Friday, February 13, 2015

The History Innovator: PowerPoint and Keynote Presentations, History Simulations

Social Studies Lessons-"Simulations and Presentations"
David Harms, Grades 7-12

 History Simulations

     I was introduced to my first simulation while I was student teaching in Forest City,Iowa in the Spring of 1992.  There were six fictitious countries that had a dispute that either ended in war or it was resolved.  When I got my first teaching job in Alden Iowa, I wanted to take that simulation to the next level. So I drew a map with all the countries involved in WWI.  Then I created historical objectives for each country to follow- based on that countries self-interests.  Students were so excited, they were literally running to class to declare war.  Over the years I have tweaked and enhanced the game to the point now that it goes all the way down to the end to determine the winner.  Then I applied some of these same ideas to WWII and the Cold War.  Later, I developed the Civil War Simulation as well.

PowerPoint and Keynote Presentations
Japan's Pacific Campaign
      One of the "visions" I had as a student teacher, was a huge tv monitor that would have presentations displayed.  Maps and graphics would enhance your lessons and help students understand.  Today, I use Apple's Keynote program to develop Presentations in Keynote and PowerPoint.  Keynote is by far the most advanced presentation making system I have ever seen.  Creating animations and designs that move and help students see historical material in a different way.  I design most of the graphics and maps myself. 

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