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Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Systems of Government Game for Middle School

Teaching systems of government has never been my favourite subject to cover in the Social Studies curriculum. It tends to be a dry topic with very little student engagement. To try and make it more engaging and interesting for our students, a colleague and I came up with a game to introduce the idea of different systems of government.

Materials You'll Need:

  • 10 pieces of paper
  • 10 glue sticks
  • 10 pairs of scissors
  • government cards, downloadable here


  • Students are arranged into 5 different groups. Each group represents a different country with a different system of government.
  • The teacher will distribute a red government card to each group. Each card represents a different system of government. They are: anarchy, dictatorship, direct democracy, republic, and constitutional monarchy.

  • Each group follows the rules on their card to make the longest paper chain possible with just one piece of paper.
  • After each group has begun, there will be a coup in each country and the groups will be given a new blue government card with a new system of government. There is also a new objective - to make a chain with exactly 100 links.

  • After the game, students can reflect on the government systems, how decisions were made, and which systems they would/would not like to live within.

This game fits into many areas of the BC Grade 6 Curriculum. There are curricular connections for Social Studies, English Language Arts, Career Education, ADST, and Math.

To get the complete file with instructions, curricular connections, and government cards, click here.

We envisioned this as a beginning provocation to introduce different systems of government, but it could be used in the middle of a government unit, at the end for review, or as a jumping off point for any kind of student inquiry to systems of government or country studies. I hope you and your students have fun playing this game!

Friday, 5 July 2019

Augmented Selfie: A Back-to-School, Get-to-Know-You Activity

This summer, I'm back in school as a student.  I'm participating in a Personalized Learning Summer Institute at the University of Victoria as some summer Professional Development. 

Our first assignment was to create an Augmented Selfie. We had a lot of freedom over how we wanted to put it together, we just had to make sure that it introduced who we are, what we are interested in, and our strengths. Some ideas were to create a collage, a video, or a photo essay.

I decided to create a word cloud for mine. I used words to describe my character, interests, and important people in my life.

The whole time I was creating this, I thought about how I was going to use it as one of my first activities this fall with my new Grade 6 students!

What do you think? I can't wait to have a display in my classroom with all my new students' augmented selfies!