FANgeopolitics Resources

About FANgeopolitics

Follow @FANgeopolitics for the best geopolitics content from around the world wide web. Check out our Pinterest for the best geopolitics visuals.

FANgeopolitics Q-A:

How does the scoring work? 

There are two scoring metrics: news mentions and news tone. Players automatically score points every 8 hours (starting at 3am central time) if their countries are MENTIONED in the New York Times. They also gain points or lose points based on a conflict-cooperation TONE scale, which we get from 20+ global information sources every other day (also at 3am central time).



Why are countries scoring negative points?

Goldstein scores measure global news TONE and are added to or subtracted from the NYT news mention scores. Positive global news tone (i.e. levels of collaboration like agreements, negotiations, or aid) = more positive points added to the NYT mentions score: Negative global news tone (i.e. conflict like military attacks, protests, or breaking a relationship) = negative points subtracted from the NYT mentions score. See this Trends Map explanation + tips video for more. 



Why can't I draft the U.S., Somaliland, or Palestine? 

You can't draft the U.S. because we want players to learn more about the world. You can't draft Somaliland and Palestine because we want students to get curious about a few places in the world that claim to be independent countries, but aren't recognized that way by others with more power. We hope this leads to classroom discussions about whys and hows, especially when it comes to proposals like the "two-state solution". Conversely, you can draft Taiwan and Hong Kong even though China does not see them as independent. We hope this leads to an exploration of Chinese history and why the U.S. interacts with Taiwan and Hong Kong independently of China. We did not disable Somaliland and Palestine for political reasons, but because we believe they are the best examples of modern day debates about statehood and sovereignty. Dive into this topic more via our "Borders" links in Current Events Case Studies!  



Why did you choose the New York Times for mentions scores?

There are a few mainstream news sources that make their news open to us for scoring. All of them get a lot of news from the Associated Press so scores are very similar across all those sources. We chose the New York Times because they have the best Learning Network + Teacher Resources and we're big fans of each other. Plus, they published the Pentagon Papers.



What are the recommended settings for my first league?
To start, we'd recommend: Set the length of your first game for 1 month after your draft. This will give you a good feel for how it works: You can always extend the length of your first league, use the Restart Game button to redraft, or Reset Scores anytime afterward. Have a class of 25-30 students select 5 countries each. There are 196 total countries that the U.S. State Department recognizes: This setup gives students enough countries to make trades and pick up un-drafted countries. You'll want to make sure students get 125-150 countries drafted in one class period though (see draft tips below). When you're ready to take your leagues to the next level, click "More Ideas" above!

Vote informed on
EVERY candidate

Draft Prep Tips

What is a Draft? 
Just like pro sports teams draft new players every season, your students will draft countries. Picture an interactive world map on your computer + projector (or smartboard) that students come up to and click on a country to draft it for their team. Our Draft system "snakes" through the rounds so the student who has the 1st pick in the first round will have the last pick in the 2nd round. Once a country is drafted, it cannot be picked again. 
Screen Shot 2020-05-25 at 10.39.44

​One of the best things you can do for students is plan for a fun, successful, + competitive draft. It'll be one of the most fun learning days in your classroom!

Tip 1: Make sure students understand how to play

  • Countries that are currently getting mentioned in the news will score highest.

  • Countries that are collaborating with the rest of the world will score even more points. Countries in conflict could lose points.

    • "What countries are doing good things in the world?"

    • "What countries are in conflict?"​

  • Games are won in the 2nd round and beyond.

    • "When the Top Countries have been drafted and are no longer available after the 1st Round, which countries are good ones to pick?"

Tip 2: Plan your draft period accordingly

  • If students are prepared, your first round will move quickly!

    • Let them access smart phone/web/paper Resources and help them prepare for subsequent rounds as it's happening.

  • Manage your time wisely.

    • 30 students drafting 5 countries each could take 150 minutes if they each spend 60 seconds to draft.

    • Put students "on the clock" = give 30 seconds to draft in rounds 1-3 and 60 seconds for later rounds, for instance. 

    • Create a sense of fun, competitive urgency by encouraging students to be prepared = use "teacher time". 

  • Give students an activity to build upon their draft learning excitement.

    • See the "Country Information" or "White House Brief" assignment in our Shared Activities folder especially. 

    • Get students writing and discussing why they picked countries they did or give themselves a Draft Grade like many fantasy sports programs!

Tip 3: Know the Draft Resources. Visit our shared google drive to view and share classroom activities!

What a Draft Might Look Like:



individual + group research

team uniforms

international buffet

storyboard research

student drafting a country

More FANgeopolitics Ideas from Teachers Like You!

FANgeopolitics fits especially well with National Council for the Social Studies curriculum standards, as well as the Common Core English Language Arts Reading: Informational Text and Literacy in History/Social Studies standards. Use it to get students writing and start relevant, authentic discussions and debates.

  • Daily or Weekly current events updates and discussions.

  • Daily Warm Up before diving into course content. 

  • A Civics teacher uses it to help students become more aware about what's happening around the world before their unit on foreign policy and the essential question: What's the role of the U.S. in the world?

  • A World Geography teacher had students draft countries from the continents they were studying each new unit every 2-3 weeks to become more familiar with current events and geopolitics in each one.

  • A middle school Humanities teacher used the game as a way to keep her students engaged in learning outside of her every-other-day class and utilized resources like Newsela to find leveled reading content for younger students.

  • A U.S. History teacher had students draft modern-day World War I and Cold War countries to examine the legacies of those conflicts while studying their history.

  • A World History teacher has students draft countries from each part of the world they're studying and gears class activities around how history explains what's happening in each country now and why. 

  • A Sociology teacher uses it in her course to cover the contemporary world issues content standards.

  • A Media Studies and Journalism teacher uses it in her course to examine global news coverage, bias, and reasons why some countries are featured more than others in the news. 

  • A Global Cultures teacher has students draft the lowest scoring countries to help make students aware of lesser-known regions of the world so they can study development and culture. Students that get the lowest scores win!

  • An AP Human Geography teacher uses it to engage her students in each of the course's 5 themes (location, human/environment interaction, regions, place, movement) and has students find news articles related to each theme for their countries.

  • A World Religions teacher has his students draft countries from each part of the world where they're studying religious trends and has students incorporate religion in news-article finds.

Other content sources we love that might be fantastic for your classroom too:


All-Star Tip:  Program your social media to bring you the best resources from around the world wide web.
Use our follow lists from facebook and twitter. 
And teach your students to do the same!