Simulation Curricula Adds Spark to Learning

Interact is a publisher that offers curricula that is unique and creative. The units often are used as supplements in the regular classroom but can also be used in enrichment classes. Many of the units involve interaction between students through simulations. Interact curricula can be used successfully in classrooms that consist of many different abilities. I knew one teacher who always had an Interact simulation going in his classroom. His students (including the gifted students) were so excited to go to school each day to work on the activities.

Each Interact unit includes a teacher's guide, purpose and overview, daily lesson plans, student materials, time management guidelines, and support materials.

Unit subjects include math, science, language arts, U.S. history, world history, government & law, global education/geography, business & economics, and character education. There are units available for all grade levels, elementary through high school.

A few examples are

Character Matters
Grades 1–4
Up to 20 hours for preparation, planning, and performance

Description: Welcome to a monthly meeting of the Fairy Tale Advice Council. Led by Rapunzel, a handsome prince, and a recovering wicked witch, the council offers help in character building to folk and fairy tale creatures. In this fun and humorous musical, the Big Bad Wolf learns the Golden Rule, Cinderella gets help in managing her anger at her bullying stepsisters, and Jack and the Giant discover that their differences are cool. Will Humpty Dumpty take responsibility for his fall? Can Baby Bear forgive Goldilocks? And will the magic mirrors tell the evil queen the truth about who is "the fairest of them all?"

Game Factory
Grades 3–7
A flexible structure allows for lengthening or shortening the time required

Description: Cheatum Swindle is running the Goodwin's game factory into the ground by producing unfair games, and it's up to your students to use their arithmetic skills to save the company! Students work in pairs performing hands-on experiments with spinners, dice, coins, and cards to test the probabilities of Cheatum's games. The flip of a coin or the roll of the die determines the moves they make as they advance through the factory, examining games for fairness. As they find problems, they make modifications and record reasons for their decisions. In the final push to save the company's reputation, student pairs design their own games and present them with an explanation of their fairness.

Black Gold
Grades 5–8
Up to 15 hours of instruction

Description: Black Gold is a challenging, multi-disciplinary study of petroleum and our reliance upon this vanishing fossil fuel. The science, geography, research, mathematics, and language arts activities center around the global dynamics of petroleum production and consumption. Your students will
  • create a map of the world showing the magnitude of petroleum reserves and consumption, and trace major transportation routes and techniques;
  • use a variety of research tools, analyze information, and present and defend their conclusion;
  • buy and sell crude oil at a commodity market (at their desks or via e-mail); and
  • devise techniques to clean up a disastrous oil spill.

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