Five iCivics Games to Help Students Understand the American Political System

If you are looking for educational games to help students understand the American political system, iCivics is a great option. The nonprofit organization offers lesson plans and games to help students understand the basic functions of a government and how to become a responsible citizen. Founder Sandra Day O’Connor is an advocate of civic education and the need for students to take an active role in the affairs of their nation. She has been an active advocate for civic education and her foundation has expanded to include a plethora of educational games.

Branches of power

The simulation game Branches of Power allows players to assume the role of a political leader and influence the course of history. They must develop issues and create laws to benefit their state, but the game’s complicated system of checks and balances isn’t captured in the game. The legislative branch is the most significant, but it’s the executive branch that serves its purpose. Branches of Power also incorporates a glossary and Spanish translation for players who don’t know much about U.S. government.

Race to Ratify

Using historical research and pamphlet-style dialogue, Race to Ratify involves traveling around the country and persuading people to agree with your side of the ratification debate. As you make your way around the country, you’ll earn Argument tokens which can be used to create pamphlets to convince people to agree with your side. Ultimately, your ratification success will depend on how many states you influence.

Immigration Nation

A powerful documentary that examines U.S. immigration policy, Immigration Nation explores the problems and consequences of U.S. immigration laws. It provides unprecedented access to ICE operations and includes moving portraits of immigrants. The director, Mark Boal, is a documentary filmmaker himself, but his focus is on immigrants’ stories, not his own. Ultimately, the film is a call to action for Americans to consider the immigration system. It is essential viewing for anyone who cares about immigration reform.

Counties Work

Counties Work in ICIC games asks players to take control of a small county in the United States. As county government officials, you will have to help citizens find resources in your area. You can even paint some buildings yellow to help the citizens find the resources they need. As you go along, citizens will start making requests for different services and products. The key is to match the request with the right department. The game requires kids to use context clues and see connections between words.

Argument Wars

The iCivics series has expanded to games for iPad and Android tablets, and the latest game in the series, Argument Wars, is no exception. Featuring card-based gameplay mechanics, this card game pits players against rival lawyers in landmark cases. You can play in Spanish and even use a glossary to learn key legal terms. As the game progresses, you earn points and use them to help build your case.

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