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  • 1. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 1 A Teaching Guide for Twelfth Grade Economics Class: Create the Empire of your Dreams! Written by Ronda Rafidi October 2006
  • 2. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 2 Table of Contents Teaching Guide Overview ..................................................................................3 Capitalism II Description ............................................................................................... 3 Using Capitalism II in the Classroom ............................................................................ 3 The Advantages of Teaching with Games .................................................................... 4 Goals and Objectives .................................................................................................... 5 Grade Level Standards and Content Area .................................................................... 6 Where the Game fits into the Curriculum ...................................................................... 7 What Teachers Need to Know Before Beginning.......................................................... 7 Hardware Requirements ............................................................................................... 8 Lessons Overview ..............................................................................................8 Lesson One................................................................................................................... 9 Lesson One Goals and Objectives ......................................................................................... 9 Lesson One Setup – Marketing ............................................................................................ 10 Lesson One Activity/Gameplay............................................................................................. 11 Lesson One Follow-up/Debriefing ........................................................................................ 11 Lesson One Extensions ........................................................................................................ 12 Lesson Two – Stock Market and Finance ................................................................... 12 Lesson Two Goals and Objectives ....................................................................................... 12 Lesson Two Setup ................................................................................................................ 13 Lesson Two Activity/Gameplay............................................................................................. 13 Lesson Two Follow-up/Debriefing ........................................................................................ 14 Lesson Two Extensions ........................................................................................................ 15 Teacher Resources...........................................................................................16 References ........................................................................................................17
  • 3. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 3 Teaching Guide Overview Create and control the business empire of your dreams. Capitalism II is an in-depth strategy simulation game which covers almost every aspect of business that could be encountered in the real world. California high school Economics teachers and students will benefit greatly by incorporating and playing this exciting simulation game. Capitalism II will help to enhance some of the California standards required for high school Economics by giving students hands-on experiences in marketing, finance, and the Stock Market. Capitalism II Description Capitalism II is a business simulation game where strategy and basic knowledge of economics can be practiced and enhanced. Starting with a tiny business and a dream, Capitalism II allows you to build a world-dominating mega corporation from the comfort of your PC. Develop products, gather raw materials, manufacture, sell at retail and purchase other companies as you grow, all with an eye on the bottom line. This game has great depth and detail, but a user-friendly interface and generous tutorial, ease newcomers in. Using Capitalism II in the Classroom When used in the classroom, this game will simulate certain aspects of a Capitalist economy. Twelfth grade Economics students will get hands-on experience in the business world in order to better understand America’s market economy in a global world. Capitalism II can also be used to enhance lessons for high school Consumer Math classes by helping students tie the math skills they learn in the classroom with real-world functions and uses.
  • 4. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 4 The Advantages of Teaching with Games Teaching with games can have a positive affect in the classroom because it helps to motivate students to learn. In his article: The Motivation of Gameplay or, the Real 21st Century Learning Revolution, Marc Prensky states: “One of the biggest problems in all formal learning, whether classroom, online, distance, or “e-,” is keeping students motivated enough to stick with the learning process to the end of anything – a class, lesson, session, course, semester, or degree.” (Prensky, 2002 p. 1). Because today’s students are growing up in a more technologically advanced culture, when we ask them to “turn off” the cell phones, iPods, MP3s, and hand-held game systems as they walk into the classroom, they automatically “turn-off” a big part of their learning mode. In turn, they tend not to feel motivated to learn. So, if these young people have just “turned off” a major mode of learning and are not feeling motivated to learn, how can they truly learn new concepts using traditional lecture, textbook/worksheet methods? Although these traditional ways of teaching and learning are still an important way of instruction in our culture today, it is important for teachers to utilize educational technology in the
  • 5. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 5 classroom in order to help motivate their students and to keep them tuned-in to learning (Aldrich, 2004). Students spend many hours playing and discussing games (Gee, 2003). This skill can be utilized in the classroom in order to teach certain concepts and educational standards. Teachers can use commercially popular games that students know in order to help bridge the level of understanding in many subject areas. Another advantage is that many of these games cross over to more than one specific subject area, so teachers are able to integrate more than one lesson in a gaming activity. Teachers will also be able to keep students motivated after playing the games by integrating learning activities such as writing assignments, critical and analytical thinking skill activities, as well as cooperative group activities to reinforce the state standards being taught through the use of the game. Goals and Objectives Twelfth grade Economics students will be able to work cooperatively together in pairs throughout 90% of the class period. to understand the workings of a Capitalist Economy through actively participating in a simulated Capitalist Economy.
  • 6. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 6 show understanding of the concept of marketing in a capitalist economy by creating their own simulated business. show understanding of the concepts of supply and demand through simulation of running a business. explain Market Economy. explain the responsibilities and demands of being an entrepreneur by creating and controlling their own simulated business. describe the functions of a financial market. experience simulated buying and selling of business stocks and how they relate to the global market. Grade Level Standards and Content Area Capitalism II will help partially address the following California State Standards for twelfth grade students: 12.2 Students analyze the elements of America's market economy in a global setting. 1. Understand the relationship of the concept of incentives to the law of supply and the relationship of the concept of incentives and substitutes to the law of demand. 2. Discuss the effects of changes in supply and/ or demand on the relative scarcity, price, and quantity of particular products. 3. Explain the roles of property rights, competition, and profit in a market economy. 4. Explain how prices reflect the relative scarcity of goods and services and perform the allocative function in a market economy.
  • 7. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 7 5. Understand the process by which competition among buyers and sellers determines a market price. 6. Describe the effect of price controls on buyers and sellers. 7. Analyze how domestic and international competition in a market economy affects goods and services produced and the quality, quantity, and price of those products. 8. Explain the role of profit as the incentive to entrepreneurs in a market economy. 9. Describe the functions of the financial markets. Where the Game fits into the Curriculum Students will be required to know common economic terms and concepts as well as economic reasoning as required for twelfth grade California State Standards (12.1) for Economics. Terms such as: Incentives, law of supply, law of demand, substitutes, scarcity, price, quantity of products, property rights, competition, market economy, goods and services, competition among buyers and sellers, market price, price controls, entrepreneurs, financial market. It will also be required for students to have a basic understanding of the stock market. What Teachers Need to Know Before Beginning This guide is designed with the assumption that teachers and students have a basic knowledge of using a computer, a mouse, and the keyboard. Students should also have a basic understanding of computer software such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. Before using Capitalism II in the classroom, teachers should be familiar with the instruction manual which accompanies the game. Teachers should also go through the tutorials that will guide them through the basics of interface and objectives. Since this is a
  • 8. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 8 complex game, it’s advisable to play the tutorial before playing the game. Finally, teachers should play the game for several hours in order to be able to guide and assist their students. Teacher should play and save a game with the same guidelines as expected of students in order to run it and show it to the students over the projection system when preparing the students for game time. Hardware Requirements Minimum of 15 Personal Computers (or enough to pair up students in your classroom) running Microsoft 2000/XP editions Minimum: Pentium II 233 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Windows 95/98, DirectX 8.0, DirectX-compliant video card, DirectX-compliant sound card, 4x CD-ROM drive, and 250 MB hard-disk space Recommended: Pentium II 350 MHz, 128 MB RAM Projection Systems: One Projection system for the teacher to give instructions on Lessons Overview Students will first watch the game tutorials on the projection system while the teacher is going through it step-by-step. Students will help to guide the teacher in where he/she should navigate within the game in order to understand the functions of the tools and how the game should be played. Students will then do the same tutorial again on their own using their own PC. This will give them the opportunity for trial-and-error and to ask questions about the parts of the game they do not understand before they have to actually play the game. The teacher will then be able to walk around and observe/assist the students.
  • 9. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 9 Once the tutorials are all done, the teacher will help to guide students as they play the game in pairs during lesson one. The teacher can walk around and offer help to the different groups. Lesson One This lesson will focus on marketing. The same difficulty level should be set for all participants. For simplicity, the stock market can be deactivated and not all products are necessarily to be covered. Have all students click on “Custom Level”, click on “Environment”, click “NO” on “allow stock investments”. Then, click on “Goals” and arrow up or down to a ten year time period. Lesson One Goals and Objectives Twelfth grade Economics students will be able to work cooperatively together in pairs throughout 90% of the class period.
  • 10. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 10 Twelfth grade Economics students will be able to understand the workings of a Capitalist Economy through actively participating in a simulated Capitalist Economy. Twelfth grade Economics students will be able to show understanding of the concept of marketing in a capitalist economy by creating their own simulated business. Twelfth grade Economics students will be able to show understanding of the concepts of supply and demand through simulation of running a business. Twelfth grade Economics students will be able to explain Market Economy. Twelfth grade Economics students will be able to explain the responsibilities and demands of being an entrepreneur by creating and controlling their own simulated business. Lesson One Setup – Marketing The teacher should now run the saved game he/she played previously and discuss the strategies he/she used while playing. Ask for feedback from the students as to whether or not the strategies used were appropriate and whether they would use that strategy or something else. Divide students into groups of three or so in order to discuss among themselves the kinds of strategy they intend to pursue. This will help to build up team spirit which is so necessary in the real world business. Each student is to keep a written journal of events, strategies, and happening throughout the game.
  • 11. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 11 Pair students by gaming experience levels: Those with more experience can be paired with those with less experience so experienced players will be able to assist the less experienced. Lesson One Activity/Gameplay Teams of two students play 3 scenarios of rising difficulty level. Students should then be allowed to play the game for a fixed period of time. For example, try ten years game time. This should take about one hour if the speed mode is set to normal. Twenty years game time will reward thinking about long- term strategies. For an extended lesson, have them play twenty years. When the first scenario is completed a discussion between the students and the teacher should take place, discussing product quality, competition, advertising, research and other factors that may contribute to the company’s success or failure. Lesson One Follow-up/Debriefing Save the game after 10 year game time, have students calculate their scores and analyze the results. Competitor analysis:
  • 12. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 12 Students have to analyze each and every competitor to uncover the reasons that contribute to his or her success and failure. Corporate analysis of the player: Students can have a clearer picture about their corporate situation after a clear and detailed competitor analysis. Only do an analysis on a single topic each time. Since you are concentrating on the topic of marketing, then other aspects such as stock market, suppliers, human resources can be ignored; this might not give you a full picture but will be much easier to handle. Besides, concentrating on one aspect each time enable students to get a clearer understanding about that particular topic. Lesson One Extensions Write a paper or create a PowerPoint presentation using your journal entries regarding your experience in playing the game as well as your progress in the game. Students will give an oral presentations in class Lesson Two – Stock Market and Finance Lesson Two Goals and Objectives Twelfth grade Economics students will be able to work cooperatively together in pairs throughout 90% of the class period. Twelfth grade Economics students will be able to explain the responsibilities and demands of being an entrepreneur by creating and controlling their own simulated business.
  • 13. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 13 Twelfth grade Economics students will be able to describe the functions of a financial market. Twelfth grade Economics students will be able to experience simulated buying and selling of business stocks and how they relate to the global market. Lesson Two Setup Review the lesson about the stock market, which students should have learned before playing Capitalism II. Let students study the stock market tutorial first so that they can familiarize themselves with the stock market features in the world of Capitalism II. Load the saved game students played in lesson one. Have students go back into “Custom Level”, click on “Environment”, and click “YES” to allow stock market Investments. Play the game for a certain period of time. Students can choose to pursue a corporate strategy focusing on stocks but they are encouraged to cover normal business activities like farming, manufacturing and retailing as well. Buy and sell shares, issue new shares, tender offer, takeover, merger, dividend paying and stock trading regulation. Have students include bank borrowing and repaying, as well as bankruptcy. Lesson Two Activity/Gameplay Play the game for a couple of hours Students should then be allowed to play the game for a fixed period of time. For example, try ten years game time. This should take about one hour if the speed
  • 14. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 14 mode is set to normal. Twenty years game time will reward thinking about long- term strategies. Lesson Two Follow-up/Debriefing Although there is plenty of fast money to be made in the stock market, the real money comes only from having a long-term investment strategy and the real path to riches comes from corporate stability and steady growth. The students’ corporate earnings are the only means of investment capital available to them. Make sure to have them invest in the stock market, but never neglect or jeopardize their corporate health to do it. This is where the previous lesson on the stock market comes in.
  • 15. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 15 Lesson Two Extensions Write a paper or create a PowerPoint presentation using your journal entries regarding your experience in playing the game as well as your progress in the game. Use graphs, charts and pictures in the presentations. Students will give oral presentations to the class.
  • 16. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 16 Teacher Resources CNET Networks Entertainment: Gamespot CNET Networks, Inc. - Headquarters 235 Second Street San Francisco, CA 94105 http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/capitalism2/review.html Enlight 8707 Yvonne Court Way Parkville, Maryland 21234 Phone: 410-661-3301 http://www.enlight.com/capitalism2/ Games 2 Download http://www.games2download.com/free-tycoon-games/capitalism2.htm IGN Entertainment: Gamespy http://archive.gamespy.com/reviews/january02/capitalism2/
  • 17. BrainMeld.org Rafidi - Capitalism II 17 References Aldrich, C. (2004). Simulations and the Future of Learning: An Innovative (and Perhaps Revolutionary) Approach to e-Learning. San Francisco: Pfeiffer. Gee, J.P. (2003, May). High Score Education: Games, not School, are Teaching Kids to Think. Wired Magazine, (11.05). Retrieved October 9, 2006, from http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.05/view.html?pg=1 Prensky, M. (2002). The Motivation of Gameplay or, the REAL 21st Century Learning Revolution. On The Horizon, 10(1).