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Serbian Conflict History Simulation

Themes & Core Questions:

  1. How have people defined citizenship or nationality in history?  What are the cultural, religious and economic foundations of national identity?
  2. How do the five themes of geography (location, place, human & environmental interaction, movement, and region formation) shape national and ethnic identity?
  3. How do opposing interests affect religious institutions and the religious beliefs of the average man or woman?
  4. What is the history of power sharing between ethnic groups or social classes in the country affected by conflict or civil war?  How are values and attitudes toward ethnicity, social class, and nationality formed historically?  What factors have an effect on these changes?

Overview: This lesson is an historical simulation of the conflicting interests of Serbs and Muslims taking place in the 19th Century.

Time Required: 1 class period or 45 minutes.

Suggested Grade Levels: Grades 8 –12

Interdisciplinary Applications: Social Studies

NJ Core Content Standards: 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.8

Instructional Objectives:

  1. Explain how various cultural and economic interests impact the common person.
  2. Analyze the effects of conflict on identity using PEERS.
  3. Synthesize the understanding of the impact of civil war or conflict on the common person by developing empathy for the various decisions they have to make.


  1. Put students in groups. A role is assigned to each student in the group and the appropriate role card is given to each student.
  2. Each role creates a statement to be directed towards one of the other roles in the activity.
  3. Each role then must construct a reply to the initial statement by giving specific rationale for their decisions.
  4. Finally, the Sultan will determine an appropriate course of action in light of the concerns presented.
  5. Then, each group will make a statement of their intended reaction to the Sultan’s decision.
  6. As a class, discuss and debrief the simulation, relating historical causes to present conflict.

Materials: Simulation Outline and Role Cards

Assessment: Position statement and reply of each role.

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