I want to do a project with my 8th graders wherein they research corporations and laws, then write rules and create a board game based on them. I know this sounds similar to Monopoly, which is kind of where the idea came from, but I want them to do more research on the individual parts. The problem is, I have no clue where to begin with guidelines or even a clear explanation of this idea, and I am sure there are offshoots of this that would be even more effective. Suggestions?
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This is a wonderful and ambitious idea. It seems to me that it needs to be limited a great deal because the world of corporations and law is so broad. Perhaps you should provide a list of corporations for the students to choose from, maybe a list of twenty from which they could select ten, corporations that they are familiar with, for example, social media companies and companies that provide their pop culture. Now, there are many federal and state statutes and regulations that would make their research difficult and complex. One thought I have is to have them make up the laws that would govern the game, with a little guidance on categories, for instance, on taxation, on truth in advertising, on ethical issues, and on monopolies. There would be penalties for running afoul of their own "laws," such as going back several spaces or having to pay up. Part of their learning experience, though, might be information you provide on what the laws and regulations are in the real world. I love the idea, but I do think it needs to be constricted a bit, or you will all drown in the research and choices.
To offer a loose idea of some stages of the game, you might include Filing Day or Patent Day or Letters of Incorporation (where the corporation plants its seeds), Production Cycle (where the company begins to produce its product or service) and an IPO (where the corporation "goes public").
Various substeps might be involved at each stage, but these seem like the rough demarcations of the early life of a corporation.
(The end of each stage can be matched to a game piece which could look like game money or like a certificate...)
It's a great idea in theory, but it could cover an enormous amount of complicated information - to agree with post 2, "it needs to be constricted a bit, or you will all drown in the research and choices"!!!!
I think post 3's suggestions regarding the stages of the corporation's development process might be a good way to limit the scope of the process and give things some focus - could you have teams of students design games to play/act out the development of different companies? Taking it from initial idea to IPO could give opportunity to learn about the financing, the advertising, the obtaining of resources and production of goods, and the potential pitfalls and failures posssible at each step.
This could be a really worthwhile learning activity, but it's going to need a tremendous amount of preparatory work and structuring on your part to prevent it from becoming so large and involved as to loose focus and get out of control.
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