Historical Simulation

Historical simulations play an integral role in teaching principles of freedom to students at Brookfield Academy. From the Primary School through the Upper School, students participate in role playing activities that teach personal responsibility, as well respect for individual freedom. Students experience authentic situations in which they have to make decisions based upon their knowledge.

 

In the Primary School, historical simulations include visits from Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin.

 

Other historical simulations in the Primary School are the special days of role playing in which the students get to participate. Students participate in Colonial Days when they dress up as colonists. Participating in these activities gives them an idea of what was needed to be done in order to survive and thrive in a new environment. Students also participate in Ellis Island Day by dressing in clothing that represents their heritage. Not only do these students need their passports, but they are taken through the steps of entering the United States by getting a “medical exam” - some are even detained!

 

In the Lower School, the historical simulations continue with special days of role playing and creating emotional memories for the students. Students participate in Gold Rush Day as they search for gold using the three different routes that were used to travel to California.

 

Students begin to study the ancient cultures, such as Greece and Rome. Greek Fest is a celebration of democracy. Students dress in togas and, at the morning assembly, recite “Pericles’ Speech to the Citizens of Athens.”

 

Simulations in the Middle School focus on personal responsibility, individuality, and the free market.

 

BAME (Brookfield Academy Mini Economy) is a simulation in which the students truly learn personal responsibility and character development. The students sell goods (using fake currency); with their earnings, they must pay taxes and rent their lockers, as well as buy insurance. Elections are held, and a BAME constitution is created.

 

In the Upper School, students are accustomed to role playing and simulations as part of the curriculum. One example is role playing British Parliament and its right to tax the colonists. Students use primary sources to study the issues. They begin to ask questions and sometimes reconsider the accepted assumptions of freedom. 

 

A culminating event in the Upper School is a senior class trip. These trips are not only fun, but take the students to different places around the country where they meet people who have lived the lives the students have been simulating since their early years in the Primary School.

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