Using BOTGs to Think and Communicate with Clarity and Precision
In the computer simulation Ancient Empires, Tom Snyder Productions, students work in groups of 4, role-playing a character from a civilization. A neighbor threatens the civilization. Each group must come up with a plan to meet the threat. Students use Behavior-over-time graphs to look for patterns and trends to deepen their understanding the dynamics of their computerized civilization.
A student presents his group’s behavior-over-time graph of their resource of stones. The supply of stones steadily decreased as they were used to build a wall around the city for protection. When the citizens realized they were running out they brought more into the city. The amount they brought in exceeded the number being used per day in construction.
This graph explores the health of one of the leaders over time. The leader is in good health at the beginning of the simulation. He remains healthy until he starts his journey home. The graph shows the state of his health as he returns home. Whenever there is a change in direction or rate on the graph the students are expected to justify the change with evidence from the simulation.
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