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First- and Third-World Challenges


Educational Technology
Social Studies
--Current Events



Brief Description

Students develop their understanding of Third World and First World problems and discuss issues related to the role of computer games in education.


Students will

  • evelop critical thinking skills
  • develop their understanding of the Third World and First World problems.
  • discuss issues related to computer games and their role in education.


Third World, First World

Materials Needed

Lesson Plan

Explain to students that they are going to play a computer game that involves making a number of survival choices. Tell them they need to keep notes about their choices and the outcomes of their choices.

After they've played for 10-20 minutes, ask them to stop. Arrange students into pairs and ask each student to tell his or her partner what happened to them in the game.

Ask students as a class what problems they faced in the game and if they developed any strategies for being successful at the game.

Develop some of the themes from the game for a class debate.

Discuss/debate these or other questions:

  • Who do you think this game is aimed at?
  • What did you learn from the game?
  • How accurately does the game depict the two different lifestyles?
  • Does playing a game like this trivialize the actual situations?
  • Can computer games like these educate people and change their opinions?
  • Does the game depict stereotypes rather than realities?
  • What do you think the makers of this game wanted to achieve?
  • How would you define a Third World country?
  • What is the difference between a Third World country and a developing country?
  • Why are some countries very poor and others very rich?
  • What other political or educational computer games do you know about?
  • How good do you think this game was?
  • Did you enjoy playing it?
  • Would you recommend this game to a friend?


Students are evaluated on their participation in the discussions.

Lesson Plan Source

Adapted from an original posting from the Learning Technology Teacher Development Blog.

Submitted By

Nik Peachey

National Standards

GRADES 5 - 8
NSS-C.5-8.1 Civic Life, Politics, and Government
NSS-C.5-8.2 Foundations of the American Political System
NSS-C.5-8.3 Principles of Democracy
NSS-C.5-8.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
NSS-C.5-8.5 Roles of the Citizen
GRADES 9 - 12
NSS-C.9-12.1 Civic Life, Politics, and Government
NSS-C.9-12.2 Foundations of the Political System
NSS-C.9-12.3 Principles of Democracy
NSS-C.9-12.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
NSS-C.9-12.5 Roles of the Citizen

GRADES 5 - 8
NSS-EC.5-8.1 Productive Resources
NSS-EC.5-8.2 Effective Decision Making
NSS-EC.5-8.3 Allocating Goods and Services
NSS-EC.5-8.4 Positive and Negative Incentives
NSS-EC.5-8.5 Voluntary Exchange
NSS-EC.5-8.6 Gain from Trade
NSS-EC.5-8.7 Markets and Market Prices
NSS-EC.5-8.8 Supply and Demand
NSS-EC.5-8.9 Competition in the marketplace
NSS-EC.5-8.10 Market Institutions
NSS-EC.5-8.11 Money
NSS-EC.5-8.12 Interest Rates
NSS-EC.5-8.13 Income and Earning
NSS-EC.5-8.14 Entrepreneurs
NSS-EC.5-8.15 Investment
NSS-EC.5-8.16 Government in the Economy
NSS-EC.5-8.17 Cost of Government
NSS-EC.5-8.18 National Productivity
NSS-EC.5-8.19 Unemployment Influences
NSS-EC.5-8.20 Federal Budgetary Influences
GRADES 9 - 12
NSS-EC.9-12.1 Productive Resources
NSS-EC.9-12.2 Effective Decision Making
NSS-EC.9-12.3 Allocating Goods and Services
NSS-EC.9-12.4 Positive and Negative Incentives
NSS-EC.9-12.5 Voluntary Exchange
NSS-EC.9-12.6 Gain from Trade
NSS-EC.9-12.7 Markets and Market Prices
NSS-EC.9-12.8 Supply and Demand
NSS-EC.9-12.9 Competition in the Marketplace
NSS-EC.9-12.10 Market Institutions
NSS-EC.9-12.11 Money
NSS-EC.9-12.12 Interest Rates
NSS-EC.9-12.13 Income and Earning
NSS-EC.9-12.14 Entrepreneurs
NSS-EC.9-12.15 Investment
NSS-EC.9-12.16 Government in the Economy
NSS-EC.9-12.17 Cost of Government
NSS-EC.9-12.18 National Productivity
NSS-EC.9-12.19 Unemployment Influences
NSS-EC.9-12.20 Federal Budgetary Influences

NT.K-12.3 Technology Productivity tools

Updated 5/14/12