Knowledge Matters, Inc., has released a simulation on ancient Egypt for middle school students, the first in its new line of computer-based educational simulations for social studies. The product is based on techniques honed during nearly a decade of success on three virtual business products used by half a million students in 3,500 middle and high schools, according to the announcement. VBM (Virtual Business - Management) provides a balance of real-world accuracy and simulation playability. (See Knowledge Matters Announces Upgrade in Virtual Business Curriculum.)
The Virtual History - Ancient Egypt multi-level, 5 - 7 day module is intended as a capstone to a traditionally taught section on ancient Egypt. Designers used depictions from 4000-year-old cave paintings to build realistic experiences of daily life along the Nile. Students assume the role of village leaders who assign work tasks, monitor signs from nature, construct housing, and provide food and protection for their ever-expanding population. The students' decisions determine whether their village succeeds or its inhabitants die of starvation. Features include:
- three levels of advancing difficulty culminating in the construction of a pyramid
- a timeframe of 5 - 7 hours of computer lab use
- broad spectrum of standards-based material: culture, geography, history, technology, economics, and government
- interdisciplinary ties to reading, reading comprehension, grammar, and writing
- built-in computer-based assessment, including over 24 fill-in-the-blank quizzes and three fill-in-the-blank tests.
- lesson plans, curriculum guides, sample essay questions with Web connections
- HTML-based, searchable tutorial
- flash-based instructional videos
- in-program messages that help students proceed
Virtual History - Ancient Egypt features cross-curricular connections with reading and reading comprehension, subjects that No Child Left Behind legislation now requires social studies classes to incorporate, according to the announcement. More information is available at http://www.knowledgematters.com/products/?history.
Source: Knowledge Matters, Inc., http://www.knowledgematters.com/