I wanted a lesson that would teach my 9th-grade students about the subtleties of nationalism. Specifically, I wanted them to be able to explain how ethnic sectarianism 19th-century multinational empires worked in practice. The topic is not a difficult concept to understand. Students can often see the “big picture” but nationalism and ethnic sectarianism is a difficult concept to be able to explain because the specifics of its implementation are unique to both place and time. One country’s ethnic sectarianism will look different than another.

To help students be able to explain sectarianism in practice, I designed this game that puts students in the shoes of an expert. The game is based on the experience of the 19th century Austrian and Ottoman governments. In the game, students take on the role of advisors to the imaginary country, Russaustrukia.

They need to advise the government in how to address the rising nationalism of the country’s various ethnic groups. Each of their choices affects the unity or division of the country.

Can Russausturkia be saved?


ClientOld Rochester Regional High SchoolSubjectHistoryTopic19th Century NationalismObjectiveExplain the impact of sectarianism in day to day life.ProductOnline GameYear2017

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