Decades of Change 1960-1980 Learning Games | Student Handouts
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Unit XIII: Decades of Change > U.S. History > Decades of Change > Study Games
Educational games can be a valuable tool for engaging American History students and helping them learn about the tumultuous period of 1960 to 1980.

Active Learning: Games encourage active participation and engagement. Instead of passively receiving information, students are actively involved in the learning process. This can make historical events and concepts more memorable.

Critical Thinking: Many educational games require critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students might need to make decisions, analyze information, and strategize, all of which are essential for understanding complex historical events.

Interactivity: Games are interactive, allowing students to experience historical events in a simulated way. This can create a sense of empathy and understanding, particularly when dealing with events related to civil rights, the Vietnam War, or social movements.

Competition and Collaboration: Some games involve competition, while others require collaboration. Both aspects can be valuable. Competition can make learning more engaging, while collaboration can encourage teamwork and discussion.

Varied Learning Styles: Educational games can cater to different learning styles. Some students learn best through visual cues, while others are more auditory or kinesthetic learners. Games can incorporate a mix of these styles.

Motivation: Games often have built-in rewards and feedback mechanisms that can motivate students to continue learning. This can be particularly helpful during longer or more challenging lessons.

Assessment: Games can be used for formative assessment, allowing teachers to gauge student understanding in real-time. They can identify areas where students might need additional support or clarification.

Multidisciplinary Learning: Historical events often involve multiple disciplines, including politics, social issues, and economics. Games can integrate these aspects, giving students a more comprehensive view of history.

Adaptability: There are a wide variety of educational games available, from board games to digital simulations. This adaptability allows teachers to choose the games that best suit their classroom and resources.

Fun and Engagement: Learning games are, by their nature, fun. Students are more likely to be engaged and motivated when they're having a good time. This can be especially important when dealing with complex or emotionally charged topics from the 1960s and 1970s.

Examples of games that can be used for this period include board games like "Freedom: The Underground Railroad," online simulations like "Making History: The Calm & The Storm," or classroom activities like "The Civil Rights Movement Role Play."

It is essential to choose games that align with the specific learning objectives and themes of your curriculum and to follow up with discussions and reflection to ensure that students are making meaningful connections to the historical content.
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