Title: World Economics in Central America - A Simulation
Grade Level: 10-12
Subject/CA Standards: Economics, Government,
Social Studies 12.2.2,12.2.8,12.2.10,12.6.1-4
Overview: An increasing disparity between industrialized and developing nations has formed over the past decade. Much of this disparity is the result of the forces of globalization, the world trading system, and the unequal distribution of resources. This lesson simulates these conditions and allows students to look at how rich and poor nations are formed.
Purpose: Through participation in a simulation, students will better understand how trade influences the development of a country.
- Students will understand the role of the World Bank
- Students will observe how rich and poor countries interact and how they are interdependent.
- Students will discuss implications of economic disparity between nations in C.A.
- Adapted from the World Trade Game created by the World Youth Programme at http://www.ecumenicalyouth.org/world_trade.html.
- For 30 students you will need:
- 30 sheets of paper of the same color
- 30 '$100 bills'
- 2 sheets of colored paper
- 2 tubes of glue
- 2 pairs of compasses
- 4 pairs of scissors
- 6 rulers
- 2 triangles
- 14 pencils/ pens
Activities and Procedures:
Place students into groups where each group represents a different country in Central America:
4 students each country
2 pairs of scissors
1 sheet of paper
6 '100 $ notes'
5 students each
10 sheets of paper
1 sheet of colored paper
1 tube of glue
2 '100 $ notes'
6 students each
4 sheets of paper
Set up 'accounts' for each country
- Countries are each given different amounts of resources (paper, pencils, scissors, etc.) with which to produce their products. Tell students that their goal will be to increase their national wealth by producing geometric shapes and selling them through an international banking system.
- Explain the Rules thoroughly. Answer questions but make it clear that you will not answer any questions when the game starts. Divide participants into 6 groups and give them their countries' resources. Set up the World Bank students and tell them that their job is to quality check the products and write down all the deposits in the different bank accounts as well as adding 10% interest every 10 minutes.
- Refer to the Notes for the Teacher (a.k.a. United Nations) section of the Rules document.
- Simulation can continue for 30-60 minutes, depending on student interest and time considerations.
Tying It Together/ Debrief:
- Some of the participants will be accused of cheating, in which case the class can discuss moral issues and ethics in international business.
- Discuss the following questions:
- What was not fair about the game?
- What were some ways to get around the rules? Who did this?
- What did you observe about the richer countries?
- What did you observe about the poor countries?
- Why is it so difficult to change an unfair system?
- Who owns the world's natural resources? Technology?
- What does the simulation tell us about the real world?