The rules of the journey

Note: This page is for the OFF-LINE simulation only! If you are just one person visiting this site you may wish to go to theOn-Line Simulation

instead. The off-line simulation is best used for large groups like a full class of students. It has been used from 5th grade up through college level as a simulation of an epidemic!

Also: See Teacher's Page for set up of beans etc.

* You will be a traveler on one of 6 journeys to start, either a Pilgrimage mostly by land or as a trader, mostly by sea. The plague was spread by these trading and pilgram routes, as travelers went from town to town.

Click HERE to choose either a voyage or a pilgrimage, if you are doing the offline version.

* When you visit a town or village, you will roll ONE DIE to see how many nights you will spend in that particular place. Several of the villages will have just begun to show evidence of the plague. Draw out of the bag (representing the nights lodging & meals) as many beans as the nights you are staying. If you get a bean that is red color, you have contracted the Plague bacterium, which was a bacillus type bacteria. If you get a bean which is not a solid color but is mottled/pinto type, you have contracted Cholera from the water. Only a few towns are having outbreaks of Cholera, mostly those which are by rivers, but it is also very deadly.
Note See below how to set up the bean bags.

* If you DON'T contract either the plague or cholera, continue on your journey after you have drawn your beans. You can also choose to stay at this town for one more role if you wish. Replace the beans you have drawn into the container for the next traveler. You have a map. Mark your journey on the map and list how many days you spent in each location. [Back To TOP]

* If you DO contract the plague or cholera before you continue to the next town, you need to: 1) get a skull to tape on yourself 2) mark on your map where you got the plague 3) put back all the beans into the bag 4) go to the next two towns. DON'T draw out any beans in this town. At the first town roll the die. If you roll a 1,2,3 get ONE plague or cholera bean from the teacher and put it into the bag. If you roll 4,5,6 get TWO plague or cholera beans from the teacher and put them into that towns bag. Go on to the second town. Get a skull to put onto the bag of the second town, if there isn't already one on that bag. This represents that you're likely to die in this second town.

Note: to understand what is happening, you can probably see that you will be a carrier of the plague or cholera and will be infecting others who come along after you. Historically, towns that carried the plague were marked for the disease, just like you've marked the bag. After visiting 2 towns after you have first contracted the plague, stop. At this point you have died, unless you can do the following: roll the die twice only; if and only if you roll two ones in a row, you have recovered and can go on your way. (it was very rare, but some people actually recovered from the plague. Some of these were then immune to the next plague, though not always). Otherwise you have died. Roll the dice in front of the teacher to have it count. Put a red dot on your own map where you died, and on the class map (green dot for cholera). Also put a red dot on the graph to show how many towns you were able to visit before dying.
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Writing Postcards About Your Journey:

Note: Postcard (or letter) writing may have begun around this time, helped by the caring scribes of the monastaries along the pilgrimage routes.

* After you have been traveling through a each new country for a while, and before you die, think of a "postcard" you can write back to your home, talking about your journey. If you contracted plague or there are plague warnings, note these in the postcard. Use the information sheets for more information on the town you have chosen. After the game is over, send a postcard back to your home town telling about your journey, by turning it in to the teacher (or sharing in a discussion).

* If you die early on your journey, (or finish your journey plague free), you can start over again and make another journey, trying another starting location, or going back home the way you came. You should first write some notes about your first trip in your journal. Keep all your data, since we will be using it to look at where people contracted the plague or cholera.

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Bon Voyage~!