Sunday, May 21, 2017

Using Games to understand Historical Narratives

Looking of interesting ways to engage students in examining a time period as the end of the year approaches? Consider historical narratives as a way to develop an understanding a time period. The modern historical narrative has moved beyond the book to include movies, documentaries, and games. Each format offers the viewer a look into another historical period.  Use the steps below to use examinations of computer games as historical narratives in your history class.

Step 1: Define historical narrative.
Historical narratives blend historical facts with fictional people, places and details. Key elements of historical narratives include the focus of one individual’s point of view, accurate historical elements, and chronological organization.  

Step 2: Use a model narrative to explore the historical examination process.
Select key moments in a historical narrative. Provide opportunities to students to connect elements from historical narrative to historical period.
·       What historical event is linked to the narrative?
·       How does the narrative help to illustrate the significance of historical event?

Step 3: Provide opportunity for students to play games.
            Possible Games:
            Rail, Sail, Overland Mail!

Jamestown Adventure                     

Fling the Teacher-World War II

Step 4: Task students with independent analysis.
            Sample Tasks:

Directions- Play games related to the subject you have studied this year from the list provided. Respond to the questions below.

Name of Game:
What is the historical context of the game?
What role do you play? What is the goal?
How do you know if you were successful?
What features of the game did you enjoy?
What historical event that you studied was a part of the game?
What key terms that you used this year were illustrated by the game? Provide two examples.
Did the game emphasize the significance of the event? Explain.
Can this game be described as a historical narrative? Use the rubric below to assist you in your determination.
Historical Narrative Rubric
Are events presented in chronological order?
Are accurate historical elements included in the work?
Does the work blend fictional elements with historical fact?

Overall Summary:

Step 5: Choose an extension activity.
            Sample Extension Activities:
·       Critiquing Historical Narratives
·       Game Reviews and Recommendations
·       Writing Historical Narratives