shoemaker.

"... Better get back to work, those shoes aren't going to make themselves!" 

 My kiddos have such a fun time meandering through out the room greeting and searching for their pair. 
We did this in ultra low lighting and the pictures turned out pretty bad so I went with sepia for effect :) 
When greeting each other, students are required to introduce themselves, ask the other person their name and profession, and shake hands. If they are not their match, they are to say, "It was very nice to meet you" and move on. 
This young man is performing his occupation of ship captain by acting out the use of his scope.  
 This girl was a servant so she quickly grabbed one of our brooms to help aid her occupation.  
This girl's character was pregnant and looking for a midwife - notice her sweatshirt under her shirt *bahaha*
 The other girl was the wife of the tavern owner in town so she jumped up and stood under our colonial tavern set up. 
Afterward, students share their character with the class. A couple of my kids give  their best British accent a try when sharing about themselves. *grin* 
video
If you are interested in my Colonial Character cards, they are available HERE on my TPT site. 
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