Most of the classes had a blast today. First hour in particular got really into the storyline/ game we played.
The class was broken into groups. The students (collective) were a dictator from a country in the Middle East. Due to the internet, protests from other countries have spread into the country they rule. For every choice, the students voted on what they would do, then each group voted. True, that makes it seem a little more like an oligarchy (unelected group ruling a country) rather than a dictatorship, but c'est la vie.
Here's a link to the game. The link allows you to view without downloading, or download if you so desire... I created it with Powerpoint, but should soon have a SMART version as well. (*Edit* 5-11-12 the game has been updated and improved. Links have been added to take you directly to the slide you need. Credit: Andrew Cowells - thanks. *Second Edit* The game is continually being revised and improved. I want to include an ending for King Abdullah. I've got Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya... Also, a couple options go a little too fast.)
It took me a long time to create a story with multiple plot lines, but I think it turned out alright. I may expand on it later. (If you're a social studies teacher looking to teach the Arab Spring, feel free to use this as you see fit. I licensed it under Creative Commons - allowing you to change it where necessary. I would suggest introducing the Arab Spring before doing the activity, but hey... it's your classroom. If you do use it, feel free to comment and let me know how it goes.)
As for my students, if you want the extra credit, read and discuss this blog with an adult. Tell them what you thought about the game. What happened? Why? Tell them how it ties in with the Arab Spring. If you're at a computer where you can download it, feel free to show it to them - it's not a necessity though.
After you've read and discussed the blog, write down one thing you brought up in your conversation, and have the adult you discussed it with sign the paper. (Make sure your name is on it as well.)