My students need 6 versions of Settlers of Catan to explore the impact of location and resources on where people live and how they trade.
Every year students perform poorly in the domain of economics. Middle school students have difficulty understanding the abstract qualities of economics. While playing this game with friends I realized how powerful a teaching tool it is and how accessible to students who love to play games.
Our school has a diverse background of students that broadly reflect the population of our country.
Our students come from a variety of educational settings from parents with PhDs to parents and guardians without a high school diploma. Regardless of some of the challenges our students face they respond to expectations with curiosity and enthusiasm.
The Settlers of Catan is a simple game involving the use of limited resources where every decision players make has impacts that are quickly realized. More than any single educational resource I have seen, including extensive resources developed by economists/educators, this game demonstrates the importance and impact of location and resources on where people live and how they trade.
Settlers of Catan is a game that bridges concrete ideas with abstract notions and does it on the intellectual level of the students I teach.
They are so few resources that are truly effective as well as interesting to students. Helping to purchase these games (intended to be a class set) will allow me to get students more interested in the subject by getting them playing - all the while they are having a great time, they will be learning. The game will be a vital introduction to economics.
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