How much time should you plan for the simulation?

Based on our own experience and that of instructors who regularly hold in-class EU simulations, three class sessions spread over 3-5 weeks is ideal. It can and has been done in less time. However, the following comment is typical of instructors who have held shorter simulations:

“Students really did get something out of it. I think the most important change is that they would be given more time (both in terms of in-class time to negotiate and out-of-class time to do research etc).” – Lisa Wade, UW-Madison

Students should be allowed plenty of time outside class to research, prepare and negotiate. They will, of course, need to be encouraged not to put everything off until the last minute. Assignments and participation grades will give them incentive to stay on top of things. Try to schedule the simulation during a time when students won’t be overly distracted by other projects, homework, or exams.

Below is an outline of a typical three-session simulation with links to more detailed information. Use this outline as a guide. Feel free to be creative and be sure to give us feedback as to what worked best for your particular situation.

1.  The First Session

o Introduce the EU

o Present scenario

o Introduce simulation




Assign teams

Hand out materials


2. In between the first and second sessions: Working together, teams…

o Learn more about the EU

o Research their country

o Determine where they stand in chocolate debate

o Prepare a background and position paper


3. The Second Session : A practice run for the simulation… or simulation simulation

o Prearrange seating

o Set out country placards

o Teams present their country’s position

o Begin debate?


4. In between the second session and the simulation: Negotiation time!

o Encourage teams to meet outside of class, call, email, IM, whatever.

o Or reserve some class time.


5. Simulation Day

o More formal – following “Rules Of Procedure

o Presidency welcomes delegates

o Each team makes a general statement

o Coalition proposals are presented

o Controlled debate ensues

o Brief breaks for informal negotiation if necessary

o Must decide on policy before time is up, voting if necessary.

o Your role: technical guidance



The most time-consuming part of holding any type of simulation is gathering the necessary background material. We’ve taken care of that part, so your preparation time will be little more than the time it takes to review these web pages. Before you introduce the simulation to your class though, you should:

Review the “EU Chocolate Battle” webpage for students

Schedule the simulation days, allowing for research and negotiation time outside of class

Determine how you will assign country teams

Decide what assignments will be included

Decide what your role in the simulation will be

Explore the Teachers Resource page

Prepare for the first session