Historical Forensics: In Their Shoes (A Simulation)
Exploring Daily Life in Old New England
What do we know about 19th Century rural New England? Too many untold stories of individuals from this time period remain locked in sources like census records and grand lists. Historical Forensics: In Their Shoes provides students with the opportunity to uncover what it was like for families from a wide range of socioeconomic, cultural, professional, and ethnic backgrounds. This structured simulation game invites students and educators to decipher primary sources that bring to light the diverse elements that make the 19th century so remarkable for folks living in New England.
Students begin the game by adopting the identity of a real New England family from the 1800s and participate in tasks like keeping record of Family Belongings, noting financial transactions in an Account Book, and making personal reflections on triumphs and struggles in a Diary.
With a roll of the dice, students travel to 14 buildings on the game board that range from the Meeting House to the Barn. Once they land on a Starmark spot at the foot of each venue, they draw and respond to a Turning Points Card. Students may encounter social justice/society issues at the Town Hall or Schoolhouse, an inquiry-based math/science/engineering dilemma at the Field or General Store, or a transportation and travel opportunity at the Train Station.
Historical Forensics: In Their Shoes is a simulation game that brings to life the highs and lows of the 19th century. It playfully invites youngsters to consider mundane situations and to wrestle with tough quandaries that may not have easy answers (or solutions at all) so that they may actively discover what it was like to live In Their Shoes.