Critical Thinking & Discovery in Action
Seniors, in Government class, study the Peloponnesian War which was fought between Athens and Sparta during the 5th century B.C. Once they have read through the account provided by Thucydides, we assign the students to one of the pre-eminent Greek poleis of the time: Athens, Sparta, Corinth or Chios.
Students then re-enact the war, responsible for fashioning a grand strategy for their polis. Each Friday they move their forces around the map, recruit troops, and negotiate alliances. The ebb and flow of battle forces students to realize that destroying the enemy on the battlefield is only one small part of war. They learn that diplomacy, careful attention to economic matters, and political stability are all necessary to the successful waging of war. Sure, we tell them all of these things. But when students discover on their own, the lesson comes to life. Comprehension turns into a lifelong passion for learning.