Middle Ages in the 1300s: Black Plague Simulation; Worksheets on the Crusades, Hundred Year’s War
We spent a couple of weeks studying the events of the 1300s. Today I’m going to share the worksheets I made for the kids about the Crusades, Hundred Year’s War, and the Black Plague. I’ll also share the simulation: Will you survive the Black Plague?!!
To start, we covered the history of the Crusades, Hundred Year’s War and the Black Plague. We read the chapters in our history book. We are using Early Times: The Story of the Middle Ages, (affiliate link) by Suzanne Strauss Art as our spine. We also watched a number of videos including the BBC series on the Crusades. (affiliate link) (The kids found it fascinating the Eleanor of Aquitaine went on one of the Crusades!)
For the Hundred Year’s War, the girls really liked the Animated Hero Classic film of Joan of Arc. We watched a number of other documentary videos as well, though I don’t remember what they were called at the moment. For the Hundred Year’s War, we talked a lot about how lands in France was controlled by English rulers from the time of William the Conqueror, Eleanor of Aquitaine (wife of Henry II), and Richard the Lion-heart.
To review all that material, we went over these notebook pages and added they added them to their history notebooks:
When the Black Plague swept through Europe in the 1340s, millions of people died. We looked at the maps of how the plague spread (see the photos on the page in the picture above right). The longer the plague was in an area, the larger the percent of people who died. So, while in some of northern Europe 20% of the people died, in southern Italy it was closer to 70%-80%. We did a simulation that showed just how quickly the plague spread and how your likelihood of catching the plague increased the longer it lasted. I’ll describe what we did below. The kids were fascinated by this simulation!!
Black Plague Simulation:
To set up the simulation , prepare the bags with blue and red tiles:
Bags 1 through 4, place 8 blue tiles and 2 red tiles.
Bags 5 and 6, place 9 blue tiles and 1 red tile.
Once you have set up the bags and have a die, you are ready to begin. Each person travels to as many towns as they can trying to survive the plague. This is how that happens:
First person starts by rolling a die.
If that person rolls a 1,2,3 – they stay in the town for 1 night (and pull one tile out of the bag and look at it)
If that person rolls a 4,5,6 – they stay in the town for 2 nights (and pull two tiles out of the bag and look at it)
If she pulls out a blue tile/tiles, just go on to the next town and roll again.
If she pulls out one red tile, she has been infected and will travel to the next 2 towns before “dying.” Continue on to the next town. At that town, roll the die. If she rolls a 1,2,3 add one yellow tile to the bag. If she rolls a 4,5,6 add 2 yellow tiles to the bag. Do the same thing for the next town. Then she has died and her turn is over.
If she pulls out two red tiles, she dies immediately adding one yellow tile to the bag. Her turn is over.
Now it is the second person’s turn and follows the same procedure.
The more people that go through the simulation, the more yellow tiles that are added to the bags. By the time we went through twice, our family found it difficult to survive!
Now how many will survive with 40% of the population contracting the plague at first? We did the entire plague simulation again with 4 red tiles/6 blue tiles in each bag to start with.
To download these Crusades and Plague Notebook pages and the Black Plague Simulation, just click the link or the picture below:
You might also want to check out our Middle Ages – Feudalism Unit below!
Click on this link to save this activity for later on Pinterest:
We went on to talk about scholarship and literature in this same time period… and read a Dante’s Divine Comedy: As Told for Young People. (affiliate link) Believe it or not, the kids really liked that (and would beg for us to read more each day! More about that in our next post.
You might want to check out our Middle Ages – Feudalism Packet
You can also find the Middle Ages – Feudalism Packet in Our Store.
Disclosure: Please note that the book link above is an affiliate link, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
Our other posts in our Middle Ages Unit (Some of these posts also include some free notebook pages):
- Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan Free Notebook Pages
- Marco Polo – Notebook Pages, Books and Resources
- European History – 1500 to 1750
World Religions Posts and Printables You May Be Interested In:
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Happy Homeschooling, everyone!! ~Liesl
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
What is BBC?
Hi Heather — The BBC series (British Broadcasting Company) put out a series called Crusades (affiliate link). It’s available at Amazon to stream. ~Liesl
What do the yellow tiles mean in the Black Death game? What happens if a player draws a yellow tile?
We used the yellow tiles when they had “caught” the plague but hadn’t died yet (so they added yellow tiles as they “traveled” to the next town). If the player after them picked out a yellow tile, though they caught the plague (and those same rules as the red tile apply). It was just a way of showing that you still spread the plague even if you didn’t die immediately. 🙂 Hope that helps! ~Liesl