This fun simulation comes with an educator’s guide, student material readings, a PowerPoint lesson, role cards and handouts. Enjoy turning your classroom into the White House! You can download curriculum resources here:
In honor of President’s Day, Envision is sharing curriculum with our educators to provide students a glimpse inside the Executive Branch with our If I Were President simulation. Students learn about the executive decision making process through this interactive simulation and role play a key advisor to the President in an international crisis.
If I Were President offers students the chance to learn about national interests and how the President uses their key advisors to help them make decisions. Throughout the simulation, students will be working to resolve a fictional international crisis set in the year 2019, where Somali pirates have hijacked an American cargo ship. Each student will have a role such as President, White House Press Secretary, National Security Advisor, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, U.S. Trade Representative, Senate Majority Leader, or Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs among others. Each student will receive a role card that provides the student with more insight into that role and a background for the simulation. Once students have learned about national interests and have their role they leave their classroom behind for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
This simulation is student run, with the President presiding over the group. During the simulation students assume their role and break into policy groups where they collaborate with other advisors in their groups such as the White House, Diplomacy, Intelligence & Security, Trade & Humanitarian or Legislative Group. Here they discuss policy options and prepare to advise the President. After the policy groups have formulated their proposal, all of the advisors come together for an executive meeting where the President hears each groups’ proposal and everyone discusses what action the President should take to resolve this crisis. Once the President has heard from their advisors, the President, White House Press Secretary and a few key advisors prepare remarks for a Press Conference. During the Press Conference the President shares their course of action while the students take off their advisor role and now become members of the press. After the President’s remarks, the press question the President about the decision.
The simulation is a chance for students to work collaboratively, problem solve, and learn more about the executive decision making process through an engaging activity. An after-simulation assignment might be a reflective journal on their simulation experience or an opinion piece on what decision they would have supported.
The “If I Were President: Pirates off the Coast of Somalia” simulation was originally part of the National Young Leader’s Conference from 2010-2013.