Imperialism Game Lesson Plan

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Using this imperialism game lesson plan, you can guide your high school students through the complexities of making decisions that have far-reaching impact. In addition, students will have an opportunity to reflect and journal to solidify learning.

Lesson Objectives

Students will:

  • explore historical actions and events that are examples of imperialism
  • evaluate varying points of view as they relate to imperialism
  • find information from various sources to support their claims


2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.


Evaluate authors' differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors' claims, reasoning, and evidence.


Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Preparation and Materials

  • Reading or multimedia material related to historical examples of imperialism
  • Graphic organizer for notetaking in Activity 1
  • World maps
  • One red marker and one black marker per team
  • Imperialism scenario cards
  • Graphic organizer for scenario card decisions
  • Debrief discussion questions


This lesson plan is best be used after students have gained adequate knowledge of the concept of imperialism. Take some time to review some of the major characteristics of imperialism and recall knowledge with discussion questions. Encourage open conversation to get students engaged and interested in the topic before moving on the the activities below. These activities are designed to be utilized with teams of students.

Activity 1: Background Research

In this activity, students will analyze one historical example of imperialism. This study will serve as the foundation for the remainder of the activities.

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