On December 12th, the grade 2 and 4 students joined together to play the International Trade Game. In this game, the teachers placed the students in random groups of two or three students. First, each small group chose a country in the world to represent. “When we opened the envelopes, we saw that we had different kinds of supplies,” said Edward, Grade 2. To make the game authentic, the teachers created real-life circumstances. To start the game, the teachers passed out envelopes of unequal resources to the students. The envelopes included some paper money. “We did not have the same amount of money,” said Jason.
When the game started, the students excitedly produced paper shapes, then sold them to the banker. Mr. Steve was the banker. “We made shapes of different sizes, then sold them to the bank. We had to measure the shapes and follow instructions to size our resources. Sometimes the banker said no to our uneven shapes”, said Sam, Grade 2.
“Mr. Steve, the banker, was very serious,” said Niti. “Sometimes Mr. Steve changed the price of the shapes. Some prices increased and some decreased,” remembered A-Yi, Grade 2. Alisa said, “Mr. Steve sold new supplies sometimes, too. He had an auction for scissors, papers and a pencil sharpener”.
During the game, the second grade teacher, Ms. Viki, walked around and created changes to the groups’ work stations. Sometimes she would make things more difficult. At other times, she sprayed water on the papers (rain), blew paper all over the place (hurricane), and hid resources from students. She also gave ideas, helped and gave out more valuable resources represented by special papers.
Students in Grade 4 thought that it was hard to get a lot of money but “The game helped us to find out how to make shapes” said Mind, Grade 4. “After, we talked about other countries and how this game might be the same to real life” said Dhiness, Grade 4. Jenny commented that “It helped us learn about money and how hard it is for many countries around the world”.