Pre-Game / Nation Building Events
In these events students learn how the Civic Mirror works and work together to build their simulated nation’s identity. Some of these events can be adapted and modified to meet the needs of the course, the students, and/or the instructor.
- Practice Run
- Create National Identity
- Citizen Profiles
- National Constitution
- Hex Auction
- Reflection & Connection
The Civic Mirror is played in rounds called “Years” and an instructor can schedule as many Years as he/she likes. The first is always the Year 2000, then 2001, and so on. At the end of every year Status Points are calculated and performance evaluations are conducted. When the instructor ends the game, winners are announced.
- Government Event (Winter)
- Open Market (Spring)
- Town Hall (Summer)
- National Court (Fall)
- Year-End Calculations
- Reflection & Connection
Supplies: Instructor and Student Manuals are essential; civicmirror.com access; computer projector.
Time: 45 min to 2 classes.
Instructor introduces the unit/course that the Civic Mirror will be used with, sharing its themes, big questions, and learning objectives. Then the instructor tours students through the online program and has them read the game rules in the Student Manual. Homework reading checks provided.
Supplies: Student manuals, civicmirror.com log-ins; computer lab with internet, projector.
Time: 50-60 minutes.
In the “Practice Run,” students get to try out the online portion of the Civic Mirror through buying, selling, and trading in the simulated economy. This allows students to learn lots and make mistakes before things get started ‘for real.’ It also shows students how they can communicate with one another outside of class with the online program.
CREATE NATIONAL IDENTITY
Supplies: Student manuals.
Time: 30 – 60 minutes.
In this event students create an identity for their soon-to-be simulated nation, voting on a country name and agreeing on other identity items that are broadcast on civicmirror.com (e.g. flag, national symbol, etc.) More importantly, this is the first student-runt event, providing students with their first taste of the importance and challenges of self-government.
Supplies: Student Manuals; Hidden Agendas ready for hand-out; computer lab with internet access would be nice.
Time: 15-30 minutes.
Before this event, instructors must budget a couple of hours to decide what Citizen Profiles to assign their students with. These include game-start money, a Hidden Agenda, two human services (that their fictitious families will require once the game starts), and a culture. Instructors are encouraged to link attitude and work habits – not grades and intelligence tests – to Citizen Profile assignments and rewards! In class, students receive their Citizen Profile information and create identities for their families.
Supplies: Civic Mirror Manuals.
Time: 2, 45 minute lessons.
This is an optional, two-lesson event where students study their National Constitution in groups. Civic Mirror constitutions are modified versions of actual constitutions (e.g. U.S. Constitution, Canada’s Charter, etc.). By the end of this activity, students will not only have more confidence in the Civic Mirror, but they will better understand the democratic underpinnings of the nation they live in.
Supplies: Student Manuals; ballot copies and box; online forums to campaign, poll, etc. is optional.
Time: 2–3, 30-60 minutes lessons.
With their simulated identities known, students form their own political parties and campaign for office. In the U.S. Module, there is one President, 5 House Reps, and 3 Senators. In the Canadian / Parliamentary module, there are 7 MPs in the House of Commons and a Prime Minister. After the campaign debates and electioneering, everyone casts a ballot and winners are announced.
Supplies: Student Manuals, computer projector and/or computer lab with internet access
Time: 40 min – 80 min
In this final nation-building event, students bid to own (and therefore control) the various properties in their country’s hex map using the money they were given to start with. The newly elected President / Prime Minister bids for him/herself as well as the government. The stakes in the Hex Auction are high! as it truly sets the table for much of the economic activity once the game begins.
REFLECTION & CONNECTION
Throughout this process, there are incredible opportunities for instructors to help students connect their Civic Mirror experiences to course curriculum, real world events (past and present), and – most importantly – their own lives.
This may be done on an ongoing basis (which is most common), or as a final activity/assignment. The online community tools – discussion forums, wikis, and intra-messaging – allow for this to happen at home and outside of the classroom very easily. Students can talk with other students from all over the world about The Civic Mirror and all of the life-lessons they will learn while being citizens of their simulated nation.
To view more classroom videos that relate to teaching and learning with The Civic Mirror, please click the links below:
- – Teacher-Led Reflection
- – Classroom Incentives and Rewards
- – Performance-Based Assessment Method
- – Student ‘Free Flow’ and Teachable Moments
- – Traditional Instruction
- – Civic Mirror Reflections
- – Lessons Learned from The Civic Mirror
- – A Student Case Study: Jordan’s Story
WINTER: GOVERNMENT EVENT
Supplies: Student Manuals, an event agenda (created by President or PM); a list of proposed bills; computer projector.
Time: 45-70 minutes.
In this event, the student President or Prime Minister will address the nation in a speech, propose a budget, and nominate a National Judge (that needs to be politically approved). Then politicians work through the three readings of legislation to pass laws that will hopefully benefit their Civic Mirror nations, and their Hidden Agendas too. Students learn about the three branches of government and their checks and balances by experiencing them for themselves.
SPRING: OPEN MARKET
Supplies: Student Manuals; computer lab with access to civicmirror.com.
Time: 30 – 60 minutes.
In this event, the Instructor logs into civicmirror.com to “Open the Market.” In a computer lab and using the website, students begin buying, selling, and trading in the hopes of providing well for their families. Students must also consider their Government’s new laws and policies, and the Government must do their best to enforce the law of the land.
SUMMER: TOWN HALL
Supplies: Student Manuals; copies of citizen stats summaries, or a computer projector with internet access (optional).
Time: 40 – 60 min
In a round-table discussion, students air their grievances about personal plight, government, the economy and environment, and all work to resolve issues. This is also an opportune time for students to advance their Hidden Agendas. Regardless, students learn how to debate and deliberate about real issues in a respectful manner. At the end of this event, the National Judge asks students to announce suits and criminal accusations for the upcoming National Court..
FALL: NATIONAL COURT
Supplies: Student Manuals; a computer projector with internet access (optional).
Time: 30 – 60 minutes.
In a mock-trial format, students prosecute one another for illegal activity in a series of fast-paced court cases. Criminal verdicts are determined by a jury of peers and the National Judge determines consequences. Students learn that their country’s democracy is only as strong as their judicial branch’s ability to uphold it. At the end of this event, the CM Instructor announces when the simulated year will end.
Supplies: Student Manuals, Hidden Agenda Applications, Performance Evaluation Rubrics, Computer Projector.
Time: 2, 15-20 minute activities (first HA Apps, then Performance Evaluations).
When your instructor ends the year, the following will occur:
Wild Cards and Die Rolls: The program gives each student a good or bad Wild Card (luck/chance in life) and a Die Roll (health emergency or not). Family deaths are also determined at this point.
Economic Business: If hex owners submitted orders to develop their hexes, they will be developed at this time. Also the program will collect taxes for the Government based on set tax rates.
Status Pts for WB PTs: The five students with the highest Well-Being Pts will each earn 10 Status Points (SPs) – the points you need to win the game.
Status Pts for Hidden Agendas: With all of the above calculated, students are able to complete their Hidden Agenda Applications sheets and submit them to their CM Instructor in hopes of earning SPs.
Performance Evaluation: You will look back on the simulated year and evaluate your performance, and your instructor will cross-evaluating it before finalizing your mark.