Simulations and Lesson Plans

Simulations can motivate students to learn, sustain their interest and reinforce classroom learning. These active, hands-on learning events prompt students to respond, assume roles and consider the consequences of their actions and decisions. They engage students in a way that deepens their understanding and stimulates their critical- and creative-thinking skills. Simulations can also involve parents, other adult community members and businesses in teaching and learning. Sample simulations are posted on our Web site for teachers to use or emulate.

Teachers can also use our classroom materials and resource databases to help plan creative, relevant and informative lessons. We post on our Web site exemplary lesson plans—organized by topic or period and/or grade level—to share ideas on integrating Americans All program resources and state- and grade-level-specific resources into social studies instruction.

Click on the titles to view sample simulation and/or lesson plans available through Americans All. 


"[The Ellis Island Project] was the most amazing lesson I've ever taught! I cried twice before [the simulation] even started just from seeing my students all dressed like immigrants and carrying their luggage through the halls. One of the parents painted mustaches and beards on some of the boys. She also did any scars or rashes that their characters may have had."
—Jamie Lynn, 6th-Grade Teacher, Lexington Middle School, Lexington, Missouri


"A true advantage of the program's resources is the opportunity they provide to encourage interdisciplinary learning; I am able to reinforce both social studies and language arts skills at the same time I am teaching music. For example, I used the song ‘Molly Durkin’ to reinforce my students' knowledge of the Irish Potato Famine. The students who learned the song still remind me about the lesson. To me, this is proof that interdisciplinary learning helps students retain information."
—Lauren Glass, Music Teacher, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, Falls Church, Virginia