I'm always on the lookout for ways to utilize technology in my classroom in a meaningful way. Today, classrooms are moving into more tech integration, and many classrooms have access to computers, chrome books, or tablets. With this in mind, I'd love to share 5 online interactive games and simulations that you can use in your classroom to bring social studies to life. The following websites are perfect for history, geography, civics, and more.
This simulation website for American history is incredible! If you loved the Oregon Trail game as a kid, your students will love playing these interactive simulation games. Choose between 5 modules each from a different period in history. Within each simulation, your students take on the role of a character and have the ability to make choices that impact the future. I love that the games integrate key vocabulary too. One thing to note is that even though the character within the game speaks, there is still quite a bit of reading involved.
This game can be played independently or whole group. If you choose to play whole group, it works well if the teacher works the computer, and calls on different students to make choices. You could have your students vote on the choice to make. Sometimes when we’ve played this, the choice results in the inability to successfully finish a level. We have to go back and re-do the level and make different choices. Playing whole group also allows all students to participate. Because this game involves a lot of reading, sometimes I will just read the character choices aloud. Overall, this game is definitely one I would consider playing in your upper elementary and middle school US history classes.