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Treaty of Versailles Negotiation Game


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#1 JohnDClare

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 09:01 PM

Had a great lesson with my Year 10 class today.

Devised and played a Treaty of Versailles Negotiation Game with them. If you are interested, you can download it from my website if you click the link.

Edit: Andrew Withey has designed a scoring grid for this game (many thanks to Andrew).

It is quite a simple game. I split the class into 3 teams (Fr, Br & US). Gave them a brief of what points they would score/lose depending on what was decided, then gave them:
- 5 mins to plot their strategy to do as well as they could for their own country.
- 15 mins to negotiate/horsetrade with the other two 'countries'.
- then held a 'Conference', chaired by a pupil, which worked down a very directed agenda seeking unanimous decisions.

The aim of the game was to show them how difficult it was to negotiate the Treaty, and (particularly) how none of the Big Three got all the results they wanted.

<span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>NB - my class was able, and I have not tried it with the less-than-able class yet (will tell you what happened when I do).</span>

All I know is that it went like a bomb today! I had told them that they could not leave until they had reached a unanimous decision on all the points. When the bell went, we were still only half-way through. I expected the usual sharp-decisions and a rush for the door. Instead, halfway through break we had to adjourn the conference for 2 minutes to allow some private negotiation to try and resolve a deadlock about the League of Nations. And there were sticking points even after that! I finally pushed through the last few decisions over their heads to get us finished 20 minutes into break, allowing me 5 mins to dash to the loo and rush back to face 9N period 3!

And in the end - after all that hard-nosing, they ended up virtually agreeing exactly what the ToV decided!

If nothing else, it illustrated the strategic importance of Lloyd George's Fontainbleau Memorandum!

If you try it, constructive feedback would be welcomed.

#2 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 09:34 PM

And in the end - after all that hard-nosing, they ended up virtually agreeing exactly what the ToV decided!

Afraid I am no longer in a positiion to try this out in the classroom, John. I does look really good and I know that the pupils get a great deal out of simulations such as this. I used to use one myself.

However I am not completely surprised that your class reached similar decisions to the T of V since you say they did this after studying the hopes, aims and the outcome.

How how about trying this exercise after they have covered the Big Three's aims, but before they have learned about the terms? I wonder what decisions they would reach then?

#3 JohnDClare

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 05:43 PM

I said I'd tell everyone how this went with the less able pupils when I did it, and the answer is 'very well, actually'!

I spent slightly longer setting the scene and explaining the system of points.

The less able pupils did MUCH better than the very able class at the inter-team negotiating bit - which went with a real zing.

However, the third - 'Conference' - part was less well-done. The chairperson was much less accomplished, which meant a less directed and instructive 'conference'. And although there was the same element of 'stand-off', the British team, in particular, just gave way immediately, without thought, so we ended up with a very happy and easy set of decisions, but the British team scored minus 3.

In future, when the less able classes are having the conference, I will ask them to delegate a member to keep a running total of points as they go along, which should help.

Having said that, even though this was lesson 5 (last of the day) with a less-able class:
1. They participated with enthusiasm - enjoyed it.
2. They worked through to the end of the lesson with energy.
3. A number of pupils stayed behind to disucss the issues (and point-scoring) afterwards.
4. The lesson provided a number of 'lessons' for the teacher to be able to take up next lesson.

Definitely a success, and I shall use it again next year.

#4 Andrew Field

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 09:43 PM

One thing that Richard J-N is looking at doing is running a Versailles negotiation via the student history help forum. I can set up each 'country' to have access to a public and a private discussion area thus meaning groups could be created from anywhere in the world to discuss their strategies in private, and then debate their proposals with other groups in a public section.

Will be a very interesting trial - much akin to the things you have done here John. Maybe a few of your keenses students might like to act as advisors or 'experts' somehow.


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#5 JohnDClare

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 10:23 PM

Sounds fantastic - will RJ-N let us know when it starts?
I don't know whether my pupils would be able to cope on their own, but I could put a useful team together!
I'll keep a lookout.

Quite frankly, its about time we started to do things to try to make the old ToV more interesting for students.

#6 Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 09:39 AM

Sounds fantastic - will RJ-N let us know when it starts?

Thanks for the gentle reminder. I would like to run an online collaborative Versailles project from Monday 3rd November to be completed by Friday 15th November.

In 2000, the Guardian Learn.co site launched an interactive project at http://www.learn.co....illes/index.htm And I have done my own project every year since http://www.intst.net...illes/index.htm

The materials on the Guardian site are excellent but there are two problems.

Firstly, the interactive learning platform provided by Pioneer doesn't work very well in the classroom http://versailles.pi...d.com/login.asp Students are expected to collaborate online in preparation for a real roleplay activity in the classroom, but it seems that nobody administers the collaborative platform. This means that postings, member list and emails are very out of date. Consequently, it is impossible to know who is really active. The second problem is that there are no practical guidelines about how to conduct the roleplay conference in the classroom.

In previous years I have run the project as an internal IST Y10/Y12 project with the collaboration via email occuring within the vertical grouping of our school. I have also established rules and guidelines about how the roleplay itself is managed in a classroom situation. http://www.intst.net.../2003/rules.htm

This year I would like to introduce an element of genuine international collaboration by working with other schools through the collaborative work section of the student forum. http://www.schoolhis...m/index.php?c=3 There are lots of possibilities for how this might be done.

If anyone is interested in potentially getting involved, I suggest they have look through my examples (treaties, videos, photos etc.) from the last few years http://www.intst.net...illes/index.htm and post a reply here.

Perhaps this ought to be new thread?
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke


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#7 Paul M

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 10:41 AM

Had to bump this up - tried this activity with two Year 10 classes last week and it worked BRILLIANTLY! It really got across the difficulty of reaching agreement with all the factors to consider. It was great to see the bargaining that went on; "We'll give you the League of Nations if you'll accept so many battleships" etc etc.

I modified John's sheets very slightly by removing a couple of the issues e.g. I cut down on the territorial issues, purely to save time. I also designed a PowerPoint that takes you through the task stage by stage. I will gladly upload these here or to the historyshareforum if anybody would like me to.

#8 Lesley Ann

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 03:10 PM

I modified John's sheets very slightly by removing a couple of the issues e.g. I cut down on the territorial issues, purely to save time. I also designed a PowerPoint that takes you through the task stage by stage. I will gladly upload these here or to the historyshareforum if anybody would like me to.



That would be great...if you could upload it here. I did this activity last week too, and it worked really well with two year 10 mixed ability groups. I timed the lesson to last lesson of the day...we were still there at 3:30 hashing out terms ...they could not go home until it was resolved. We then used a feather pen to sign the agreement. I must admit USA were very savvy that day...bargaining. Brilliant!
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#9 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 07:09 PM

I used this with my Y10 Weimar Germany students earlier this term and they loved it too - I did a ppt with the anthems of the three countries playing as their names were allocated to each country's table to add to the atmosphere.

I'd seriously love more stuff like this, especially to liven up the god-awful medicine course!
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#10 Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 08:25 PM

After a bit of an enforced break, I plan to run my own version of this again next week. I updated my old site recently with loads of old videos that reminded me of how much fun this is.

http://www.internati...illes/index.htm
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke


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#11 Paul M

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 08:13 AM

I've uploaded my Powerpoint which guides the pupils through the task, together with a link back to this thread so people can access John's page for the resource sheets, to the historyshareforum in this thread:

http://www.historysh...pic,1120.0.html

#12 DAJ Belshaw

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:59 PM

Thanks for that, Paul and special thanks to John D for coming up with it the first place. I did this over two lessons whilst being observed by my Head of Faculty and the Headteacher. One lesson was judged 'good with outstanding features' and the other 'outstanding with good features'. :teacher:

Doug :hehe:

#13 Jonathan Martin

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 05:52 PM

Mock class negotiations are a great way to keep the retention level up. Most students learn better with practice and through role play. Great Idea for a game.

Edited by Jonathan Martin, 30 September 2009 - 05:53 PM.

Negotiate Learn, Share, Succeed! at the Negotiation Forum

#14 John Perkins

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 09:14 PM

Decided to bite the bullet today and go for it with this lesson. Got to say poorly organised as it was during lunch that I decided to change tack. Dodgy class that have some real behaviour issues. Even though thinking on my feet it worked a treat and they got the idea. At the end they were able to explain why Germany would be agrieved and why it would cause the government who signed it problems. Brilliant. Given me a new lease of life in an otherwise drab week and from what they were saying the most enjoyable thing they have done this week.

#15 j hewson

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 10:51 AM

I did this last week with a class of 12 Year 10 lads of real mixed ability; the response was fantastic from them. It seemed to light up their contextual understanding of Versailles and when we discussed it the following lesson and spoke about the difficulties we had in compromising, even the weaker ones were able to see why it took the Big Three six months to thrash out the real thing. It's activities like this that stick with them and make history departments stand out. Massive thank you to John for devising the simulation.




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