Elementary Social Studies Unit: Greek City State Simulation Game



Overview: In this simulation game, students will take on different roles as members of a Greek city-state. Each member has a specific job to do and will work with other members in the city-state to complete assigned tasks.

Instructional Objective

Students will employ collaborative, creative and communication skills to develop an understanding of ancient Greece by participating in a simulation game.

  1. Use the internet to gather information and answer assigned questions on ancient Greece.
  2. Identify and label major cities and landforms on a map.
  3. Construct a monument following instructions and using specific materials.


This simulation game is designed for a Grade 5 students. One can expect the usual mix of kids with different learning abilities, English language learners, and possibly kids with learning disabilities.


Ancient Greece is a high-interest topic for all age groups, and this simulation will further engage students because it is ‘hands-on’ and has a wide range of activities. They have limited time to complete their tasks and each task requires the members to be actively involved with the task and other members as they plan, negotiate, communicate, design, and build.  The competitive nature of the simulation will also motivate them to work hard to be the winning team.

Context of Use

This simulation could be used as supplemental activity for a unit on Ancient Greece. It could also be used partly for test preparation, where students gather information and answers to questions in preparation for a test. This simulation will promote and enhance the 21st Century skills of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication and could serve as a perfect end of term activity.


This simulation will require maybe two class periods, or a total of 90 minutes. It will involve the participation of the entire class and full use of the classroom. Desks, tables, and chairs may need to be moved in order to separate the students into the appropriate groups. This game will require the students to complete three tasks or deliverables:

  1. Completed Map – up to 2   (geographical knowledge)
  2. Completed Scrolls – up to 4  (historical knowledge)
  3. King’s Monument – 1   (teamwork, collaboration, creativity)

Object of the Game

The team with the most points accumulated conquers the team with the lowest point value. This team then joins the winning team as their slaves for the next battle between the city-states or maybe it will be empires by that time.

Design Details

The overall feel will be as realistic as possible. The students will be provided with real maps and pictures of Ancient Greece.

Specific Elements

The teacher will need to complete the Pre – Game checklist to make sure all of the necessary supplies and materials are ready and accounted for. To encourage trading, each City-State (group) will receive different supplies, including the Cartographers Kit.

Pre – Game checklist:

Olympia-Scroll #1Scroll #2 Scroll #3 Scroll #4 Scroll #5Blue Map-Med SeaBuilding Supplies- Bricks Cardboard Cereal boxes 4 shoeboxes cardboard tubes paper plates 3 milk cartons cardboard tray (for base).png

The class will be divided up into 3 City-States: Corinth, Argos, and Olympia. Each group will receive a number of important scrolls, maps, and documents in order to play the game.
Each group will receive their own scroll with the objectives and rules of the game.

Objectives and Rules example:

City-state of Delphi (1).png

Each group will receive their own scroll with the definitions of roles that students will choose for the game.

Example of Role Definitions:

YOUR CITY-STATE- __________________________Directions- READ this entire sheet as a team and then proceed to #1..png

Each group, or City-State will be provided with a scoring rubric in order to complete the game.

Example of Rubric:

City-State SCORING-.png

Each group, or City-State will be provided with a map/s that the cartographer and others must complete.

Each group, or City-State will be provided with a cartographer directions scroll  in order to accurately complete the map.

Example of Map Instructions:

1. In blue, HL, in black label all Seas-Mediterranean, Aegean, Caspian,Aral, Black,.png

Each group, or City-State will be provided with a series of scrolls (up to 4) that the scribes and others must complete. The students will use the “Temple Library” to research the answers to the questions on the scrolls (which are in the quiz format).

Scroll example: Each scroll will have a total of 10 questions.

Scroll #1.jpg

“Temple Library”

Only one scribe at a time can enter the Temple Library to search for the answers to the scrolls. But what is the temple library? It is a computer station where the students will be provided with a series of websites as well as books to utilize in completing the scroll task.

*The teacher will need to ascertain what technology is available from the school and perhaps reserve laptops/computers ahead of time. Extra books/papers/maps and hard copy resources should be available in case of technology failure or difficulties.

A Companion Simulation

Through the course of my research, I found a second simulation that would make a great companion for this one. An Ancient Greek Olympics Simulation (http://ancienthistory.mrdonn.org/GreekOlympics.html).

This would be an excellent “reward” for the students as a final activity before moving on to another unit of study.

For extra excellent resources and a comprehensive overview of Ancient Greece activities click here to visit the livebinder I created for this unit.  


Ancient Greek Worksheets. (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2016, from http://www.historyforkids.net/greek-worksheets.html

Mapping Landforms. (2014). Retrieved August 20, 2016, from http://nationalgeographic.org/activity/mapping-landforms/

Ancient Greece Lessons. (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2016, from https://kr.pinterest.com/explore/ancient-greece-lessons/

Dodge, B. (n.d.). EDTEC 670: Exploratory Learning Through Educational Simulation and Games. Retrieved December 28, 2014, from http://edweb2.net/ldt670/

Dodge, B. (2002), ET670 Design Template. Retrieved 2002, from http://edweb.sdsu.edu/courses/edtec670/FinalProjectsF02.html. (URL no longer valid.)


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