Learning objectives: For students to learn about the complexity of managing resources; for students to understand why long-term food insecurity is a persistent problem with small-scale farmers in countries such as Malawi.
Recommended grade level: Grades 8-Post-Secondary, Ages 14-young adult
Subjects: Social Studies/Global Issues, Business, Home Economics (money management)
Skills: math, critical thinking, processing information, problem-solving
Recommended time: 45-80 minutes
Number of players: Best for groups of 4-25 people. Could be played with more or fewer players,
Materials: 1 die, cash cards (included), cattle cards (included), student record sheet (included) per team or student, one pencil per team or student, notebook or paper for calculations
Keywords: Resource management, game/activity, hunger, food security
This game presents a scenario in which individuals or teams are small-scale farmers. The participants grow maize in their small fields in order to feed their families over several seasons. Each season, they must grow a certain amount of food in order to have enough food for the family. If they have more bags than needed, they can choose to sell or store them. If they do not have enough, they may be able to buy more. Certain factors are out of the control of the participants, such as the amount of rainfall (and hence the crop yield) and the price of maize, as well as with how much money or how many cows each group begins. The participants can, to a limited degree, control other factors such as applying fertilizer to the fields, storing or selling extra bags of maize, and purchasing cattle. Students will keep track of their activities on a record card.